An Insider’s Point of View
Interviews For You
Background of Tasos

Although my parents chose the island of Chios, I can confess that I instantly fell in love with this island. Thirty years ago, my parents first visited the medieval village of Mesta, which they adored, and decided to buy some ruins that gradually turned into the first private rooms of Mesta known as Lida Mary. While my parents were forced to close their business before ten years, we continued visiting the island every summer. In 2010, I decided to take the risk and refurbish the rooms of Lida Mary along with the help of the National Strategic Reference Framework. After hard work of two and half years, I gradually felt this inimitable emotion of satisfaction when the last piece of furniture was placed in the rooms. Following the agony, I welcomed the first customers to the medieval rooms of Lida Mary.


Chios Through The Eyes of Tasos

Fragrant, atmospheric, medieval, flowery, volcanic and the list never ends; could you describe Chios in five words?

It is quite difficult to describe Chios! I would say that the most appropriate words to describe this wonderful island are the following; mastic for its wonderful taste, castle villages for the best fortified architecture that exists in the Mediterranean, beautiful for its pristine and virgin beaches, ouzo in front of the seaside fish taverns, and history that has marked the path of Chios’ existence.

From volcanic pebbles and dark blue waters to white sand and turquoise waters, Chios embraces some of the most beautiful beaches of the Northeast Aegean Islands! Which is your favorite one?

That’s tricky too, because I select another beach everyday depending on my mood! Chios has so many beaches! However, if I really has to chose one of all, I would say Vroulidia because whenever I visit this particular beach, even if it is for a promenade, I cannot resist for a dive to this magical emerald waters!

From the citrus oranges of Kambos, the ghost village of Anavatos and the New Monastery of Chios to the best preserved village of Mesta, the geometrical shapes of Pyrgi and the atmospheric views from Volissos, Chios hides millions of beautiful locations! If you had to choose your favorite location in Chios, what would that be?

If I would not answer Mesta to this question, it would be a lie! This is the reason that I took the risk to start my business in this fairytale medieval village amid the economic crisis. Truth to be said, I do not regret it because this unique medieval architectural with the stone arches and the cobblestone alleys still impress me, if you can believe it!

Although Chios is the fifth largest island of Greece, it is not amongst the popular choices of the travellers. Could you please give two to three reasons that the travellers of Mysterious Greece should travel to Chios?

From my point of view, Chios is a hidden treasure. I believe that it is impossible to get bored on this island, as every section of Chios boasts a distinctive identity different from other parts of the island. On the southern part, you will step back to history in the medieval stone mastic villages while one will have the opportunity to admire a natural oasis in the northern part. The beautiful beaches of Chios with their crystalline waters are one of the main reasons to visit Chios, as they will definitely make someone fall in love with it. Drinking Chian ouzo in one of the seaside taverns accompanied from fresh fish is one of the main aspects of the island life in Greece; who knows, you might have the luck to end up singings traditional songs while the owner of the tavern playing bouzouki! At last but not least, the hospitable people of Chios will make you come back to Chios! There are many cases that travellers greet the old ladies who clean the mastic tears in an alley of Mesta before leaving our village. Undeniably, Chios is a destination for your bucket list!

Summer in Greece is synonymous with dives into crystalline waters while sunbathing under the sun of the Aegean. Nonetheless, Chios distinguishes for its spectacular villages. If you were going to give advice to the travellers of Mysterious Greece, which villages would you recommend them to visit and why?

The mastic villages of the island claim the first position in the to-do-list of the travellers of Chios. Rarely one has the opportunity to walk amongst the narrow cobblestone alleys of a well-preserved medieval mastic village! Visit Mesta, as it is the best-preserved mastic village, and surely don’t miss Olympi for its wonderful tower on the central square of the village. Undeniably, visit Pyrgi for the geometrical motifs scraped into patterns on the exterior walls of the buildings. Further up, one will have the opportunity to enjoy panoramic views from the picturesque village of Avgonima. Of course, one should also visit Anavatos, the eagle’s nest village, that distinguish as the ghost medieval village of Chios. On the opposite side from Anavatos, the forest meets the sea in the unique location of Langada, a perfect location for enjoying ouzo and octopus on the seafront!

Chios is famous for its customs and traditions that revive through numerous celebrations on an annual basis. Which is your favorite festival?

Beyond the famous celebration of Virgin Mary of August and the celebrated Rocket War of Easter, another great traditional festival of Agios Stephanos that takes place on August 1st on the homonymous uninhabited isle near the village of Elata. On that day, fish caiques carry people on the island from the morning till the dawn of the next day where the feast is held with live traditional music. If you choose to attend this feast, you will have the opportunity to get a glimpse of what really is the authentic face of Greece.

The island of mastic is the paradise for agrotourism lovers due to its exceptional production of mastic. Have you ever tried any of the outdoor activities offered in the island?

I have helped a friend in collecting the tears from the mastic trees, the process where someone carves the tree very carefully in order to take out the tears of mastic. Beyond the actual experience, there are organized tours for learning about mastic, such as the famous tour of Vasilis in Mesta!

And now the gastronomic experience of Chios! Could you please tell us two or three of your favorite taverns?

Undeniably, I would propose to taste fresh fish in the taverns of Lithi, Mesta or Langada. In Hora, I would suggest the tavern Stou Giorgou that distinguishes for its exquisite tastes. Hotzas Tavern is one of the oldest taverns of Chios that distinguishes for its fresh meat; Roussiko Tavern and Armolousiko Tavern distinguish for its traditional recipes.

Your favorite shop in Chios!

My favorite shop is not an actual shop! Citrus shop in Kambos has products based on the fruits of Kambos, which are 100% handmade such as marmalades and liquors! There, you will also have the opportunity to visit Citrus Memories, a museum where documents and historical elements of local citrus fruits are presented in a wonderful space.

Your favorite spot for enjoying a cocktail with a view!

I would definitely choose OZ for its amazing cocktail list and Bourtzi for its magnificent views to the Aegean Sea. Situated at the edge of the harbor of the town of Chios, Bourtzi is the only place in the town where I can find absolute serenity.

An unforgettable moment of yours in Chios!

I will share with you one of my most bizarre situations in Mesta! One of my friends came to Mesta for a weekend, so I decided to take him for dinner in the harbour of Mesta. My friend got jealous of the other table that were eating mullets, so he asked the waiter for mullets. Strangely enough, the waiter whispered to him that the mullets were not that fresh, as they fished it five hours ago (!!!). So, he brought him another type of fish that was brought thirty minutes ago! If you have lived in another seaside city, a fish of five days is quite fresh!

Your must-visit monument in Chios!

Everyone visiting Chios should visit the New Monastery of Chios that has been declared as a World Heritage Site from UNESCO. The monastery was built in the 11th century. The most shocking spectacle are the bones and the skulls of monks and residents that bear the marks of the axes used from the Ottomans during the Chios Massacre of 1822. Regardless religion and origin, I believe that everyone should light a candle to honor their memory.

Your favorite experience in Chios!

Undoubtedly, my favorite experience is the first diving lesson at the beach of Apothika! The spectacular seabed of the beach made me forget that I was wearing the diving equipment!

Your favorite sunset spot in Chios!

My favorite sunset spot is the beach of Sidirounda where you can observe the sun “diving” in the deep blue of the Aegean Sea!

Your Top 5 List

A visit to the New Monastery of Chios!

A dive in the second beach of Mavra Volia!

Ouzo at the canteen above the beach of Vroulidia!

Diving at the beach of Apothika!

Fish at the taverns of Langada!

Share with us your mystery!

Night romance lying on the roofs of Mesta, looking at the clearest sky full of stars; a one-of-a-kind experience!

This space is just for you! Please feel free to add anything you think that was missing from the questionnaire!

I would like to add the story of my parents, how they ended up in Mesta, which played a key role in starting their business on this village. Thirty five years ago, Mary and Sotiris were travelling in the islands of Greece to discover its mysterious treasures. It was then that they decided to explore the island of Chios. At that time, the mastic village of Mesta had no light; you can imagine the even more glorious medieval spirit of it! One day, Mary lost her keys. She was so anxious, and asked the locals in the central square whether they have seen them. Although they knew nothing, they told her: “Don’t worry, we have a canvasser!” And then Theodosis came, the canvasser, start ringing the bell while walking in the labyrinthine alleys yelling, “Mary lost her keys! Mary lost her keys! Has anybody seen them?” Ten minutes later, the keys were found. This was it! Mary and Sotiris fell in love with Mesta and they decided to buy eight ruined rooms inside the castle of Mesta.

Gallery from the Medieval Rooms of  Lida Mary