Chios Mini Guide
The island of Chios is one of the biggest off the Greek mainland. It also gives its name to the Chios strait, a thin stretch of water which separates Chios from Turkey
. It is part of a chain of islands in the North Aegean Sea. The island has many tourist attractions and much history, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Nea Moni, an old monastery. There is also another important archaeological site known as Teacher's Rock.
Although Chios has an old town, much of it was in fact damaged during a serious earthquake at the end of the 19th century. However classicists may still want to visit Vrontados in the north of Chios which is where Homer, who wrote the Illiad, was born.
The island is located in the Aegean Sea which means it is surrounded by beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters. According to old legends this was an island of pine trees and snakes, so there is much there to explore. The island has many festivals, often linked to the religious calendar but they go wild on the 11th of November in the capital as they mark the anniversary of gaining independence from Turkey.
We can supply 4x4 vehicles for driving around Chios and this may be preferable in order to get down some interesting dirt tracks in the interior of Chios. You will also find off road cars to be the most convenient way to navigate the mountains which run down the centre of the island. It is worth noting that Chios has its own airport and you can also pick up low cost car hire Chios airport from there.
A fascinating industry on Chios supplies the population of Greece with its favourite sweet, mastika. The gum is made from the resin of trees grown on Chios and small cuts are made in the bark to let it bleed. The resin dries into what‘s known as ‘The Tears of Chios’.
If you hire a car and drive into the mountains you’ll see this ancient industry being carried out to this day. Closer to Chios town, you can visit the medieval castle. The island was the birthplace of Homer and there are many references to him all over the island.