The Heraklion Archaeological Museum is one of the most important museums in Greece and contains the most notable and complete collection of artifacts of the Minoan civilization in the world.
The museum closed in November 2006 for a much needed renovation. Unfortunately the work suffered many delays but finally the museum is due to be fully re-opened by April, or May at the latest.
In fact the museum is already open and functioning normally but the Minoan collection (which will cover the entire ground floor) is not ready for display yet. The staff were not able to give us a specific date but they were quite certain that it would be ready and open to the public “some time in April”.
A short visit through the other rooms (which cover around 1600 years of Cretan history from Post-Palatial through to Roman periods) left me really impressed with the clear modern display, clear labelling and explanations as well as good lighting, It seems that the number of objects on display has been greatly reduced but the result is to increase the clarity and the impact of what you can see.
And if you can’t wait until the museum opens its Minoan collection you can still admire Minoan art contained in some of the private collections on display.
And finally, the Minoan frescoes have their own gallery and it is open.
The museum is open daily in winter from 9.00 to 15.00 except on Monday where it opens from 11.00 until 17.00 and the entrance costs 4 Euro.
The beauty of visiting now is of course that there are no crowds. In fact, we saw no one else during our visit (except for a good number of wardens fighting boredom).