Chios is located in the North East Aegean Sea. It is known as one of the most likely birthplaces of Homer, and also the ancient mathematicians Hippocrates and Enopides.
The island is very close to the Asia Minor coast, only 3.5 nautical miles from cape Pounta to Erythrea Inland in Cesme. It is the fifth largest Greek island (904 square kilometers) with a coastline of 213 kilometers and a population of 54.000.
What to see
The nature lovers will be excited by the rich biodiversity of Chios, Psara and Oinousses. The flora and fauna of Chios is very diverse – an example of the island’s geographical position at the crossroads of east and west and several unique species are found in the island.
Many species of plant are rare or endangered and therefore protected by special legislation such as the CITES Convention and the Convention on Biodiversity. Among the protected species are the orchids, which grow in a wide variety of habitats, from the seaside areas to the lofty mountains, cultivated fields and even wetlands, depending on species. Of the many species of orchids that grow in Europe, so far have been identified 110 species and subspecies in Chios, including: Ophrys homeri, Ophrys phrygia, Ophrys omegaifera, Ophrys regis-ferdinandii, Orchis sancta, Orchis anatolica, Orchis anthropophora.
Blooming together with the orchids on Mt. Pelinnaio is Fritillaria pelinaea, another rare and protected species endemic to Chios. It thrives in forested and shrubby sites and blooms from late March through April. It is included in the Red Data Book of Rare and Threatened Plants of Greece (2009 edition).
Medieval Villages & Castles
Chios has the best-preserved medieval defence networks in the Mediterranean (castles and towers, watchtowers, fortified settlements). It is a remarkable preservation of the defence system, similar to those of other parts of the Mediterranean, with byzantine and Genovese elements. The island’s medieval past is marked in the monuments of the Byzantine, Genoese and Venetian period that were salvaged both in town and in the villages. The island’s key Eastern Mediterranean position, from a geopolitical standpoint, resulted in it acquiring such significance during the Byzantine Empire (seat of the Naval Administrative Region of the Aegean). It also caused competitiveness amongst the Genoese and Venetians who tried to conquer it.
There are seasides close to town, such as the Bella Vista beach. It is an organized beach with umbrellas and seats, very close to the port. At the outskirts of the town there are other seasides such as Ormos Lo beach, Afanis Naftis, Agia Paraskevi and Daskalopetra. They are at the Vrontados waterfront, more or less a ten-minute drive from the town. In all of them there are canteens or cafes near by and also taverns, enabling the visitor to combine their swim with lunch or refreshments.
• If you like white pebbles, the endless beach of Yossonas and the crystal waters of the Bay of Nágos await you a short distance from Kardamylla.
• Mavra Volia is an amazing beach with black pebbles. Go there to enjoy the magic of the volcanic scenery and the taste of fresh fish at the nearby tavernas at the picturesque Emporios village.
• For lovers of fine white sand, the cosmopolitan beach of Komi in the south of the island is a must.
• For families there is Lithi, southwest to the island 5 km from Vessa.
• If your ideal beach has crystal turquise waters and is remote, then Agia Dinami, close to Olympoi village, will blow your mind!
• If you fancy beach bars, enjoy yourselves in Lilikas to the south or in Limnia and Managros to the north.
• For the young of all ages, the pebbled beach of Agia Fotini, also known as Agia Fotiá (=Sacred Fire) is a must see and swim while Paralia ton Glaron (=Seagulls’ beach), with its turquoise waters and thick sand, host DJ sets.
Chios is a destination that will satisfy all tastes, when it comes to entertainment choices. Cafes, small taverns and restaurants, bars and night clubs offer a great range of entertainment, either for those seeking to relax or those who are determined to party.
The port is the nightlife hot spot, as the majority of cafes, bars and restaurants are gathered there. Other nightlife hot spots are Karfas, Komi, Agia Fotia, Pyrgi, Volissos, Lagada, and Kardamyla, where you can enjoy the perfect combination of entertainment with the lovely environment.
For food lovers and especially those who would like to discover local cuisine, fish taverns offering high quality dishes are to be found all over Chios. At Lagada, Katarraktis and Limnia in Volissos local fish taverns, the visitor will literally taste the sea in the dishes.
As an outdoor activity lover, Chios provides anything you can imagine to enjoy greek summer, feel the adrenaline of the Greek Islands and have fun with friends!
Starting with hiking, tourists can discover all the big secrets of the island: Gorge Cave, Kardamila, Old Lady’s Castle and many more footpaths are there waiting for exploration. If you prefer climbing, there are plenty of routes for amateurs and professionals.
Next stop is cycling, the perfect way to discover beaches and tiny roads with amazing restaurants in the city centre. Discover Chios Plain and many other routes like Provatas, Anavatos, Nea Moni. Careful! Have all the relevant equipment with you, as you will be part of the nature and flat tyres are in the program!
Last but not least, as in almost every single Greek Island, there are plenty of options in water sports! Sailing, Windsurfing, Kitesurfing and scuba diving are the more extreme, but there are always more to have fun with your friends! All the water sport clubs have license and organisers are ready to boost your holiday experience!
Chios is a very special island, with excellent tastes, beautiful villages and great routes to discover. Don’t miss the chance to visit it and feel the great atmosphere!