Steeped in mystery, military conquest, and untouched beauty, Chios is an island paradise of myths and marvels.
Chios is alive with history and wonder, from stunning natural beauty to legendary tales and myths.
With a rich history stretching back to ancient times, Chios’ mysteries and beauty capture hearts and minds as a matter of course. This ancient island is rumoured to be the birthplace of the legendary ancient poet Homer, with the Daskalopetra, or Teacher’s Stone, marking the spot where he taught his students and narrated his poems.
Explore Chios on foot and you’ll weave your way from the black stone beach of Mavros Gialos and its volcanic rocks to the abandoned village of Anavatos. Seeking shelter from the marauding Ottoman troops, the local villagers fled to the nearby Nea Mono Monastery but were still discovered. Today the abandoned hillside village stands empty as a testament to their memory.
While Chios has a rich historical heritage, the island has a cosmopolitan feel today. It also produces thousands of crates of citrusy fruits, from sun-soaked oranges to tangy lemons. Head south of the island capital, Chios town, to the shady redbrick village of Kambos to explore the lemon and orange groves of this ancient island, and sample a sweet mouthful or two.
And what visit to Chios is complete without a trip to the famous mastic trees? Producing a teardrop-shaped resin that makes for a deliciously sweet gum, mastic can be used to brew local liquors and can even be found in pastries and ice creams. Mastic is a local treasure, and it was so important to the Ottomans that being caught stealing the resin carried the death penalty.
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Travel inland from Chios harbour to the World Heritage Site of Nea Moni Monastery. Reflecting Byzantine architectural influences, the monastery houses world-renowned mosaics including The Arrest of Jesus and The Three Marys. Thanks to its preserved relics and treasures, Nea Moni became one of the wealthiest monasteries in the Aegean during the Middle Ages, before falling into ruin in the 19th century after being destroyed by conquests and earthquakes.
The abandoned village of Anavatos is all that remains of an ancient community that used to reside here. Built in Medieval times way up in the mountains of Mount Provatas, Anavatos fell into ruins and eventual abandonment after many villagers came to a tragic end during the 1822 Greek War of Independence, before the extreme earthquake of 1881 consigned the village to history. Explore the poignant remains of the village on the hill and soak up the crimson red sunsets of this hilltop memorial.