Hersonissos is 26 kilometres east of Heraklion, between Anissaras and Stalis.
Hersonissos has developed due to tourism and, in just a few decades, has grown into the largest tourist resort in Crete.
Hersonissos has about 3,000 permanent inhabitants (2,981 in the 2001 census), but this number increases exponentially each summer, with the thousands of seasonal workers in tourism, and of course the hundreds of thousands of tourists who come to Hersonissos on holiday.
Hersonissos is officially named Limenas Hersonissou (“Port of Hersonissos”), because it was once the harbour of the village of Αno Hersonissos (“Upper Hersonissos”), now known as Old Hersonissos. Ano Hersonissos is 2 kilometres south of seaside Hersonissos, which essentially developed from the 1960s onwards due to tourism. Until then it had been just a small village with a rudimentary harbour.
Hersonissos means fun and mass tourism, lovely but busy beaches, a modern town with dozens of shops selling tourist goods, clothes and jewellery, restaurants offering all kinds of food, cafeterias, bars and nightclubs to suit every taste.
Hersonissos also means conference tourism in the large luxury hotels, the only golf course in Crete, and all-inclusive holidays for tourists of all ages who are mostly entertained in their hotel and rarely leave it to get to know the beautiful sights of Crete. This is a shame, because Hersonissos is ideally placed for easy travel across the whole island, either by rented car or by bus.
waterpark in hersonissosPeople traveling with children will find many ways of keeping them happy in Hersonissos, with a day at the two Water Parks, a visit to the Hersonissos Aquarium or the giant CretAquarium in Gournes, a trip on the “happy train”, or letting them enjoy themselves in the play areas provided by many restaurants.
Also, 1-2 kilometres to the south are the traditional villages of Koutouloufari, Piskopiano and Ano Hersonissos, for those who would rather stay somewhere quieter without missing out on all seaside Hersonissos has to offer.