Hersonissos was my home from 1977 to 1995. During that time, as an entrepreneur myself, I was able to watch the baby steps of her development, progress, and
During the early years, there were only three large hotels: Creta Maris, Nora, and the Belvedere; as well as a few smaller, family-run hotels. Like a heart pumping blood through veins, they brought the village to life, energizing its streets with bustling vacationers.
During this time, the majority of the tourist activity took place on the street of Agias Paraskevis, the winding path from the main road to the beach. The number of businesses on the street was so small that one could count them on two hands.
Most of the tourist shops that line the street today are specialized, but back then they all served as both general stores and souvenir shops, and all sold similar items.
Two items that come to mind that were popular, and no longer widely available these days are the huge, one meter tall ceramic vases and the woolen knit white pullover jackets. Both were a must-have in every store and they sold like crazy. The former, however, gave headaches to the flight attendants on the airplanes who had to try to store them safely in the cramped overhead bins; the latter caused the wearer to itch like mad, but since it was in style, the discomfort was endured for the sake of fashion. In addition to the itchiness, the wool stretched with each wear, and it even seemed to stretch on its own just by hanging in the closet; many disappointed tourists found that the jacket they bought at the beginning of their vacation had transformed to a long coat by the end!
There will be more on the subject, in the mean time if you have any memories of Hersonissos that you would like to share, we love to hear from you.