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The area of Viannos covers the southern side of mountain Dikti from the small plateau of OMALOS to the beautiful coastline. The capital and seat of the municipality is the village of Ano Viannos located 560m above sea level, 65 km away from Heraklion and 40km from Ierapetra (to the east).

All the mountainous area with the villages Loutraki, Kato Viannos, Hondros, Vahos, Amiras, Agios Vassilios, Kefalovrissi, Pefkos, Kalami, Sykologos, Ano Symi and Kato Symi, is of outstanding natural beauty. Most villages still keep the old traditional architectural style while a good number of old churches, some with well frescoes preserved can be found. Another characteristic of the area is small ravines with running water and rich vegetation.

It is an amazing all green valley with imposing canyons, such as the canyon of Arvis, a gentle climate and beautiful, clean, sandy beaches, including the beach of Keratocampos which is the port of Viannos.

The main product of Viannos is its unique and famous olive oil.
Recent years, Arvi, Psari Forada (Sidonia), Keratokambos and Kastri, the small settlements of the coastal part have prospered due to the cultivation of early vegetables and bananas.

Forests, pasture-lands, olive plantations, fresh fish, the production of honey, eggs and other farming products, a beach zone where bananas and gardening products are cultivated, the mountain and the sea in short distance: these are the characteristics of Viannos.

According to one view, Viannos was named after Viennos who was one of the Kourits who raised Zeus dancing armed while producing a lot of noise, so that Saturn would not hear the baby's cries. Another point of view is that it received its name from the violence used on Mars, the God of War, who was imprisoned for 13 months in Viannos by Otos and Efialtis, Neptune's children. The memory of Mars's imprisonment had been celebrated until the 5th century AD, under the name "Ekatomfonia".

During the years 300 - 367BC Viannos became an independent city with its own coin, which pictured a woman's head on one side and the letters VIANI on the other.

More than 10 Minoan habitations, a sacred Minoan building, a Minoan cemetery, a post-Minoan palace, farms and other findings testify that Viannos has been inhabited since antiquity and that it participated in all the periods of the Minoan civilisation. Archaeological excavations held during the Roman and the old-Christian period revealed findings, which prove the continuous presence and activity of the Viannits.

Viannos also made its presence felt during the Byzantine period, with the existence of temples and monasteries, which maintain, until today, several of the special characteristics of this era. A classic example is the convent Kiralimeniotissa in the area Psari Forada, which has been ruined by piratical invasions.

The Holy Convent has been an important artistic and worship centre in the area of Viannos.