Knossos, the famous Minoan Palace lies 5 kilometres southeast of Heraklion, in the valley of the river Kairatos. The river rises in Archanes, runs through Knossos and reaches the sea at Katsabas, the Minoan harbour of Knossos.
In Minoan times the river flowed all year round and the surrounding hills were covered in oak and cypress trees, where today we see vines and olives. The pine trees inside the archaeological site were planted by Evans.
Constant habitation for 9,000 years has brought about great changes to the natural environment, so it is hard to imagine what the Minoan landscape was like.