The term “Minoans” was coined in the modern era to denote the inhabitants of Crete during the Bronze Age (ca. 3100-1100 BC). We don’t know how they referred to themselves, or even if they conceived of themselves as ethnically different from, say, the Mycenaeans. It is, first and foremost, an archaeological label.
Cretans of the Bronze Age are most famous for their large court complexes, conventionally referred to as “palaces”. The largest of these court complexes have been unearthed at Knossos (the second most popular archaeological site in Greece), Phaistos, Malia and Zakros.