Chios is the fifth largest of the Greek islands, it is situated in the Aegean Sea 7km from the Anatolian coast. The island is separated from Turkey by the Chios Strait.
Likeable Chios is one of Greece’s bigger islands, and is significant in national history, along with the tiny neighbouring island of Inousses, as the ancestral home of shipping barons.
Its varied terrain ranges from lonesome mountain crags in the north to the citrus-grove estates of Kampos, near the island’s port capital in the centre, to the fertile Mastihohoria in the south – the only place in the world where mastic trees are commercially productive. Chians are a hospitable lot who take great pride in their history, traditions and livelihood.
For the visitor, this translates into excellent opportunities for hands-on interaction with Chian culture, ranging from art and history to hiking and eco-activities. Chios enjoys good regular boat connections throughout the northeastern Aegean Islands, and has an airport.
Between them, the ports of Chios Town in the east and Mesta in the southwest offer regular ferries to the intriguing, little-visited satellite islands of Psara and Inousses, which share Chios’ legacy of maritime greatness, and to the lively Turkish coastal resorts just across the water.
You should visit the Byzantine Museum, housed in an old Ottoman mosque, where you can see a perfect copy of the famous Delacroix’s painting “Massacre at Chios” and the famous “Korais” library with the personal collection of Adamantios Korais among its 1,300 historical volumes.
Some other sights that must visit are:
Mesta, The medieval mastic village is on my top-10 for all of Greece so make sure you visit this at least.
The Cave of Olympi, its not Diros where you cruise around in a little boat through underground rivers, but on a hot day there is no cooler place to be and caves are always impressive anyway.
Pirgi: The scrafitti or ksista designed houses of this mastic village may have you repainting your own house after your holiday. Plus the cafeneon in the main square is one of the best.
Emborio: The black sand beaches are in my top ten beaches of Greece and the town is charming and peaceful except on weekends in July and August when it seems like half of Chios is here.
Anavatos: The deserted city where the inhabitants threw themselves from the cliffs rather than be taken by the Turks
Archaeological Museum of Chios: One of the best in the Greek islands and an easy walk from the waterfront in Chios town though you will probably get lost anyway
Nea Moni Monastery: Awe inspiring setting and beautiful wall paintings and mosaics and a feeling of peace that will give you an idea of what Mount Athos is like.
West coast beaches from Vroulidia to Agia Markela, take your pick. They are all beautiful.
The Kastro of Chios Town and while you are at it the main platia
Kampos: Find someone to take you around on foot and see all the beautiful mansions and greenery.
The most popular product of on the island is mastic:
It is known throughout the world, mastic is an appellation d’origine contrôlée (= controlled designation of origin) product growing only in the South of Chios, where it has been raised since the 8th-7th century A.D. This natural product is cultivated entirely by hand and is nowadays used in medicine, pharmacy, dentistry and cosmetics. At the central market of the town of Chios, you can buy mastic-based jams and sweets, brandies and, of course, local delicious ouzo.
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