If you are looking for a calm, relaxing island with authentic Greek hospitality; Chios is a good choice. Island is situated 5 miles (8 km) off the western coast of Turkey (Cesme) in the Aegean Sea.
It is easy to travel to Chios by plane from Athens or by sea.
There are ferries to Chios from the port of Piraeus, the main port of Athens, all year round. These ferries run 3-4 times per week and the trip takes about 9 hours. Depending on the schedule, these ferries might also connect Chios with other Greek islands, including Lesvos, Mykonos, Syros, Ikaria, Samos and others. In summer, there are also ferries to Chios from Kavala, a port town in northern Greece, once or twice per week. All year round, there is ferry connection between Chios and the port of Cesme, close to Izmir Turkey. Source: www.greeka.com
The island is 50 km long from south to north, and 29 km from east to west. The coastline is around 200 km. You will definitely need a car or a bike to drive around, visiting nice villages and beaches. There are 62 villages in the island. The roads are in good condition and driving to the villages is very convenient.
The ferry from Cesme arrives to Chios town, at mid the east cost of the island. Chios town has a population of around 32 000. There is a medieval castle from Venetians in the Chios centre. The earthquake at 1881 was damaging the castle partly.
Regions Vrontados and Kambos are in the area near to Chios town.
There are fireworks competition at Vrantados during easter every year.
Chios is claimed to be the birth place of Homeros: No one knows whether Homer was a he or she, or even a real person. The ancient Greeks believed he was a blind, itinerant bard who was born in Smyrna (present-day Izmir, Turkey) and lived in Chios (a Greek island near the coast of Turkey). Chios was famous for its epic singers and many people on the island called themselves Homeridae , the descendants of Homer. But these are far from universally-agreed-upon facts. Colophon, Salamis, Rhodes, Argos and Athens also claim to be his birthplace.
Here are some recommendations for driving routes;
South (most popular):
Pyrgi, is 25 km south of Chios town, also known as painted village. The paint is black and white, the houses are coated by the mixed cement and volcanic sand.
The village in at the Mastic region, and their economy is depending in mastic production.
The narrow street were built to protect themselves from pirates in between 14th to 16th centuries.
Apostoli Monestry at Pigri, similar to Nea Mini monastery from 14th century, with inside paintings from 1655.
Olympi village lies in a green valley, approximately 30 km to the south west of Chios Town. The village was established in the 13th century and stands out for its remarkable architecture. The houses are built in such a manner that the outer walls are conjoined, so that anyone facing the village will see a fortress with no visible openings, except for one door that allows people in and out of the village.
Mesta, one of the most preserved village in Mastic region. Mesta is a scenic village with vaulted archways. The Church of Taxiarches in Mesta portrays scenes from the Old Testament
Karfas beach is often crowded, easy to reach from Chios town, only 8 km. It is shallow bay with golden sand and warm water. We have stayed at a nice hotel here Plaka studios with sea view. You can wake up with waves sound in peace. The place belongs to Gkaragkani family, since 1999. The owner is very friendly, offering us mastic cookies and home made jam as present.
Mavra Volia is a volcanic beach covered with black stones and perfectly clear water.
Lithi is known a fishing village. The calm beach with golden sand and clear water is one the best beaches in the island. This is perfect to watch the sunset here.
Glario beach is a famous disco beach north from Chios
Wine and gum mastic, traditional products of Chios. Mastic is collected from a wild shrub that grows in the south; it provides the flavour for mastíkha, a Greek liqueur, and is used for chewing gum and a local white jam.
Archaeological discoveries have shown that Chios has been inhabited continually since 6000 B.C. The city proper, was built by Greeks shortly before 1000 B.C.
The ancient times were very wealthy in the region. Ottoman period was between 1566 – 1912. There are mosques and cemetery from Ottomans in Chios centre.
in 1822, during the War of Greek Independence, many of the Christian inhabitants of Chios were massacred or sold into slavery by the Turks. The island was reunited with Greece after the Balkan Wars (1912–13). New Moni monastery is from 11th century with ancient writings. It is recognised as UNESCO World Heritage site.