Chios - The fragrant island
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Grand, nostalgic, discret, a real lady in the middle of Archipelagos gifted with a unique lonic light and generous Mediterranean sun, full of philosophers, people of spirit as well as merchants, the gradle of the glorious Greek merchant marine, the island of Chios
In hospitable Chios Island, feel the romance of the middle ages, seel the glory that will still wandering on the heroic island of Psara and allow the Mermaid to welcome you to the picturesque island of ship owners, Inousses.
The idyllic scenery, the crystal clear waters, the alternation of pictures, the renowned Chian architecture, the genuine inslurar life and the civilised atmosphere mixed with cosmopolitan hues, will capture your senses and your heart.
If a trademark were to be established for Chios, then surely it would be the mastic tree. It is a gift, but at the same time a curse, since it has always been the bone of contention for the conquerors. The oldest references to mastic tree have been traced back to Herodotus in the 5th century BC., while this amazing tree only thrives within the 21 mastic villages of southern Chios.
The kendos (as the locals call the incision for the mastic tree) begins in June and lasts through September. This is a social event. If you will visit the mastic villages during that period you will fell the warmth of the people prevailing in every corner of the village.
There are connections with the Mainland Greece (Piraeus, Thessaloniki and Kavala) and Lesvos (Mytilene), Inousses, Psara, Samos, Limnos Islands. Chios (Mesta port) is also connected with Lavrio port (Athens) and Psara Island There are flights from Athens and Thessaloniki Intarnational Airports.
There is a very good bus service. The buses serve Chios Town, Kambos area, Karfas beach, Vrondados and the rest of the Island.
Cars and motorbikes are available for hire.
Taxis are also available.
Chios Town, start at the northern end of the harbour where the imposing, medieval walls of the old Castle, enclose the old town. Move on to the old mosque and then the archaeological museum. A second museum in the town library contains island costumes and crafts. Tree shaded Vounaki Square is the perfect placefor a coffee. The wide harbour-front promenade is a good place for a pre-dinner stroll with a wide choice of tavernas and restaurants.
The coastal road south gives way to peaceful rural scenery and a maze of unspoilt villages. A good coffee stop is the tranquil seaside village of Komi. Pyrgi is beautiful, worth a visit.
Medieval Mesta with narrow streets and fortress is an excellent place.
The wild and windswept north-east corner of the island, has some of the most striking scenery scenery of Chios. The villages of Pirama, Parparia, Ag. Gala and Kourounia are beautiful.
Medieval villages and Castles
Chios has some of the best-preserved medieval defence networks in the Mediterranean (castles and towers, watchtowers, fortified settlements). It is a remarkable preservation of the defence system, similar to those of other parts of the Mediterranean, with byzantine and Genovese elements. The island’s medieval past is marked in the monuments of the Byzantine, Genoese and Venetian period that were salvaged both in town and in the villages. The island’s key Eastern Mediterranean position, from a geopolitical standpoint, resulted in it acquiring such significance during the Byzantine Empire (seat of the Naval Administrative Region of the Aegean). It also caused competitiveness amongst the Genoese and Venetians who tried to conquer it.
The medieval period comes to life in the island’s numerous castles and towers, which needed to be fortified and defended against pirates, invaders and aspiring conquerors.
More specifically, during the years of the Genoese Domination (1346-1566), fortified settlements were built in the villages in the south of Chios, where mastic is produced (Mastichochoria), in order to defend against external invasion, but also with the aim to control the work force. It is remarkable that to this day the Castle of Chios as well as the medieval fortress villages are inhabited.
Agia Markella, beautiful beach
Chori, pebble beach, very nice
Elinda, beautiful bay with one of the best beaches on the island
Karfas, beautiful beach with soft golden sand
Komi, beautiful beach with golden sand
Mavra Volia, one of the most famous beaches in the island, black pebbles
Nagos, picturesque, very beautiful, with trees
Scala Volissou or Limia, fine beach
Vroulidia, sandy beach with crystal clear waters
Touring Chios Island
is a large town with 30,000 inhabitants, a place well worth to stay and explore. What survives from the Turkish occupation is enclosed within the Byzantine fortress, which more or less follows the lines of the Macedonian castle destroyed by Mithridates. The Giustiniani repaired the walls, and after 1599 only Trks and Jews were allowed to live in it, as the Greeks were foced to live outside the walls, and the main gate or Porta Maggiore was closed every day at shutdown. Within the walls is a ruined mosque. The fortress of Chios and the Archeological and Byzantine Museum will resusciate historical memories, while Korais Library (135,000 volumes) and Argentis forlklore museum will make you acquainted with the local culture and tradition. The Kastro Justinian Museum, at the castle entrance in Plateia Frouriou, contains detached frescoes, wood carvings and early Christian mosaics. The town's main square, Plateia Vournakiou (or Plastira), with its cafe and sweet shops under the plane trees, is an excellent place. Picturesque taverns and luxurious hotels wait for you to taste the specialities of the Chian cuisine. Aplotaria, the commercial street is the ideal place for shopping. The near by beaches are with crystal clear waters.
Settlement built on an acropolis, natural, medieval fortress, west of capital, a unique picture of serenity placed in a wild environment, haunted by history and myths, another "Zalogos" during the massacre of Chios.
Serene beauty and fragrances in the unique environment of Kambos, just outside the city of Chios. Elegant, old, Genoese mansions, built with stones from Thymaria, with beautiful pebled yards, fountains, cisterns and trickly planted orchards, each with its own well-wheel are protected by high walls and gates with buchlers.
Sandy beach and the harbour of the village of Kalamoti.
Enjoy the light, the colour and the unique beauty of the picturesque fishing village of Lagada and the beach of Nagos with the spring waters and the rich plantation. Nagos is the resort of Kardamyla, the well known nautical Mediterranean town.
Beautiful, medieval fortress-village, a village of yesterday, full of narrow lanes, arches, stone benches and small circular towers. Well preserved and popoulated by nice people who keep tradition alive, combines modern life with a romantic atmosphere.
Imperial creation and place of spiritual elevation, a Monastery with some of the most brilliant samples of Byzantine architecture, mosaics and hagiography in the world, a monument of outstanding significance.
Impressive architecture in the three-storey houses of the largest medieval mastic village. Geometrical shapes and themes taken from nature in black and white, the so-called "ksista" provide the front view of the village houses with an original culture and an abudance of folklore elements.
Large village in the north part of Chios with a byzantine fortress (on the top of the hill where Volissos is built) Homer's residence according to the mythand the place where St. Marcella - the local Saint is worshipped.
Distance from Piraeus: 160 Nautical Miles
Hospital: 22713 50100
Medical Center (Pyrgi): 22713 51000
Police: 22710 81537
Tourist Police: 22710 44427
Port Authority: 22710 44433
Tourist Office (Chios Municipality): 22710 44344
Busses: 22710 27507, 22710 24257
Town Buses: 22710 22079
Airport: 22710 81400