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General info about Chios in Greece

Chios travel - vacation in Chios - information for Chios Greece

Chios  Chios  Chios  Chios 


Chios is located just south of Lesbos and very close to the Turkish coast. The island was once known as an artistís haven where sculptors came to learn their art. In more recent times the island was the place of death and destruction, after the sacking by the Turks in 1822, and then a large earthquake in 1881 killed a large number of the population. It is also in the running for the place of Homer and Christopher Columbusí birth. The second largest of the Northern-Aegean Islands, it is gaining a reputation as an island sought by package tourists, with crystal-clear waters, sandy beaches and good facilities.

Known as an island where European holidaymakers go to find the sun, Chios has much to offer the independent traveller, with a fascinating history and stunning architecture there to be explored, along with the beaches and resorts.

The main town, Chios Town, situated on the east of the island overlooks the Chios Strait and Turkey. Approaching the town, the port is more modern and built up than many other island ports. The large, concrete buildings on the foreshore give this modern port a busy, businesslike feel to it.

It is only when you get behind the port the real charm of the town is found. The old Turkish quarter, found to the north of the waterfront, with the Genoese kastro and its bustling marketplace are worth a visit. The Philip Argenti Museum is the best in the town, with wonderful exhibits of costumes and tapestries through the ages. The building is also home to the Korais Library, one of the largest in Greece. The Byzantine Museum and Archaeological Museum are also worth a visit.

Around the island, there is much to discover, the island having a distinctly different feel to it from the rest of the neighbouring islands. The Turkish influence and the apparent wealth that was once found on the island giving it a more cosmopolitan feel. To the South of the main town is the Kampos area, where there are many mansions both derelict and in use to be seen. It is best to take a bike or moped and a map to discover this area, so expansive the area. The monastery at the centre of the island is spectacular. Neo Moni was built in the eleventh century and is a fascinating site, being one of the largest monasteries in the Aegean. Partly destroyed in the 1822 massacre, the site is well preserved and fascinating, including a macabre display of the skulls of the monks killed in the bloodbath.

Around the rest of the island, there are an amazing array beaches there to be sampled. The small villages of Pyrgi and Mesta are just two of the villages known as "Mastihohoria", where their production of mastic, a substance once used like chewing gum, saved them from the Turkish armyís wrath. The villages are enclosed within walls and are best explored on foot, these towns, built like mazes, have a wonderful atmosphere to them. Mastic chewing gum can also be bought in these villages.

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