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Ano Viannos

Ano Viannos lies 65 km southeast of Heraklion, about 35 km from Pyrgos, the main town of the area. The ride is long and tiresome but it is rewarding. Ano Viannos is situated on a height of about 600 m. on the slope of mount Dicty, overlooking the olive plantation of Viannos Province.
It is built on the ruins of ancient Viannos, which was an independent town. Excavations in the area revealed Minoan remainders among which coins minted in the area with the head of a woman on one side and a flower on the other. In the area there are some remarkable Byzantine churches One of them is the wall-painted church of Agia Pelagia, built in 1360 AD. During the Venetian Occupation, Viannos was a flourishing town. During the Ottoman occupation, it was devastated twice, in 1822 and 1866, but people came back and gave the village life again. During the 2nd World War, the Nazis killed 400 women and children and razed Viannos and the villages of the area.
Nowadays, it is a picturesque, all green village, famous for its oil and dairy products. It is dominated by olive trees, planes, poplars and myrtles, which compile oases of freshness in picturesque squares with stone fountains from where fresh cold water flows. In their shadows you can enjoy a meal, a cup of coffee or a refreshment in traditional cafes or, if you are a more active type, you can stroll uphill in the narrow streets with the traditional houses with the local colour.  
Not far from Viannos, in the Libyan Sea, are the sandy beaches Keratokambos and Psari Forada.
Viannos is the birthplace of Ioannis Kondilakis, the writer of "Patouchas", who was one of the greatest early twentieth century literature writers and journalists in Greece.

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