The broader region of Hersonissos has been inhabited, already from the Minoan period.
There are archeological finds witnessing the presence of the Minoan people. Honorio Belli, who visited the region during the 14th century, wrote that Hersonissos used to be the port of ancient Lyttos. His description of the high aquatic bridges carrying the water from Lassithi to Hersonissos is very impressive. In his ‘Geography’, Strabo suggests that it was here that the ancient temple of Artemis Vrytomartis (Diana) was erected, who was one of the greatest deities of Minoan Crete.
During the Roman period, the region boomed. This is attested by the harbouring works of that period, visible in the sea floor in front of the town, even nowadays. Roman Hersonissos was adorned with impressive fountains with multicolored mosaics. Besides, there was an aqueduct, a theatre, even fish tanks, parts of which are still preserved.
Three famous, great Basilicas bear witness of the booming of the town during the first Christian and the Byzantine period.
In his book, ‘Kingdom of Crete’, Fr. Basilicato includes the cove Tigani that is on the coast of Limin Hersonissos, where remnants of ancient temples are described.
During the first Byzantine period, Hersonissos experienced great glory. It also used to be a diocese, already from the first centuries of Christianity. The diocese was established by Apostle Titus and it had its own money.