The term “Minoans” was coined in the modern era to denote the Bronze Age inhabitants of Crete (ca. 3100-1000 BC). We don’t know how these people(s) referred to themselves, or even if they conceived of themselves as ethnically different from, say, the people from the mainland. It is nothing more than 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.