Chios is situated in the
Eastern Aegean approximately 10 kilometres off the
Turkish coast and about 50 kilometres south of Lesbos. The
island has an area of 850 square kilometres. About 52000
people live there. The local capital is Chora or just Chios
town. With 30000 people living there it is the biggest
settlement on the island.
Chios is rather mountainous with Mount Pelineo being the
highest with an altitude of 1300 meters.
Chios knows very little tourism. It is best know for the
Mastic trees. These trees grow up to 4 meters and ar native
to the entire Mediterranean. For unknown reasons only the
Mastic trees in southern Chios produce a very distinct resin
that is used in flavoured spirits like Ouzo or the local
Mastichato. It's also used for chewing gums.
It is said that Homer was born here. He
is one of the most famous ancient Greek poets. His two epic
poems Illias and Odyssey are believed to be the oldest
examples of western literature. They had a huge impact on the
Greek culture. Even 500 years later it was common to recite
Homer. Quite a few people knew the text by heart as we learn
for example in Plato's Symposium.
Quite frankly; there is little to see on Chios. The main
attraction would be "Neo Moni" a monastery that hosts the
finest collection of mosaics in all Greece. The monastery is
an official World Heritage Site. Other things to do would be
a visit to Pyrgi a little but picturesque village with narrow
streets and interesting architecture. The Korai Library in
Chios town with its 95.000 volumes does worth a visit and so
does the local castle.
A walk through the narrow streets of the old town can be
interesting and while you there visit the local museums.
Quite interesting is Byzantine museum but also the
There are a few hotels and guest houses on Chios. Even in
smaller villages you should be able to get a decent room.
Public transport is available and easy enough. The blue
busses are the local ones for Chios town the green ones go
over land get you to even the more remote villages. Public
transport in Greece never ceases to astonish people.
There are daily boats from Chios to Cesme in Turkey,
Lesbos and Piraeus
(Athens port). There are hardly any international flights but
a daily connection to Athens and Thessaloniki. One way to get
there is flying into Lesbos and then get the ferry to Chios.