Chios

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The Island of Mastic

Atmospheric Medieval Villages, Volcanic Pebbles and Floral Motifs under the Scents and Fragrances of Citrus and Mastic

Atmospheric medieval mastic villages and beaches of wild beauty with volcanic pebbles will literally take your breath away. Mansion houses with flowery gardens and citrus orchards and dense forests with miraculous tears of mastic will astonish your eyes. Impressive mosaics and geometric shapes with floral motifs and deserted settlements with remnants of the 13th century will travel you back in time. A different world is unfolding in front of you ready to be explored. Hanging in a corner of the Aegean, the value of Chios is timeless blessed from the fragrant scents of mastic and the majestic diversities of the landscapes. Every region of the island is hiding an unexpected surprise. Notorious for their naval history, the Chians are proud for their history and traditions giving an extraordinary opportunity to the travellers to experience the authentic face of Greece. If you are pursuing in discovering the other side of Greece, the unexplored and mysterious one, then you should definitely visit Chios. Deserted to its distinctive beauty, Chios served as an economic and cultural center in the northern part of the Aegean, with a sting of invaders and colossal powers, that gave to the island a unique character and an exceptional identity that will literally surprise you. Are you ready to unveil the mysteries of Chios?

Discover Chios

Best of Chios

The Capital of Chios

The City of Chios, else known as Hora, is the beautiful capital of the island located on the east side of the island. The town is the administrative, cultural and spiritual center of the island boasts a series of historical buildings of the long history of Chios. Neoclassical mansions and Ottoman constructions with Arabic influences harmonize in a beautiful way. Close to the square of Vounaki, one will find the public gardens of Chios with the statue of Kanaris. The street of Kennedy leads to Castle, the most intriguing part of the town. On the southern side of the square, you will find the commercial street of Aplotaria with all kinds of amenities. Wander around the coastal promenade and enjoy the views in the most charming spot of the town.

The Beach of Mavra Volia

The Beach of Mavra Volia is a long black pebbled beach with dark blue waters located on the north side of the island. It is one of the most beautiful beaches of the island. The black pebbles of the beach were created from the volcanic eruption of the dormant volcano of Psaronas. During the summer, a canteen operates at the beach. Also, don’t forget to take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints.

The Castle of Chios

The Castle of Chios is one of the most imposing castles of the island located on the north side of the town center. The main entrance of the castle is Porta Maggiore that was constructed from the Venetians in 1694. One of the most impressive buildings of the castle is the Giustiniani Palace located close to the main entrance. The palace was built from the Genoese for housing the headquarters of the administration, and nowadays various cultural events are held in the building. The Dark Dungeon is another building of the Genoese period, which was used as the prison of seventy Chiots who where held until their execution, after the unsuccessful rebellion against the Ottomans. The Ottoman Graveyard is a monument in memory of important Ottomans located at the square of the castle while the Ottoman Mosques of Hamidiye Cami and Eski Cami, now Church of Agios Georgios, are also located within the castle. Other important buildings that have been preserved within the walls are the Cold Fountain, an underground cistern of the Byzantine period, and the Tower of Koulas. However, one of the most impressive sights of the castle is the Ottoman Baths. Walking up the street of Agios Georgios, one will have the opportunity to admire exemplary houses of the local traditional architecture. The castle of Chios is protected as a site of archaeological and historical importance from the Presidential Decree.

The Church of Old Taxiarhis

The Church of Old Taxiarhis is a vaulted basilica with remarkable frescoes located within the medieval fortified village of Mesta. The wood carved iconostasis depicts scenes from the Old and New Testaments representing the high standard of local woodcarving.

The Medieval Village of Anavatos

The Medieval Village of Anavatos is located on the central part of the island. Anavatos is a medieval and byzantine village with well-preserved remnants of tower houses, arches and cobblestone roads built on the top of a cliff plunging into a large granite rock. Although it is deserted, the village preserves the history of the area. The War of Independence of 1821 and the Massacre of Chios of 1822 are directly associated with the village of Anavatos.

The New Monastery of Chios

The New Monastery of Chios is located on the central region of Chios. It is one of the oldest monasteries of the country that has been declared as a World Heritage Site from Unesco. The monastery was founded from the Byzantine Emperor Constantine IX Monomachos during the 11th century as a repay to three monks of Chios for predicting that his banishment to Lesvos was temporary and he would eventually become emperor. The New Monastery became one of the wealthiest monasteries of the Aegean until the Massacre of Chios from the Ottomans in 1822. Nowadays, the monastery extends over an area of seventeen thousands square meters. It comprises from the main church, two smaller churches, the dining area of the monks called trapeza, the quarters of the monks called kelia, the ecclesiastical museum of the monastery and the underground cisterns for the collection of water along with a strong defensive tower. However, the monastery is mostly known for its mosaics, one of the finest examples of the Macedonian Renaissance Art in Greece.

The Village of Kambos

The Village of Kambos is one of the most fertile villages of Chios located on the east side of the island. Known for its citrus orchards and colorful mansions, the lovely settlement lies in a valley of great historical importance covered with orange, lemon and tangerine trees, all of which are protected from magnificent wooden gates. Kambos has retained the medieval character of the area embellished with well-preserved neoclassical houses of the traditional architecture of the island. Every single building depicts the exceptional architecture of the area, which has been declared as a historical site from the Ministry of Culture. The entire area of Kambos is one of the most impressive landmarks of Chios.

The Village of Mesta

The Village of Mesta is the best preserved medieval mastic village of the island located on the northwest side of the island. The beautiful settlement boasts one of the finest examples of defensive architecture, which has been declared as a preserved monument from the Ministry of Culture. The houses of the village are built one right next to the other forming the outer wall of the castle. The streets are very narrow covered with arches on which houses are built. The entire village has been designed as a labyrinth with the intention of preventing pirate invasions. The inhabitants of Mesta are known for the preservation of their customs and traditions. The most important custom of the area is the revival of the Agas Trials, a satirical replica of the trials that were held during the Ottoman Occupation. The custom is held on Shrove Monday. Mesta is also known for one of the best wines of the island called Mestousiko and an alcoholic drink made from the distillation of figs and grapes called Souma. Worth visiting sights of Mesta include the Defensive Tower of Militas and the beautiful beaches of Apothika and Agia Dynami. The Temple of Old Taxiarhis is the oldest monument of the village with traces of old frescoes. A stroll around the square of the village, known as Livadi, is considered one of the most refreshing promenades in the area. As you will exit the castle, you might have the impression that you were walking in a place where history and present blend in a mysterious way, a place of live history.

The Village of Pyrgi

The Village of Pyrgi is the largest medieval mastic village of the island located on the southern side of the island. It is often called as the painted village owing to the fine geometrical shapes decorating the façades of the buildings. Like the other medieval villages, the houses are built one right next to the other forming the outer wall of the castle. Pyrgi has been designated as a listed monument. Dried cherry tomatoes are hanging from the balconies of the buildings giving a refreshing color to the area. The most important historical monuments of the village include the byzantine temple of Agioi Apostoli built following the design of the New Monastery, the imposing bell tower of the church of the Dormition of Virgin Mary, the Defensive Tower of Pyrgos, the residence of Christopher Columbus who lived in the island for a short period of time and the unique white and black geometrical shapes, known as xysta, dominating all over the buildings of Pyrgi.

Archaeological Sites

The Archaeological Site of Emborio is located on the slopes of the hill of Prophet Elias. Archaeological excavations have brought to light the fortified acropolis of the settlement, the Megaron and the altar of the Temple of Athena. Although the ascent to the site might be difficult, the view of the Aegean Sea is amazing where you can enjoy a coffee at the refreshment bar.

The Archaeological Site of Rimokastro is located on the Plateau of Epos Mountain above the village of Vrontados. The site hosts the remnants of farming and stock raising facilities dating back to the Classical years. Rimokastro is visible from the regions of Astyfidolakko and Rimokastro, where information boards and spectator stands have been constructed. The farming facilities of Rimokastro were organized along the route of Ellinostrata, the ancient trail that connected the eastern coast with the northern and western coast of the island.

The Medieval Village of Anavatos is located on the central part of the island. Anavatos is a medieval and byzantine village with well-preserved remnants of tower houses, arches and cobblestone roads built on the top of a cliff plunging into a large granite rock. Although it is deserted, the village preserves the history of the area. The War of Independence of 1821 and the Massacre of Chios of 1822 are directly associated with the village of Anavatos.

The Rock of Daskalopetra is one of the most important archaeological sites of the island interweaved with the area that Homer used to teach, as the island is one of the seven cities that claim the origin of Homer. Daskalopetra is also considered to be the altar of a pagan god.

The Temple of Apollo Fanaios is located on the hill of the sheltered bay of Fana. Nowadays, the chapel of Agioi Theodoroi is built on the remnants of the temple. The site is considered to be the Delion of Chios. According to the legend, the birthplace of Apollo was revealed to his mother Leto on this place. Hence, the term Fanaios means the one that has been revealed.

Castles & Fortresses

The Castle of Apolihna is an impressive fortress located on the top of the hill of the village of Armolia. The castle was built from Nikolao Justianini in 1440 in one of the highest elevations of southern Chios. Inside the castle, one can see the remnants of defense towers and rooms along with the remains of the southern wall. The castle is accessible through a hiking trail that starts from the main road of the village.

The Castle of Chios is one of the most imposing castles of the island located on the north side of the town center. The main entrance of the castle is Porta Maggiore that was constructed from the Venetians in 1694. One of the most impressive buildings of the castle is the Giustiniani Palace located close to the main entrance. The palace was built from the Genoese for housing the headquarters of the administration, and nowadays various cultural events are held in the building. The Dark Dungeon is another building of the Genoese period, which was used as the prison of seventy Chiots who where held until their execution, after the unsuccessful rebellion against the Ottomans. The Ottoman Graveyard is a monument in memory of important Ottomans located at the square of the castle while the Ottoman Mosques of Hamidiye Cami and Eski Cami, now Church of Agios Georgios, are also located within the castle. Other important buildings that have been preserved within the walls are the Cold Fountain, an underground cistern of the Byzantine period, and the Tower of Koulas. However, one of the most impressive sights of the castle is the Ottoman Baths. Walking up the street of Agios Georgios, one will have the opportunity to admire exemplary houses of the local traditional architecture. The castle of Chios is protected as a site of archaeological and historical importance from the Presidential Decree.

The Castle of Gria is a medieval defense fortification located in the village of Kardamyla. The castle served as the citadel of the village. According to tradition, the name of the castle derives from an old lady (“gria” in Greek) who climbed up to the steep rocks in order to save herself from the pirates. Two towers connected from a wall are the sole surviving parts of the castle. The castle is only accessible through an old sign posted hiking trail. One will enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding areas from the castle.

The Castle of Oria is a medieval fortress located on top of a rock, on the site of the chapel of Agia Paraskevi in the village of Kambia. Oria is a typical medieval fortification advantaged from the natural defense of the rock. Parts of the external fortification are the sole surviving remains of the castle.

The Castle of Volissos is a medieval castle located on the top of the village of Volissos. The castle was built from the Byzantines during the 6th century. The castle of Volissos is considered to be a project of General Vellisarios. Research shows that the most possible construction dates back to the 11th century while the castle was restored from the Genoese.

The Tower of Dotia is an exemplary monument of the medieval period located close to the village of Pyrgi. The tower was built from the Genoese during the 15th century. It is situated in one of the most significant mastic productive areas with beautiful sceneries. Traces and foundations are the sole surviving remains of the tower.

The Tower of Ta Markou is located close to the village of Pispilounta. The tower was founded in the 15th century as the central defense tower of a medieval settlement, whose remnants are distinguished in the rare natural beauty of the surrounding areas. This settlement used to protect the crossings of the northern shores of the island. The ground floor and parts of the first level are the sole surviving remains of the tower.

The Watchtowers of Chios are medieval towers that were built on the capes of the island in antiquity, with the intention of monitoring the sea in the event of an enemy attack. The watchtowers constitute a coastal observation and message transmission network, part of the defense fortification built from the Genoese. Twenty-four out of thirty watchtowers have been designated as listed monuments. The watchtowers located in the regions of Agia Eleni in Karfas, the region of Pachi in Sidirounta, the region of Mesta and the region of Trahili in Lithi are open for visitors.

Churches and Monasteries

The Cathedral of Chios Town stands magnificently at the center of the capital of Chios. The cathedral is dedicated to the memory of the three martyrs of Minas, Victor and Vincent. The cathedral celebrates in honor of the saint on November 11 coinciding with the day of liberation of Chios from the Ottoman occupation.

The Church of Agioi Apostoli is a well-preserved Byzantine monument located in the village of Pyrgi. The church is distinguished for its imposing ecclesiastical wall paintings. The church of Agii Apostoloi is considered to be a small reproduction of the main church of the New Byzantine Monastery.

The Church of Panagia Krina is a well-preserved Byzantine church located in the village of Vavili. The church was constructed from Efstathios Kodratos and Irene Doukaina Pepagomeni, members of the court of Constantinople, in the end of the 12th century. The church is distinguished for its imposing ecclesiastical wall paintings. Panagia Krina is considered to be a small reproduction of the main church of the New Byzantine Monastery. It usually opens during the summer period.

The Church of Old Taxiarhis is a vaulted basilica with remarkable frescoes located within the medieval fortified village of Mesta. The wood carved iconostasis depicts scenes from the Old and New Testaments, which is considered as a sample of high standard of local woodcarving.

The Church of Megalos Taxiarhis stands at the center of the village of Mesta. The church was built on the foundations of the pre existing castle tower and it is dedicated to Archangel Michael and Gabriel. The temple distinguishes for its wood carved temples and ancient hagiographies along with the pebbled courtyard and the imposing bell tower made from the stone of Thymiana village. The church is considered as the largest church of the island and one of the largest churches of Greece. Following the withdrawal of the Genoese, the tower was abandoned inhabited solely from crows and snakes. In 1958, the villagers decided to demolish the tower and rebuild the church, as they thought that these creatures were evil omens. The construction of the church lasted for a period of ten years and the villagers voluntarily participated in the construction. The church of Taxiarhis is one of the most representative folklore examples of the architecture of Chios.

The Monastery of Agia Markella is one of the most important pilgrimage centers of the island located close to the village of Volissos. Agia Markella is the saint protector of Chios. The biggest religious celebration in honor of Agia Markella is held on July 22. According to tradition, the saint did not want to obey the immoral desires of her pagan father. He chased her into the rugged mountains, and found her hidden in a bush. With the intention of forcing her to come out, he burned the bush making her to come out and start running while praying to the God to open the earth and save her. So it happened, and his father cut off her head and threw it into the sea. Worshippers from all over the island visit the monastery the night before the feast to show their faith to the miraculous saint. The cells of the monastery can accommodate pilgrims wishing to stay overnight.

The Monastery of Moundon is a historic monastery complex located close to the village of Diefha. Although the monastery is deserted, it was considered to be the most important monastery of Chios after the New Byzantine Monastery. However, the monastery was destroyed from the Ottomans. The most important buildings of the complex are the chapels, the monk cells, the domed portico along with the church of Agios Ioannis decorated with impressive frescoes depicting scenes from the Old and New Testaments. All the destroyed frescoes were repaired from a monk in 1849. If you want to visit the monastery, you will have to take the keys from the village of Diefhas.

The Monastery of Myrsinidiou is a monastery dedicated to Virgin Myrtidiotissa located on the northern side of the settlement of Vrontados. The monastery was founded from monk Christopher Seremelis in 1897. It distinguishes for its charitable services during the German occupation and the resistance in the Second World War. The monastery celebrates in honour of the saint on September 24.

The Monastery of Agios Konstantinos and Eleni stands on the top of the hill Fragovouni in the region of Thimiani. The church of the saints is located at the center of the pebbled courtyard. The church is decorated with hagiographies of exceptional beauty. The complex consists from a Refectory, seventy cells, guest rooms and hagiographic workshops. Even today, the nuns are engaged in hagiography and weaving. The monastery celebrates in honor of the saints on May 21.

The New Monastery of Chios is located on the central region of Chios. It is one of the oldest monasteries of the country that has been declared as a World Heritage Site from Unesco. The monastery was founded from the Byzantine Emperor Constantine IX Monomachos during the 11th century as a repay to three monks of Chios for predicting that his banishment to Lesvos was temporary and he would eventually become emperor. The New Monastery became one of the wealthiest monasteries of the Aegean until the Massacre of Chios from the Ottomans in 1822. Nowadays, the monastery extends over an area of seventeen thousands square meters. It comprises from the main church, two smaller churches, the dining area of the monks called trapeza, the quarters of the monks called kelia, the ecclesiastical museum of the monastery and the underground cisterns for the collection of water along with a strong defensive tower. However, the monastery is mostly known for its mosaics, one of the finest examples of the Macedonian Renaissance Art in Greece.

Museums

The Archaeological Museum of Chios is located in the neighborhood of Fragomahalas at the capital of Chios. The museum exhibits a rich collection of findings from the archaeological sites of Dotia, Emborio and Fana along with architectural parts from buildings and a unique Macedonian style tomb found

The Byzantine Museum of Chios is housed in the Ottoman Mosque of Mecidiye Cami. The exhibition aims to inform visitors about the culture and history of the island from the early Christian period up until the modern area.

The Citrus Memories is a space dedicated to the history of the agricultural history of citrus fruits of Kambos. The purpose of the museum is to inform the visitors for the agricultural tradition of the area, the production methods of citrus, and the unique architecture of Kambos.

The Ecclesiastical Art Museum is housed in the New Monastery of Chios. The museum includes an interesting collection of ecclesiastical silverworks and embroideries, byzantine icons and sculptures along with a silk women curtain made from gold threads.

The Folklore Museum and Art Gallery of Argenti is housed inside the Historical Library of Koraes. The museum exhibits items of the personal collection of Philip Argenti. In 1932, he founded the Argenti Association with the intention of preserving the historical and folklore treasures of the island.

The Folklore Museum of Kallimasia is located in the village of Kallimasia. The museum exhibits a collection of objects of the culture and heritage of the island. The exhibition includes objects of traditional professions and activities, an olive oil press and an ouzo distillery along with an area dedicated to Karagiozis, the traditional shadow theatre of Greece.

The Folklore Museum of Kambohora was founded from the municipality of Kambos in the village of Halkios. The museum exhibits traditional objects from the Chian heritage inside an old olive oil press.

The Mastic Museum of Chios is located in Southern Chios, in the region of the Mastichochoria. The present act has as its object the elaboration of the museum shell and the surrounding area and the installation therein of a permanent exhibition and the complementary / auxiliary areas and services, as well as the information and publicity actions regarding this project. The permanent exhibition is centred on the gum mastic of Chios as a unique product. It aims to chart the technique of the gum mastic tree’s traditional cultivation, and to present the product’s history, the evolution of the pre-industrial and industrial technology for the production, exploitation and marketing of gum mastic, as well as to showcase its different uses.

The Maritime Museum of Chios is the cultural organization dedicated to the long maritime history of the island housed in a traditional mansion of the town of Chios. The museum includes paintings, models of ships, photographs and navigation tools that belonged to sea fearers of the island.

The Medical Museum of Chios is a museum dedicated to the history of medical practice of the island located in the city of Chios. The museum exhibits includes medical instruments and medical devices from donations of private collections and public institutions.

The Natural History and Pharmaceutical Museum is an organization dedicated to the preservation of the pharmaceutical history of the island housed in the Cultural Association of Kallimasia. The museum exhibits includes advertisements, books and photographs related to the island history of pharmaceuticals.

The Religious Art Museum is located in the old primary school of the village of Kourounia. The collections of the museum include ecclesiastical artworks made from great iconographers and visual material of the religious customs of the village.

Natural Beauties

The Cave of Olympi is an impressive natural monument located in the area of Sykia, close to the village of Olympoi. The cave is known for its numerous stalagmite and stalactite formations formed 150 million years ago. The cave of Olympoi is one of the most beautiful natural monuments of the country and it is open for visitors. The temperature of the cave is 18 degrees of Celsius while its humidity rises up to 95%.

The Cave of Agio Gala is one of the most significant sites of the island located on the craggy mountain slope below the homonymous village. It is a complex of three caves with impressive limestone formations inhabited since the Neolithic period. Numerous archaeological findings were found inside the cave including stone tools and jewelry, bones and shells, which are displayed inside the Archaeological Museum of Chios. The church of Panagia Agiogalousena is located at the entrance of the middle cave while the cave of Agia Anna decorates the interior of the cave.

The Gorge of Kambia is a lovely gorge located in the village of Kambia. Following the riverside, the verdant sceneries of the area offer an interesting sign posted hiking route that starts from the last house of the village. Through the dense vegetation, you will see the beautiful bridge with small waterfalls. In the halfway, you will have the opportunity the visit the castle of Orias along with the chapel of Agia Paraskevi with panoramic views of the surrounding areas. The gorge ends in a beautiful beach.

The Gorge of Giosonas is one of the most spectacular gorges of the island located on the mountain slopes of Pelinneo on the western side of the homonymous settlement. Following the idyllic trail, you will be impressed from the natural beauties and the steep cliffs blessed with dense vegetation and small waterfalls. The unique species of crabs of the mountains reside in the springs of Giosonas!

Promenades and Villages

Anavatos is a medieval fortified village located on the central region of the island. Although it is deserted, the village is one of the most impressive historical monuments of Chios plunging into huge granite rocks on the top of the cliff. Anavatos played an important role in the War of Independence in 1821 and the Massacre of Chios in 1822. It is believed that this medieval village was founded for military purposes, mainly for the surveillance of the western coast of the island. The few locals of the area demonstrate this beautiful historical site and their traditional quality products. Anavatos, else known as the Mystras of Chios, has been designated as a historical site and it is considered to be a national monument of the island.

Armolia is a medieval mastic village located on the crossroads of the south region of the island. The inhabitants of the village are renowned for their long tradition of ceramic pottery. One of the most impressive temples is found in the church of Panagia. Armolia is dominated from the remarkable medieval castle of Apolihna constructed from the Genoese in 1446, which is accessible from a sign posted route. The most characteristic image of Armolia is the laboratories of the inhabitants located at the entrance of the village. Just outside the village, you can also visit the Monastery of Zoodohos Pigi (Life Giving Source) celebration on the 20th of July.

Chios Town, else known as Hora, is the beautiful capital of the island located on the east side of the island. The town is the administrative, cultural and spiritual center of the island boasts a series of historical buildings of the long history of Chios. Neoclassical mansions and Ottoman constructions with Arabic influences harmonize in a beautiful way. Close to the square of Vounaki, one will find the public gardens of Chios with the statue of Kanaris. The street of Kennedy leads to Castle, the most intriguing part of the town. On the southern side of the square, you will find the commercial street of Aplotaria with all kinds of amenities. Wander around the coastal promenade and enjoy the views in the most charming spot of the town.

Emborios is a charming harbor located on the north side of the island. The main attraction of the settlement is the beach of Mavra Volia, perhaps the most impressive beach of the island. The black pebbles of the beach were created from the volcanic eruption of the dormant volcano Psaronas. Another sight worth visiting is the archaeological site of Emborio. Climbing to the acropolis might be difficult, however, you will be rewarded with magnificent views.

Kalamoti is a medieval mastic village located on the southeast side of the island. Although the defensive wall of the village is not evident, the village has a typical medieval architecture with stone houses and cobblestone alleys. The valleys around the village are covered with fruit trees and olive groves giving a refreshing opportunity for walking in nature. The road in the southern side of the village leads to the seaside settlement of Komi, home to one of the most beautiful beaches of the island. The most important monuments of the area include the church of Panagia Agrelopusena with its beautiful sculptures, the Monument of the Heroes made from the sculptor Mihalis Tombros and the hiking route starting from the area of Komi that leads to the hill of Prophet Elias with panoramic views of the surrounding areas.

Kambos is one of the most fertile villages of Chios located on the east side of the island. Known for its citrus orchards and colorful mansions, the lovely settlement lies in a valley of great historical importance covered with orange, lemon and tangerine trees, all of which are protected from magnificent wooden gates. Kambos has retained the medieval character of the area embellished with well-preserved neoclassical houses of the traditional architecture of the island. Every single building depicts the exceptional architecture of the area, which has been declared as a historical site from the Ministry of Culture. The entire area of Kambos is one of the most impressive landmarks of Chios.

Kardamyla is the third biggest village of the island, known for its long naval tradition, located on the northwest side of the island. The village is divided into the old settlement of Pano Horio, else known as Ano Kardamyla, and the new settlement of Kato Horio, else known as Marmaro. Pano Horio is one of the oldest villages of the island embellished with fine examples of traditional architecture and narrow cobblestone alleys dominated from the castle of Gria. Marmaro is the seaside settlement of the village adorned from outstanding traditional stone mansions with flowery courtyards. The most important sights of the area is the Church of Panagia Hypapante with the cobblestone courtyards, the imposing bell tower of the Church of Agios Georgios, the Cultural Center of Kardamyla, the Statue of the Sailor made from sculptor named Apartis, the neoclassical mansion of Vasilaki and the windmills of Marmaro. In a close proximity to the village, you can visit the gorge of Giosonas and the beautiful beach of Nagos.

Kataraktis is a seaside settlement located on the southwestern coast of the island. The surrounding area is covered with mastic trees and olive groves, the trademark of the island. The village is an ideal place for lovers of nature, as it combines the verdurous mountains with the blue of the sea. Kataraktis is known for its lovely beach with the delicious fish taverns, an ideal place for those looking for tranquility and relaxation. Worth visiting sights include the old abandoned village of Kataraktis with its medieval houses, its byzantine churches and the medieval monastery of Panagia Rouxouniotissa.

Mesta is the best preserved medieval mastic village of the island located on the northwest side of the island. The beautiful settlement boasts one of the finest examples of defensive architecture, which has been declared as a preserved monument from the Ministry of Culture. The houses of the village are built one right next to the other forming the outer wall of the castle. The streets are very narrow covered with arches on which houses are built. The entire village has been designed as a labyrinth with the intention of preventing pirate invasions. The inhabitants of Mesta are known for the preservation of their customs and traditions. The most important custom of the area is the revival of the Agas Trials, a satirical replica of the trials that were held during the Ottoman Occupation. The custom is held on Shrove Monday. Mesta is also known for one of the best wines of the island called Mestousiko and an alcoholic drink made from the distillation of figs and grapes called Souma. Worth visiting sights of Mesta include the Defensive Tower of Militas and the beautiful beaches of Apothika and Agia Dynami. The Temple of Old Taxiarhis is the oldest monument of the village with traces of old frescoes. A stroll around the square of the village, known as Livadi, is considered one of the most refreshing promenades in the area. As you will exit the castle, you might have the impression that you were walking in a place where history and present blend in a mysterious way, a place of live history.

Olympi is a medieval mastic village lying on the southern side of the island. The village stands out for its exceptional architecture founded in the 13th century. The beautiful houses of the village are built one right next to the other and form the outer wall of the castle. Indeed, Olympi has been designated as a listed monument. The sole main entrance of the village, known as Kalo Porta, the defensive tower, the narrow cobblestone alleys and the impressive archways attest the medieval atmosphere to the village. The most important custom of the area is the revival of the Agas Trials, a satirical replica of the trials that were held during the Ottoman Occupation. The custom takes place on Shrove Monday. Worth visiting sights are the Temple of Apollo Phaneos, the cave of Olympi with impressive stalactite decorations and the beaches of Agia Dynami and Mavra Volia. The Trapeza of Olympi is yet another remarkable sight of the area along with the wooden iconostasis of the church of Agia Paraskevi.

Pyrgi is the largest medieval mastic village of the island located on the southern side of the island. It is often called as the painted village owing to the fine geometrical shapes decorating the façades of the buildings. Like the other medieval villages, the houses are built one right next to the other forming the outer wall of the castle. Pyrgi has been designated as a listed monument. Dried cherry tomatoes are hanging from the balconies of the buildings giving a refreshing color to the area. The most important historical monuments of the village include the byzantine temple of Agioi Apostoli built following the design of the New Monastery, the imposing bell tower of the church of the Dormition of Virgin Mary, the Defensive Tower of Pyrgos, the residence of Christopher Columbus who lived in the island for a short period of time and the unique white and black geometrical shapes, known as xysta, dominating all over the buildings of Pyrgi.

Sidirounda is a mountainous village located on the northwest side of the island. The settlement is built on a hill with panoramic views of the western coastline of Chios. It is a charming and traditional village with stone houses and the imposing church of Agios Georgios. Sidirounda is renowned for its magical sunset! In a close proximity from the village, you can visit the beautiful beach of Makria Ammos and Tigani.

Thymiana is one of the largest villages of the island located on the south side of the island. The village is renowned for the stone quarries, a fine ornamental material of buildings used for the construction of a series of buildings in Kambos. Worth visiting sights include the church of Agios Efstratios, a fine example of the local architecture made from the thymian stone. One of the most fascinating festivities of the island is the Carnival of Thymiana, known as Mostra, hosting a series of parades and wagons held on Shrove Monday. In a close proximity to the village, you can visit the beautiful beaches of Mega Limnionas and Karfas.

Vessa is a medieval mastic village located on the southern side of the island. Vessa has been , declared as a listed traditional settlement. Although it is a small village, it is worth wandering around the cobblestone alleys of the settleemnt to admire the well-preserved medieval architecture of the houses, the corner towers of the castle and the woodcut icon screen of the Church of Agios Dimitrios. You can also visit the Hiotiko Kellari, a small factory producing handmade pasta. Another medieval mastic village worth visiting is Elata distinguished for its medieval architecture and the temple of Agia Triada with panoramic views of the island. In a close proximity from Vessa, you can visit the Medieval Settlement of Anavatos and the New Monastery.

Volissos is a mountainous village located on the mountain slopes of the northwest side of the island. The village is one of the seven cities that are claiming the origin of Homer. The most important monuments of the area include the Monastery of Agia Markella, the Castle of Volissos and the Cave of Agio Gala. The surrounding area is covered with olive trees and aromatic plants giving an opportunity to wander around the beautiful nature of the island. Also, excursion boats operate from the harbor of Limnia to the island of Psara.

Vrondados is a seaside village spreading located on the western side of the island. The village is known for its long maritime tradition. According to tradition, Christopher Columbus visited the village with the intention of studying the nautical layouts from the experienced sailors of Vrondados so that they could help him for his great journey to the discovery of America. Worth visiting sights include the church of Panagia Erithiani with its beautiful cobblestone courtyard, the rock of Daskalopetra where Homer used to teach poetry, the Monument of the Missing Sailor predisposing the nautical tradition of the island, the Folklore Museum and the Windmills of the village. The unique custom of Easter called Rouketopolemos is held in the village, where the Churches of Agios Markos and Erithiani fire rockets to each other until the winner hits the bell tower of the other.

Sunset Spots

Spot: Beach of Managros, Northwest Chios

Spot: Beach of Merikounda, Southwest Chios

Spot: Beach of Trahili, East Chios

Spot: Chapel of Agios Isidoros, Northeast Chios

Spot: Village of Avgonima, West Chios

Spot: Village of Sidirounda, Northwest Chios

Spot: Windmills of Vrondados, East Chios

Excursions

Boat Trip: The Island of Lesvos was desired from countless conquerors. Lesvos is an unexplored continent with countless beauties and mysterious treasures blessed with some of the finest sceneries of the Aegean. A visit to the island of Lesvos holds a bucket of surprises with the scents of earth and sea, the flavors of the local cuisine and the endless beauties of the mountains. Lesvos has a land that invites you to discover it; if you surrender yourself to the mysterious beauties of her, you will be richly rewarded with millions of suprizes. The rich interchange of sceneries of the island is blessed with dramatic changes of verdant vegetation and olive groves, walnut, oak and pine trees to lunar landscapes of the western coastline. The unparalleled beauty of Molyvos with its traditional wooden houses and the castle of Mythimna, the therapeutic thermal springs of Therma, the flamingos in the bay of Gera, the eleven million olive trees, the majestic monastery of Limonos, the petrified forest of Sigri, the beach of Eressos and the ouzo capital of Plomari attest the rich history of the island and the spiritual tranquillity of it. Yet, the beauty and history of Lesvos will still enchant you. The island stands like a sleepless guard at the eastern border of the country blessed with verdant vegetation and azure waters inviting you to drink ouzo alongside the fishing boats stuffed with sardines, and discover everything that inspired Elytis!

Boat Trip: The Island of Oinousses lies in one of the deepest points of the Aegean. In one of the deepest points of the Aegean, you will encounter the mysterious island of Oinousses. Rocky reefs and deserted islets that have been declared as an area of special beauty from the European Network of Natura 2000 await you to explore them! Oinousses first appeared in the historical texts of Thucydides as …a place full of wine… as the name derives from the word …οίνος… meaning wine! Oinousses have a distinctive place in the naval history of Greece and will definitely earn a distinctive place in your heart. Oinoussa is the sole inhabited village of the island that eludes an atmosphere of tranquillity. The settlement has an authentic character with traditional houses with red tiled roofs, imposing captain mansions with colourful doors and fine public buildings that compose the genuine architectural design of the Aegean. An island cluster of the unexplored Aegean is an ideal destination for those looking for just a few days of relaxation!

Boat Trip: The Island of Psara is a dry island in the middle of nowhere. Imagine a dry rock emerging from the Aegean Sea. Try to visualize Zeus throwing a massive rock into the sea in one of his fights with jealous Hera. It could be Psara, a mysterious island! A place filled with people with a calm smile of pure sufficiency. Cubic houses and ceramic roofs. Fuchsia bougainvillea and cobblestone alleys. Cultural heritage and traditional character. Pristine landscapes and virgin seashores. Do you need something else?

Activities

Bicycling: The countryside of Chios is an ideal place for cycling lovers. There are numerous bicycle rentals on the island where you can rent a bicycle and discover the beaches and villages of the island. One of the most beautiful cycling routes is the one that passes through the imposing mansions and the citrus orchards of Kambos! Discover more information from the Official Website of Chios.

Climbing: The wild topography and rocky terrain of Chios makes it an ideal destination for the lovers of climbing. (1) One of the most interesting climbing routes starts after the village of Karyes on the road to Anavatos. After the quarry, one will have to leave the main road and turn left towards the settlement of Pafyllida. Southern from the monastery of Kourna, there is a rock on the right. (2) Another beautiful climbing route is the medieval village of Anavatos. Discover more information from the Official Website of Chios.

Diving: The varied coastline of Chios offers numerous exciting explorations for diving enthusiasts. The beaches of Elinda and Trahili, the strait of Chios and Oinousses, the cape of Oura and Prassonisia Isles are some of the most interesting diving spots. One will find diving centers at the beaches of Agia Ermionis and Karfas.

Driving: The countryside of Chios is an ideal place for driving explorations. (1) One of the most beautiful routes is the road starting from the town of Chios that leads to the New Monastery, the deserted medieval village of Anavatos and the village of Avgonima.(2) Another interesting route starts from the town of Chios towards the southern part of the island. One will have the opportunity to explore the medieval villages of Chios blessed with abundant vegetation of mastic trees.

Hiking: Chios hosts numerous paths ideal for lovers of hiking. (1) One of the most beautiful routes starts from the settlement of Komi that leads to the mountain slopes of Prophet Elias. The views to the endless blue will reward your efforts! (2) Another interesting trail starts from the northern part of the settlement of Vyki that leads to the chapel of Agia Triada. It is considered to be one of the most difficult hiking routes of the island; however, the breathtaking views of the four horizons compensate the visitor. (3) It is also worth following the route that starts from the last house of the village of Kambia. Following the riverside, the verdant sceneries of the area offer an interesting sign posted hiking route. Through the dense vegetation, you will see the beautiful bridge with small waterfalls. In the halfway, you will have the opportunity the visit the castle of Orias along with the chapel of Agia Paraskevi with panoramic views of the surrounding areas. The gorge ends in a beautiful beach. Discover more information from the Chios Walking.

Thermal Springs: The thermal springs of Chios have been known for their therapeutic properties since antiquity. Agiasmata have healing properties for various treatments including rheumatic diseases with a temperature of 57 degrees of Celsius. The springs of Agiasmata are located on the northern side of the island.

Windsurfing: Chios is known for its ideal conditions for lovers of windsurfing, as the island gets really windy especially in the summer. The beaches of Agia Dynami, Bella Vista and Velonas are ideal for practicing windsurfing.

Beaches

Agia Dynami is a white sandy beach with sapphire waters located on the northwest side of the island. It is one of the beautiful beaches of the island ideal for those looking for relaxation and tranquility.

Agia Fotia is a pebbled beach with blue waters located on the southeast side of the island. It is one of the most popular beaches of the island due to its close proximity to the city of Chios. Agia Fotia is well organized with numerous amenities including sunbeds and umbrellas, water sport facilities and taverns. Every summer, a series of beach parties are held in the beach.

Agia Markella is a long sandy and pebbled beach located on the northwest side of the island. At the northern end of the beach, a narrow path among the rocks leads to the place of the martyrdom of Agia Markella, where hot springs come out from the earth (Agiasma).

Apothika is a sandy and pebbled beach with turquoise waters located on the southwest side of the island. It is one of the most pristine beaches of the island with beautiful landscapes and rocky formations. If you swim to the next beach, you will discover a sea cave!

Avlonia is a pebbled beach with emerald waters located on the southwest side of the island. It is an isolated beach ideal for those looking for total privacy. During the summer, a canteen operates at the beach.

Didima consists from two pristine coves with emerald waters located on the southwest side of the island. The beaches are secluded ideal for those looking for tranquility and relaxation.

Fana is a long sandy beach with blue waters located on the south side of the island. It is an isolated beach ideal for those looking for total privacy.

Elinda is a sandy and pebbled bay with turquoise waters located on the west side of the island. It is a pristine beach with outstanding natural sceneries ideal for those seeking for seclusion.

Giali is a remote white sandy cove with emerald waters located on the west side of the island. It is an isolated beach ideal for those looking for total privacy. Access to the beach is possible through one-hour walk from the village of Avgonima.

Karfas is a long sandy beach with blue waters located on the east side of the island. It is one of the most popular beaches of the island due to its close distance to the city of Chios. Karfas is well organized with numerous amenities including sunbeds and umbrellas, water sports facilities, beach bars, taverns and restaurants.

Komi is a long sandy and pebbled beach with blue waters located on the north side of the island. The beach is well organized with numerous amenities including sunbeds and umbrellas, water sport facilities, beach bars and taverns.

Lefkathia is a sandy beach with emerald waters located on the northwest side of the island. The beach is well organized with numerous amenities including sunbeds and umbrellas and a beach bar. The beach is ideal for beach volley fans.

Lithi is a sandy beach with crystalline waters located on the west side of the island. It is a well-organized beach with numerous amenities including sunbeds and umbrellas, taverns and mini markets. The beach offers beautiful sunset views.

Magemena is a long sandy beach with dark blue waters located on the northwest side of the island. It is one of the most popular beaches of the island. Magemena is well organized with numerous amenities including sunbeds and umbrellas and a beach bar.

Managros is a sandy beach with crystal clear waters located on the northwest side of the island. It is the longest beach of the island ideal for those looking for tranquility and isolation with breathtaking sunset views.

Mavra Volia is a long black pebbled beach with dark blue waters located on the north side of the island. It is one of the most beautiful beaches of the island. The black pebbles of the beach were created from the volcanic eruption of the dormant volcano Psaronas. During the summer, a canteen operates at the beach. Also, don’t forget to take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints.

Merikounda is one of the most secluded beaches of the island located on the southwest side of the island. The beach is covered with thick sand and pebbles and it is unprotected from the north winds. It is a pristine beach ideal for the lovers of nature, accessible from a track road from the village of Mesta.

Metohi is a sandy and pebbled beach with turquoise waters located on the west side of the island. It is an isolated beach with beautiful natural surroundings. In a close proximity from the beach, there are many taverns with delicious seafood.

Nagou is a pebbled beach with emerald waters located on the north side of the island. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches of the island. The surrounding area is well organized with taverns and shops with local products. At the one end of the beach, there is a cobblestone trail that leads to the peak of the hill offering beautiful views of the surrounding areas.

Paralia ton Glaron is a sandy and pebbled beach with turquoise waters located on the north side of the island. It is a well-organized beach with numerous amenities including sunbeds and umbrellas and a beach bar.

Tigani is an isolated exotic cove with turquoise waters located on the west side of the island. It is a white pebbled beach with beautiful natural surroundings of verdant vegetation and high cliffs. The beach is ideal for lovers of tranquility and nature.

Trahili is a sandy and pebbled beach with crystal clean waters located on the west side of the island. It is an isolated cove with beautiful natural sceneries. The surrounding rocky hill is covered with verdant vegetation of tall pine trees.

Vroulidia is a white sand beach with emerald waters located on the southernmost side of the island. It is a secluded beach ideal for those looking for total isolation in beautiful natural surroundings.

Coffee Corners, Gastronomic Delights and Cocktail Inspirations

Coffee Corners 

Arhontiko: Coffee and Pastries, Lagada

Citrus: Coffee, Kambos

Iliastra: Coffee, Hora

Kipos: Coffee, Municipal Gardens of Chios Town

Kronos: Ice Cream, Hora

Mavra Volia: Coffee, Mavra Volia Beach

Meseonas: Coffee and Ice Cream, Mesta

Voliskos: Coffee, Volissos

Gastronomic Delights

Apomero: Greek Cuisine, Kambos

Armoloudiko: Greek Cuisine, Armolia

Asteri: Greek Cuisine, Avgonima

Hotzas: Greek Cuisine, Hora

Kehribari: Ouzo and Meze, Hora

Drosia: Seafood, Kataraktis

Iris: Greek Cuisine, Mesta

Karavelas: Greek Cuisine, Komi

Kyra Despina: Seafood, Lithi

Makelos: Greek Cuisine, Pitio

Mouria: Seafood, Vrondados

Passas: Seafood, Lagada

Pirgos: Greek Cuisine, Avgonima

Roussiko: Greek Cuisine, Thymiana

Tsikoudo: Ouzo and Meze, Hora

Cocktail Inspirations

Arhodiko: Cocktails and Drinks, Lagada

Bourtzi: Cocktails and Drinks, Hora

El Sueno: Cocktails and Drinks, Volissos

Κohili: Cocktails and Drinks, Komi

Yoso Beach Bar: Cocktails and Drinks, Giosonas Beach

Local Products & Specialties

The local products of the island include a series of products made from mastic, the fine variety of honey, the sweet preserves, the alcoholic drinks of mastic spirits, soumada, rose waters, fruit juices and Ariousios wine, the olive oil and the sundried tomatoes, and the cheeses of kopanisti and mastello.

The local specialties of the island include sfougato, a type of omelet with onions and vegetables, koutsounades, the local wild greens, tabourokeftedes, a type of stuffed pumpkins, liokafto, a dish made with fish baked under the sun, steamed mussels, gavros kolimbitos, a dish made with anchovy, olive oil and garlic, kopanistopitakia, a type of small cheese pies stuffed with a local dip, and lobster spaghetti.

Events & Festivals

Every Easter, the Rocket War Custom takes place in the village of Vrondados. The custom is a symbolic “battle” using handmade rockets between the two large churches of the village, Agios Markos and Panagia Erythiani, held in the night of Good Saturday.

Every last Sunday of the Carnival period, the Carnival of Chios takes place in almost all the villages of the island.

Every Shrove Monday, the Agas Custom takes place in the villages of Lithi, Mesta, Olympoi and Pyrgi. The custom is a satirical replica of the trials that were held during the Ottoman Occupation

Every 22nd of July, the traditional celebration in honor of Agia Markella takes place in the Monastery of Agia Markella. This is the largest traditional feast of Chios, as Agia Markella is the patron saint of the island.

Every 15th of August, the traditional celebration in honor of Virgin Mary takes place in the majority of the villages of the island. The most famous feast is the one of the village of Pyrgi, where locals gather around the square and dance the local traditional dance.

Every 11th of November, the Commemoration of the Independence of Chios is held in the island. The celebration hosts a traditional feast with local festivities and traditional dances.

Every New Years Eve, an old tradition is revived. Groups of people, who have constructed a model warship, gather at the square of the town and sign the traditional carols. The groups represent neighborhoods f the town and compete in terms of their craftsmanship in creating the model ship and improvising lines for the carols.

History & Mythology

Mythology

According to mythology, Oinopeonas was the first king of Chios, the grandson of King Minoas of Crete and the Son of God Dionysus and Ariadne, who taught the inhabitants of the island how to cultivate vines. The legend says that the name of the island derives from Chiona, the daughter of Oinopeonas. Another legend states that Chios was the birthplace of the Greek Poet Homer. Daskalopetra, the rock in the village of Vrontados, is said to be the place where Homer used to teach poetry to his students.

History

Archaeological findings show that Chios was inhabited since the Neolithic and Bronze Ages while its was known for arts and sculpture. During the Battle of Salamina, Chios joined the Persians whereas its inhabitants fought with the Athenians at the Peloponnesian War, falling under the control of Athens. In 356 BC, Chios became independent until the domination of the Roman Empire. During the Byzantine years, Emperor Constantine settled on the island followed from a series of pirate invasions of the Turks after the fall of the Byzantium. Chios was captured from the Genoese until it was recaptured from the Ottomans in 1566. However, Chios experienced a tremendous flourish with the systematic cultivation, exploitation and trade of mastic and its inhabitants had more privileges than in any other region of Greece. During the Greek War of Revolution, Lycurgus Logothetis of Samos, who led his army against a Turkish garrison, roused the Chiots. Once the Sultan heard the news, he sent a Turkish fleet in the island to punish the inhabitants for their participation in the revolution. 7.000 Turk soldiers disembarked on Chios, slaughtered 25.000 Chians and forged into slavery 50.000 Chians under the command of Kara Ali Pasha on March 30, 1822. In revenge of Chios Massacre, Konstantinos Kanaris murdered Kara Ali Pasha. Two beautiful works derived from this horrible event, the poem Enfant de Chios from Victor Hugo and the painting Massacre of Chios from Eugene Delacroix displayed in the Museum of Louvre in Paris. Chios was reunited with the Greek State on November of 1912.

Travel & Transport

By Air: Chios has a national airport operating flights on a daily basis from the International Airport of Athens. The journey usually lasts from thirty to forty five minutes. Book your tickets with AirTickets.com!

By Boat (157 Nautical Miles): Chios is accessible by boat from the harbor of Piraeus. The journey lasts from seven to eight hours. Chios is also connected to the islands of Lesvos, Oinousses and Psara amongst others. Book your tickets with FerriesinGreece.com !

Mysterious Greece Tips

Agrotourism in Chios

The interest for agrotourism is constantly growing, as many travellers want to discover the urban lifestyle and rhythm of Chios. Are you one of the travellers who want to come close to nature through activities in the agricultural sector of the island? You will find agrotourism activities from Masticulture in the mastic village of Mesta. Masticulture is the sole company that offers agrotourism activities in Chios. Travellers will have the opportunity to discover the culture, heritage and history of the island through numerous outdoor activities.

An Excursion to the Island of Psara

Imagine a dry rock emerging from the Aegean Sea. Try to visualize Zeus throwing a massive rock into the sea in one of his fights with jealous Hera. It could be Psara, a mysterious destination! Psara is a dry island in the middle of nowhere. A place filled with people with a calm smile of pure sufficiency. Cubic houses and ceramic roofs. Fuchsia bougainvillea and cobblestone alleys. Cultural heritage and traditional character. Pristine landscapes and virgin seashores. Do you need something else? Discover the mystery in Psara!

Citrus, Oranges and Mandarins: Fragnances of Chios

The citrus orchards of Kambos are one of the most famous traditional products of Chios. During the 14th century, the Genoese decided to build their mansions in the area of Kambos, thus creating new social and economic levels in the area. High walls made from the reddish stone of Thymiana protected the mansions embellished with pleasant courtyards, shady avenues of trees and flower gardens. The Giustiniani were the ones who introduced the systematic cultivation of citrus trees in Kambos as well as the export trade of their fruits. It was then that the systematic cultivation of the citrus trees in Kambos started flourishing in the island up during the 17th and 18th centuries. However, major events of the island including the massacre of the population of Chios in 1822, the frost in 1850 and the major earthquake in 1881 destroyed the area. The following years, the reconstruction and resettlement of the area started with beautiful mansions keeping the old aristocratic architecture. You can discover the traditional products of Kambos in Citrus Memories! It is also highly recommended to rent a bicycle in order to explore the imposing mansions of Kambos!

Climbing to the Ghost Medieval Village

Can you imagine climbing to a medieval fortified settlement? Characterized as one of the most impressive historical monuments of Chios, the abandoned village of Anavatos plunges into a huge granite rock on top of the cliff. Anavatos, else known as the Mystras of Chios, has been designated as a historical site. . The entire area of Anavatos is a living history, a realistic legend that remains in excellent condition up until today.

Dedicate a Day to the Unesco World Heritage Site

The New Monastery of Chios is one of the oldest monasteries of the country located on the central region of Chios. The monastery was founded from the Byzantine Emperor Constantine IX Monomachos during the 11th century as a repay to three monks of Chios for predicting that his banishment to Lesvos was temporary and he would eventually become emperor. The New Monastery became one of the wealthiest monasteries of the Aegean until the Massacre of Chios from the Ottomans in 1822. Nowadays, the monastery extends over an area of seventeen thousands square meters. The complex comprises from the main church, two smaller churches, the dining area of the monks called trapeza, the quarters of the monks called kelia, the ecclesiastical museum of the monastery and the underground cisterns for the collection of water along with a strong defensive tower. However, the monastery is mostly known for its mosaics boasting one of the finest examples of the Macedonian Renaissance Art in Greece.

Delicious Fish in Lagada, Kataraktis and Pantoukios

The island is well known for its fresh fish! Lagada, Kataraktis and Pantoukios are the most popular villages for tasting the delicious fishes of Chios.

Discover the Mastic Villages

The atmospheric medieval mastic villages of Chios are the mysterious treasures of the island! The fortified village complex boasts outstanding beauty inextricably related with the valuable crystal clear tears of mastic. The history of the mastic villages is reflected to the architecture of the buildings. Today, there are 24 mastic villages, since the majority of them were destroyed after the massive earthquake of 1881. Mesta is the best preserved mastic village of Chios. The village was constructed with the fortified architecture of the Genovese in the 13th century. The continuous structural construction testifies the organization and discipline of the settlement in the three horizontal levels of the streets, the houses and the terraces. Mesta boasts one of the finest examples of defensive architecture and has been declared as a preserved monument from the Ministry of Culture. As you will exit the castle, you might have the impression that you were walking in a place where history and present blend in a mysterious way, a place of living history. It is also worth visiting the mastic village of Pyrgi for the unique motifs known as xysmata. The facades of the houses are decorated with scratch cards of black and white geometrical shapes and floral motifs. Other noteworthy mastic villages worth exploring include Armolia, Kalamoti, Olympi and Vessa.

Explore the Unexplored: Chios Villages

Grab your keys, wear your belt and start driving! Other than the glorious mastic villages, Chios has many other settlements worth exploring! Head to the settlement of Emborios to discover the black pebbles of Mavra Volia and climb up to the castle of Gria in Kardamyla in order to admire the panoramic views. Discover the beautiful stone of Thymiana and visit Volissos to wander around the beautiful settlement with the traditional architecture. If you want something more romantic, visit the beautiful windmills of Vrondados where you can admire the sunset. Stroll around the pottery laboratories of Armolia and explore the phantasmagorical cave of Olympi. However, as everybody has his own tastes, the best way to explore the island is to rent a car and get a map. Drive in the places that captured your attention, and discover new worlds!

Fireworks and Rockets: The Rocket War Custom in Vrondados

The village of Vrondados is known for its unique custom named Rocketwar where the churches of Agios Markos and Panagia Erithiani fire rockets to each other until the winner hits the bell tower of the other. According to tradition, the custom has its roots in the Ottoman occupation. The inhabitants of the island were not allowed to celebrate Easter, so the Christians from the churches of San Maria and San Marco decided to have a fake war with rockets with the intention of keeping the Ottomans away. Indeed, the Turkish were frightened and kept a safe distance while the rockets were fired and the communities could celebrate the resurrection of Jesus in the meantime.

Hiking Higher than Highest

The chapel of Agia Triada dominates the highest peak of Mount Pelinneo (1.297 meters). Can you imagine the views from there? The route that leads to the top is quite difficult and tiring, but the views will definitely reward you! The route starts just before the village of Viki in Kardamyla. Following an old path and mountain road, one can reach the mountain shelter. Further along, the route is dominated from a dark coloured rock. Leaving this rock to the right, you will have to climb up along a stream to a plateau. Follow the labyrinthine course moving uphill to reach the church of Agia Triada.

It’s Sunset Time

One will have the opportunity to enjoy one of the best sunsets of Chios at the beach of Merikounda and the village of Avgonima!

Mastic Tears: Find them Nowhere Else Than Chios

The Mastic of Chios is protected from the European Union as a Product with Protected Designation of Origin. Mastic is the natural resin of the Pistacia Lentiscus Var Chia tree. According to scientific research, the resin has anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities. Since antiquity, mastic was known for its health benefits, as it was the first natural chewing gum. It also contributes to a healthy gastrointestinal system and has beneficial qualities for the skin care and the oral hygiene. The Pistacia Lentiscus Var Chia is a scrub growing in the south part of Chios. The aromatic resin called mastic has been renowned for its beneficial qualities and its multiple uses since antiquity. The cultivation of production of mastic, an ancient practice unaltered over the centuries, impacts the cultural landscape and the social structure of the twenty four mastic villages of Chios, a product which is exclusively extracted only in the land of the southern side of Chios.

Movies under the Stars of the Aegean

The open air cinema of the Public Gardens of Chios Town offers a relaxed vista under the bright stars of the Aegean. The cinema operates from June until September.

Observing like an Olympian God

Climb up to the abandoned village of Anavatos to enjoy glorious views from one of the highest peaks of Chios or head towards the New Byzantine Monastery of Chios to admire a splendid view to the sea!

Picnic at the Churchyard of Agia Dynami

The church of Agia Dynami has a beautiful courtyard with tables, an ideal setting for picnics. It is a great choice for relaxing after a refreshing swim in the turquoise waters of Agia Dynami!

Take Nothing but Pictures and Leave Nothing than Footprints

Mavra Volia is a long black pebbled beach with dark blue waters located on the north side of the island. It is one of the most beautiful beaches of the island. The black pebbles of Mavra Volia were created from the volcanic eruption of the dormant volcano of Psaronas. So, make sure to take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints!

Taste the Mojito of Greece

Chios is one of the most fertile islands of Greece. The mastic trees are the trademark of the island that has been cultivated since the ancient times. The south part of the island is the sole area in the world that mastic can be cultivated! Taste the Greek mojito made with mastic, basic and sugar!

Western Glory

The western coastline of the island has the most pristine beaches of Chios. One of the most beautiful beaches of the island is Mavra Volia covered with black pebbles. The black pebbles of the beach were created from the volcanic eruption of the dormant volcano Psaronas. Please, respect the natural environment and don’t forget to take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints.

Photo Credits

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Note: All the images are copyrighted from their owners. Please see Terms & Conditions. You can find the original images at the following links:

Agia Dynami Beach: Mysteriousgreece

Agiasmata of Agia Markella: Mysteriousgreece

Anavatos Village: Mysteriousgreece

Cambos Village: Mysteriousgreece

Kardamyla Village: Mysteriousgreece

Mastic Tear: Shutterstock

Mavra Volia Beach: Mysteriousgreece

Mesta Village: Mysteriousgreece

Mountains: Mysteriousgreece

Porta Maggiore: Mysteriousgreece

Pyrgi Village: Mysteriousgreece

Trahili Beach: Mysteriousgreece

View from the New Monastery: Mysteriousgreece

Volissos Village: Mysteriousgreece

Vrondados Windmills: Mysteriousgreece