A SUCCINT FLASH BACK
It was at the beginning of the 80’s, that an intelligent, creative, diligent dreamer decided to launch a work of a lifetime. His intention was to offer something to Crete, his motherland.
Although he had nothing to do with hoteliers or entrepreneurs, he decided to establish a place where all memories of his childhood could revive and continue to stay alive.
With that concern in mind, he came to contact with his business partner and two eminent architects, Mr. Sotiris Sotirakos and Mr.Elias Patronikolas.
The latter were to implement the idea of establishing a Traditional Village that would reflect many aspects of Cretan tradition, conveying it on their architectural drawings. Such aspects included arts and crafts, cuisine, and local customs.
In the region Servili Tilissou, it was Mr. Saloustros’ father-in-law, the famous Michalis Kallergis alias Makromichalos, that owned the estate and the area necessary for implementing the said project.
The area was initially a pasture for Mr. Kallergis’ sheep. Specifically, in the area where the big square village currently lies, (Faso Charaki) he sowed tare and other grain for the sheep. Those furrows continue to exist to date at the big square of Arolithos.
It was in the spring of 1985 that the foundations of the building complex were set.
Two years before that, Mr. Saloustros had avidly strived to collect the items that would decorate the house interiors and the stones and wood for the edifice exteriors from various villages of Crete.
That endeavor took such long hours and so much personal work, that it is difficult to evaluate.
Like an itinerant junkman, Mr. Saloustros went from house to house and from village to village to gather items that were dumped, or just “unwanted”.
Those included stones from demolished houses, mountain rocks etc. and were handpicked to ornate the buildings of the complex.
Gradually, Arolithos was taking its form. In 1988, Arolithos was inaugurated. Since then, it operates while adhering to the tradition of Crete. Nevertheless, it is always ready to adapt to current developments and exigencies.
It constitutes a model building complex that inspired many other businesses to follow its example. To date, many businesses are established based on tradition while maintaining their Cretan character.
At times when nobody in Greece had even heard of agricultural tourism, Arolithos already existed, resulting from an individual initiative by someone who loved his country passionately.
Nowadays Arolithos is exclusively owned by the family of Georgis and Marika Saloustros. Together with their four children, Giannis, Eleni, Michalis and Vagelis, they work with zeal and passion to maintain that year-long vision.