Chios is a region of Greece, an island in the Aegean Sea 8 km off the Turkish coasts.
The population is about 54,000 (2019), with an area of 904 km². Chios or Chora is a port and the island's chief town. The island is famous for its scenery and good climate. Its chief export is mastic but it also produces olives, figs, and wine. Its international fame is based on the size and quality of its shipping community.
It is the fifth largest island in Greece with a coastline of 213 km. The island is very little from the coast of Asia Minor. The prefecture of Chios includes, beyond the island of Chios, the two smaller islands, Psara and Oinousses.
- 1 Chios — the main city of the island and its administrative center with a well-preserved Genoese castle.
- 2 Emporios — a tiny seaside village, well known for the nearby stretches of black pebbles of 'Mavra Volia', one of the most popular beaches in Chios.
- 3 Kardamyla — traditional village at the north of the island.
- 4 Mesta — village at the south of the island with strong medieval character, with stone houses closely related, making the village look like a castle.
- 5 Pyrgi — village whose houses have black and white decoration at the exterior.
- 6 Vrondados — village atop a hill overlooking pebbled beaches.
Other destinations edit
- 1 Oinouses
- 2 Psara
- 3 Kambos — A distinctive area just south of the main town and away from mass tourist, with some interesting country estates still owned by Genoese noblemen and transformed into hotels with unique atmosphere.
- 4 Thymiana — A worth to be visited village some 7 km south of Chios town.
- 5 Mastichochoria — The 24 medieval villages where the Mastic, a plant resin from the Mastic tree is (almost) exclusively produced.
Get in edit
By plane edit
Seasonal flights that operate from May till October:
- Aegean Airlines from Athens
- Scandanavian Airlines from Oslo
- Transavia from Amsterdam Holland: twice a week
Chios has a state airport, which connects Chios with Athens almost every day, and less often with Thessaloniki. Olympic Airlines/Aegean Airlines, anf Skyexpress planes arrive in Chios (Nov 2022).
From Athens the flight takes about 35 to 45 minutes, while from Thessaloniki about 1 hour. Plan your trip early: in the last days before the flight, ticket prices rise a lot.
From Turkey edit
The closest airport in Turkey is Izmir International Airport. You could transfer to this airport and then take a bus to Çeşme, the town across from Chios. From there, the many daily small boats transport people from Cesme to Chios.
By boat edit
You can take the boat from Athens (Piraeus) once a day (twice a day in the summer) from Hellenic Seaways or Kavala (operational only in the summer). There is also regular trips from Samos and Lesvos all year round.
Çeşme on Turkish mainland just opposite Chios also has ferry connections with the island. The all year round service costing €23 one-way pp (or €25 return) departs at 09:30 from Çeşme and takes roughly 30 min. Those doing the trip to island as a day trip can take the return ferry to Turkey departing at 17:00 (except Sundays, on which it departs at 16:00) from Chios.
Ferries are the most massive and efficient means of transport for Chios. Tickets are usually cheaper than airplane tickets. If you want to visit Chios by car, motorbike, bicycle or with your dog, then your transport by ferry is one-way. Chios is connected daily with Piraeus, and once or twice a week with Kavala. Sometimes Chios connects with Samos and Mykonos, while almost daily it connects with Lesvos, since this is the continuation of the route from Piraeus. Chios is served by two ports, with the central and most important port of the city of Chios, in the eastern part of the island, while additionally there is the port of Mesto, in the southwest. The main negative of the ships is the long journey, 6 to 8 hours from Piraeus.
From Turkey, many small boats run the Çeşme-Chios route every day. The route is cheap and takes around 45 minutes.
Get around edit
You can bring a car using the boats, or you can rent one there. Chios is a big island and if you want to get around (out of the place where you are staying you have to have wheels) you better rent a car or motorbike. Renting a bicycle is also an option if you are not traveling big distances.
By road edit
Chios is a relatively large island, and some areas are quite far from others. For this reason, a private car is probably necessary for you to get to know Chios better. There are several car rental companies. The highway network of Chios is decent. The main intercity roads are in good condition, with proper signposting. Of course, this does not mean that you will not encounter difficult spots on your way! The so-called "Aipus bends", i.e. the part of the road that goes up the mountain of Aipus, is a point that needs a lot of attention. Also, beaches that are not directly connected to the main road, often have some smaller roads or even dirt roads, which in some places can be a little difficult for you.
By bus edit
Chios has an urban and interurban network buses. The Chios urban ktels cover the area of Chios town, Kampos, and Vrontados, an area that has things to see and do. The price of the tickets ranges from €1 to €1.5 (Nov 2022).
Chios intercity buses more or less cover the rest of Chios, with a small increase in ticket prices. However, due to low demand, the huses stop in the early afternoon, even in the summer.
By bicycle edit
Chios does not have any cycle paths. The steep uphill mountains, as well as the long distances from the city of some areas, may make commuting by bicycle prohibitive for some. However, if you are used to long-distance routes with a high degree of difficulty, then the tour of Chios by bike could be a special experience for you. By following the car roads, you can enjoy the landscape of Chios in a more "satisfying" way. Nevertheless, if you plan to come to Chios by bike, then you should prepare properly and choose the right season. Summer, with the heat and the sun on the head, may not be the best time for long cycling routes in Chios. If you choose autumn or spring,
- 1 Nea Moni — a UNESCO World Heritage listed monastery
- 2 — a byzantine village monument with tower-like houses.
- Mastiha Museum, Θέση Ράχη (Τεπέκι) 82 102, ☏ . An emblematic museum dedicated to Mastiha (mastic), a unique product coming from the mastic plant Pistacia lentiscus var. Chia.
- Maritime Museum of Chios, 20, St. Tsouri Street, ☏ . M-Sa 10:00-14:00. A private museum that was established to maintain, present and preserve the long maritime tradition of the island.
- To Mestousiko, Mesta, Chios (east of the main square), ☏ . Daily 10:00 to 23:00 (or later). Small grill with outdoor seating, run by George and Marina Pannadi year-round. The menu has grilled sandwiches, souvlaki, and Greek (horiatiki) salads. Located a block from the town square directly behind the new church of Taxiarchis (Archangels). To reach the restaurant, walk to the right and turn into the first alley. When you see the church, turn right. in expensive.
- Mastelo, a local cheese that can be grilled
- Amarandos Apartments, Vokaria, Nenita, ☏ . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Sea view apartments 15 m from the beach with amazing view of the Aegean and the Asia Minor. Hiden from the noise and mass tourism, ideal for relaxing. €50-100.
- Haus Fay Chios, Emporios, Chios (in Notiochora of Chios, in the central square in the harbor of Emporios), ☏ . Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 12:00. Haus Fay is a family hotel of studios and apartments overlooking the Aegean, just a few minutes walk from Mavra Volia and Foki. 50-100.