Avdou is a charming village about 39 km from Heraklion towards Lassithi Plateau. In recent years it has become one of the centers of alternative tourism in Crete. This village has natural beauty as well as a long history.
The inhabitants of Avdou took part in many battles during the Turkish occupation and the Second World War. In 1841 the Turks, who decapitated many of its inhabitants, destroyed the village. Avdou is the birthplace of many Greek heroes and revolutionaries who fought bravely against the Turks, such as S. Xanthourithis, N. Tylianakis, Ioannis Dafotis. For that reason it is called “Kapetanochori” (Captains’ village).
The participation of the locals in the resistance during the Second World War was again of great importance. The village constituted a centre of catering and supported the guerrilla teams in the mountains. In 1944 the rebels managed to sneak into the building of the Old School, which was occupied by the Germans and take away the German flag. This offensive act led the Germans to arrest many village residents. With the intervention, however, of a moderate Austrian officer and the diplomatic ability of the chairman of Community, Emmanouil Smyrnakis, they were released.