Phaistos. Crete. Greece. View of the Grand Staircase with its shallow twelve steps carved partly into rock which lead up to the second Palace (1700 -1450 BC). The Minoan palatial city of Phaistos or Phaestos was the second most important Minoan palatial city in Crete after Knossos and is situated in central southern Crete in the Iraklio prefecture. Crete is Greece’s largest island and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean.