Greece and the Greek islands attract millions of visitors each year who are attracted to the myriad of natural and manmade wonders country has to offer: from dramatic landscapes to sandy beaches, from ancient monuments to the delicious cuisine. The Chios island is located in the North Aegean and offers all of these attractions while at the same time allowing curious travellers to discover Greece off the beaten path.
Chios is the fifth largest of the Greek islands. It is famous not only for its long history, the great naval tradition, the remarkable ancient Greek and medieval monuments, but also well-preserved medieval villages, natural beauty, serene beaches with crystal clear waters, marvellous local products and of course – mastic. Chios is the birthplace of many famous Greeks, including, among others, Mikis Theodorakis, Yagou Pesmazoglou, Petros Molyviatis, Pantelis Thalassinos, Dimitris Avdeliadis, Yannis Makridakis and according to one version of history, the great poet Homer.
The Island has a lot to offer to every kind of traveller. Visitors will certainly not be disappointed no matter what they are looking for. Chios is full of beauties and tastes, with mount Pelineon (1,297m) at its heart, surrounded by blue waters. The range of activities and things to explore on the island is incredibly wide, while the people of Chios are relaxed and hospitable.
5 reasons to visit Chios
1. Unique natural beauty
Wander around the island to discover the richness of the landscape. Sometimes rocky with volcanic shades and sometimes green and fertile, it stretches onto golden beaches. The black pebble beach in Chios, Emporios, is perfect for travellers who prefer calm and serenity, while other blue-green beaches, sandy and organized, such as the secular Viri and Komi, are preferred by those who are fond of company, music and cocktails.
2. Organic local products
Taste the local culinary attractions of Chios, the mastelo cheese and the fragrant citrus. Visit the Citrus Memories at Kampos with the mini farm and the Chios Citrus Museum, where you will taste the jams and its famous orange pie. Continue wandering in the streets and landscapes of the incongruous mastic villages of Chios. Mastic, the signature product of the island is produced here in the south of the island. The mastic is an important cornerstone of the local economy and, as the Chians themselves say, “it makes the island a proxy and proud producer of this natural resin on a global scale.”
3. Traditional villages of Chios
Kampos, with its imposing Genoese houses, large gardens and orange grove, is a unique destination and should be on your Chios must-see list. The famous Pyrgi village, with the beautiful geometrical shapes, known as “scratches”, on the facades of its houses is a unique experience. Visit Mesta, one of the most beautiful villages in Chios, and indulge in its medieval charm. Try local wine and souma from the grapes and the figs of the surrounding vineyards. The route will take you to another medieval castle, north of the island, Volissos. Anavatos village has that mysterious charm of abandoned places and the small village of Avgonima will charm you with its simplicity. For a stunning sunset view, choose Elinda, Tracheli and Katavasi. If you are a fan of authentic island festivals, keep an eye for festival dates in the summer.
Our Chios Medieval Food and History Tour includes stops in these stunning villages.
4. Temples and monasteries of Chios
Full of chapels and churches, Chios has a lot of fascinating Byzantine art to showcase. In the centre of the island, the Nea Moni Monastery with its excellent mosaics is one of the most important monuments (11th century) of Byzantine art throughout Greece.
5. Watersports and hiking
Indulge into the spa baths at Burning Springs. Engage in watersports such as sailing, snorkelling and kayaking, enjoy beautiful bike rides, such as the one at Kampos, hike along marked Ottoman paths.
Let’s go on a tour of Chios!
As soon as you arrive in Chios by boat or by air, you will be greeted with the many neoclassical mansions, the beautiful waterfront, the castle and Apoltaria, the historic Korai Library, the Mesiyet Temple, now housing the Byzantine Museum, the Cathedral, the Ottoman baths and the Archaeological Museum. Visit the still impressive Chios Leper Colony, the oldest in Europe, and Homer’s school in Daskalopetra. Tour the legendary Mastichochoria (Pyrgi, Mesta, Thymiana, Kalamoti, Vouno, Kallimassia, Nenita, Olympi, Vessa, Armolia). Swim at the famous Mavra Volia volcanic beach as well as Agia Fotia, Apotheka, Vroulidia and Agia Dynami. If you are looking for secluded serenity, visit the beaches of Salagona, Avlonia, and Kato Fana.
Continue to the North West and meet a series of beautiful and pristine sandy beaches (Didyma, Agia Irini, Lithi, Tracheli, Elinda, Tigani, Metohi), with Managros beach leading and the entire coastline to Agia Markella, patron saint of Chios. Explore Agios Galas and the cave, Moundon Monastery, stone-built Kardamyla and picturesque Lagada. Other famous sights are the Nea Moni of Chios (UNESCO monument), Panagia Krina, the imposing medieval settlement of Anavatos, the many wells with traditional wooden or metal manganese and the beautiful hiking Ottoman paths.