Plateaus in Crete


at Viannos

Omalos Plateau at Viannos
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Omalos plateau in the province Viannos is located at the southern foot of the second-highest peak of Mount Dikti, Afendis Christos (2141m), 60km southeast of the city of Heraklion. It can be accessed through the forest road starting from Kato Simi, but there are also alternative routes that are worth driving. Another road starts from Ano Viannos and merges another one from Kefalovrisi and then heads to Omalos through the peak Pandoura (1513m). The third road starts from the village of Miliaradon near Embaros and comes south and parallel to the wild gorge of Erganos.

This small plateau is almost unknown to all Cretans, who confuse it with the famous White Mountains in the White Mountains in Chania prefecture (West Crete). The plateau of Viannos is smaller than Omalos in Chania, thus it is also frequently called Small Omalos. Omalos is a wonderful place worth visiting, combined with trips to the nearby mountains, gorges, and picturesque villages. Here you will experience the wild beauty of authentic Crete, away from any human urban activity. Omalos is the starting point for various hiking trails, the most famous being the path from Kato Symi, the path from Kefalovrisi, and the path that ascends to Afendis Christos Peak.

In Omalos there is nothing, except the small chapel dedicated to the Holly Spirit (Agio Pnevma ). The plateau is only used by local shepherds during the summer months. Every winter the plateau is dressed in white, making the landscape very beautiful. When the snow melts in the center of the plateau a small lake is formed, which is still there till early summer.

Omalos was the spot where the famous hero of the writer Ioannis Kondylakis, Patouchas, was grazing his animals in his novel Patouchas.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Heraklion Prefecture
  • Accessibility: Dirt track
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