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Introduction

Chios is one of the North Aegean islands of Greece. Chios is not such a popular summer destination among the foreign tourists, at least not yet. This fact has helped the island to keep its authenticity, as Greeks are the ones who choose it mostly for their holiday. Explore the island by boat or by car and you will find some astounding beaches to relax. Its villages have remained untouched and authentic, offering you a satisfying experience. One of the most important products of Chios is the renowned mastic! Mastic is used to make chewing gums, but it can also be found as an ingredient in many beauty products. Most of the locals make their living from fishing and farming, while others work on boats (sailing). In Chios, you will see Greece’s traditional side to the best extent possible. Must see attractions are the medieval villages of Pyrgi and Mesta. Pay a visit to the village called Kambos, and don’t forget to dive into Vroulidia and Mavra Volia, some of the best beaches of the island.

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Sights and Activities

Medieval villages, majestic mansions, significant museums and rich cultural, maritime and gastronomic traditions. This is Chios, a magnificent island.

The signature landmark of the Main Town is the Castle, which dates back to the 9th century, with a Byzantine structure that was later incorporated into the Genoese fortification. You should also visit the Giustiniani Mansion, the residence and administrative centre of the prominent Italian family, which nowadays, is used as an exhibition space. Of the Ottoman history of Chios remind the Ottoman cemetery, the hamam as well as the Bayrakli Mosque, which is located within the walls of the Castle, and the Mecidiye Mosque, which today, hosts the Byzantine Museum. Worth visiting are also the Maritime Museum,the Municipal Gardens, filled with flowers and palm trees, the Archaeological Museum and the Koraes Public Library, which is considered to be one of the most prominent libraries in Greece.

Kampos is a Genoese settlement that flourished until 1822. If you want to learn the entire history of the area, visit the Citrus Museum, where you will also find delicious delights, such as amygdalota (=almond cookies), mandarin vanilla spoon sweet and orange or cacao flavoured loukoumi. Mansions of unique architecture and scented citrus orchards make Kampos a place you should definitely explore.

A stunning route, which has been included in the famous "Chios Half Marathon" and can be done whether on foot or by bicycle, is the route in Frangovouni, starting south of the airport and heading towards the beautiful villas of Kampos, a distance of about 10-12 kilometres.

The best excursions you can make in Chios are Nea Moni, a monastery, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Avgonyma, a medieval village that will steal your heart and Anavatos, an abandoned medieval village of extraordinary beauty. Volissos is said to be the birthplace of Homer, while in Daskalopetra Beach, Homer taught his pupils. On the eastern side, Vrontados is a small seaside town that is well-known for the Easter tradition of rouketopolemos (rocket war).

Another impressive village is Anavatos, an abandoned medieval village of extraordinary beauty that will steal your heart with its emotive atmosphere.

For the lovers of adventure, who are in an explanatory mood, the tour of the 10 villages in the hills of Mount Amani is a must. The higher up to the mountain you go, the wilder the natural surroundings, and you may even see hares, partridges and foxes. Inside the villages, you will see grocery stores and cafés where the time seems to have stopped decades ago.

For swimming, you can pick what beach to go to depending on the weather. On the southern coast, the beach Mavra Volia is very imposing. This beach took its name after the black volcanic landscape in this area. You can combine this beach with a visit to the nearby village of Pyrgi, which is the most famous of the 24 mastic gum growing villages in Chios, the worldwide famous Mastihochoria, and has also the Chios Mastic Museum that informs you about the cultivation and processing of mastic over the years in Chios. On the northern coast, the quiet beach of Limnos in Volissos is an ideal place for peace and privacy. If you want to enjoy a gorgeous sunset, go to Sidirountas. The nearest beaches to Chios Town are Karfas and Agia Fotia.

On the northern side of the mountain, the village of Kourounia has a brand-new winery that has revived the island's Kourouniotiko wine. At Agios Galas, there is a fascinating cave where evidence of Neolithic human activity has been found. On the eastern side of the mountain, you should head down from Keramos to Agiasmata on the coast and enjoy a natural spa experience in the thermal springs of the area.

The gastronomy of Chios means visiting as many ouzo joints and trying as many local brands as possible. Ouzo in Chios is a little lighter than ouzo in Lesvos, and it is a perfect match for culinary specialities. Chiot dishes include small gastronomic treasures, such as pie made with sand smelt (begoto), sun-dried fish and grilled mastelo cheese.

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Weather

Chios has a Mediterranean climate with dry and warm summers, and mild but wet winters. Temperatures during summer are mostly around 30 °C with balmy nights. Winters see highs of around 15 °C. Most of the annual 750mm of rain falls from November to March.

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet access is widely available throughout the country. Almost all hotels provide internet access, either free or paid. Local coffee shops usually offer free Wi-Fi access, as many other public places do. Feel free to ask for the password, if the network is locked. Internet cafes however tend to be expensive, about €1.5-2 per hour.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The cheapest way to call someone abroad is to use a pre-paid calling card and call from a land line anywhere (also from your hotel room). Pre-paid calling cards are sold in many shops and kiosks. The calling card is not much more than a phone number and a pin code, which you dial prior to dialing the usual phone number. If you want to call internationally, ask for an international calling card. For one euro you can call for about 45 minutes, so buy a card in the cheapest value (which is about €3). Calling someone for half an hour is cheaper than sending one email from an internet café. Cards expire usually 90 days after first use. You can also use this pre-paid calling card at public phone boxes, which are widely available.

Mobile phones are prevalent in Greek's communication, and if you need to talk with your co-travelers it is advised that you buy a local prepaid plan instead of using roaming, as it is far cheaper. There are at least three mobile carriers, Cosmote, Wind and Vodafone all of which require by law presenting some form of identification in order to activate your prepaid plan. Choose whichever has better reception in your area, keeping in mind that GSM 900, GSM 1800 and UMTS 2100 bands are supported. Data usage is cheap, costing about €3 per 100 MB. Ask the mobile carrier for more information.

Post

Hellenic Post is the Greek postal service. On their website you find more information about options to send letters, postcards and parcels and there is a search function regarding post offices and post boxes. It also has information on services like paying bills, transferring money, financial products etc. Greek post codes are five digits long and are usually written as follows; 123 45. The first three digits are used to identify the city, municipality or prefecture, for example the digits between 100 and 180 relate to the city of Athens. The last two digits identify a street or part of a street. Most post offices are open Monday to Friday from 07:30-14:00, although the largers ones usually have longer opening hours. For sending packages, you can also use international courier services like DHL, UPS or TNT.

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Accommodation in Chios

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Chios searchable right here on Travellerspoint.

Chios Travel Helpers

This is version 9. Last edited at 16:22 on Apr 23, 18 by Utrecht. 2 articles link to this page.

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