Chios Island

Located on Greece the North Aegean Sea, Chios island is a large island with authentic character. Chios island has fabulous beaches and the lush greenery. Where is Chios island, how to get, where to stay, hotels and accommodations, restaurants and taverns, places to visit, coasts, best beaches, nightlife you may find all information about this Greek island.

Although there are many adorable beaches to relax, Chios island is mostly famous for its Medieval villages. Pyrgi and Olympi distingush for the special architecture with the black and white geometric designs on the external walls, the narrow paved path and the fortification look. A drive along the inland will bring you to few ghost villages, Medieval Castles and Byzantine Monasteries, such as the Monastery of Nea Moni and Agia Markella, the protector of the island. In summer, there is ferry connection between Chios in Greece and the cosmopolitan resort of Izmir in Turkey.

Chios, Black Stones
Mavra Volia Beach, Chios island, Greece

Mediaeval villages, a diverse landscape, beaches with wild beauty, ‘miraculous’ mastiha, Chios is much more than just an island on the edge of the Aegean. Who doesn’t know Chios, with its ‘mastic villages’ and proud Mediterranean captains? And yet, it’s one of the most unexplored and unspoiled islands of the North Aegean, full of secrets, surprises and hidden treasures. Chios is an island that has been blessed by nature and history. It is fragrant, and authentic, multi-dimensional and irresistible. When you come here on holiday, be prepared to leave behind a piece of your soul.

Where is Chios island

Chios is part of the North-Eastern Aegean Islands and lies between Lesvos and Samos, close to the Turkish coasts. The island is known for the world-famous mastic product which is found exclusively there.

How to go Chios island

The airport of Chios is located in the region of Kambos, 3 km from Chios Town. There are daily flights to Chios from the airport of Athens and the flight time is 1 hour. There are also flights to Chios from Thessaloniki about 3 times per week, operated by the small air company Astra Airlines. In summer, there are also flights from Chios to other Greek islands, such as Samos, Kos and Rhodes, operated by another small company, Sky Express.

There are ferries to Chios from the port of Piraeus, the main port of Athens, all year round. These ferries run 3-4 times per week and the trip takes about 9 hours. Depending on the schedule, these ferries might also connect Chios with other Greek islands, including Lesvos, Mykonos, Syros, Ikaria, Samos and others. In summer, there are also ferries to Chios from Kavala, a port town in northern Greece, once or twice per week. All year round, there is ferry connection between Chios and the port of Cesme, close to Izmir Turkey.

Information about Chios island

The island of Chios is one of the Greek islands of the Aegean Sea and it belongs to the Eastern Aegean islands group. Chios island is located at the Eastern Aegean Sea, very close to the coasts of Turkey. It has small family beach resorts and large secluded beaches. The most beautiful beach on Chios island is Mavra Volia, on the southernmost spot of the island, but there are also nice seaside villages with delicious restaurants to relax on your Chios holidays.

However, Chios Greece is mostly famous for its Medieval villages. Pyrgi and Olympia have characteristic walls with geometric designs, while Anavatos, Volissos and theTown have large Byzantine castles on the hills above them. A drive around the island will also bring you to interesting monasteries, including the Monastery of Nea Moni, Agios Markos and Agia Markella, the protector of the island. Small islands for a day trip are Psara and Oinousses.

Painted village of pyrgi

What to do in Chios island

The fertile and stately Kambos
A network of narrow roads that barely fit a car, tall walls made by skilled stone masons, ornate doors with beautiful arches. Here, in the island’s most fertile valley, once lived the island’s leaders. This is where the aristocratic families of Chios, including the Genovese in the 14th century, built their mansions.

The legendary mastic villages
There are about 20 mediaeval mastic villages in southern Chios. Particularly noteworthy are Pyrgi and Mesta, followed by Vessa, Armolia, Nenita and Patrika. Walking around this cluster of towns is magical, especially in August, when you’ll see trees shedding ‘tears’ of mastic crystals in the surrounding farms.

Mastic: ‘miraculous’ tears
The mastic tree – a low bush with outstretched branches and a bent trunk, related to the pistachio tree – is the symbol of the island. The harvesting of its resin, which consists of making incisions in the tree (what the locals call Kentima or embroidery) results in mastic ‘tears’ dripping from the trunk.

The gentle, fragrant and expensive product is found exclusively in Chios, and has been cultivated here since the 1st century AD. It is also believed to have therapeutic properties. Tradition says that the mastic trees began crying when Agios Isidoros was tortured in Chios by the Romans.

Anavatos, a Byzantine village in the North Aegean
An unforgettable image: a stone cone of cubic homes. Anavatos is an uninhabited tower of stone, the ruins of a Byzantine village, whose remains cling to the side of the cliff.

Rumbling Vrontados
Vrontados, a suburb of the island’s capital, is famous for its roketopolemos (rocket wars) which happens every Easter, where thousands of rockets are fired from opposing camps, creating an incredible spectacle.

Chios island windmill

Things to see and do in Chios island

The treasures of the north
Discover the stunning natural beauty of northern Chios. Follow the route: Kardamila-Nagos-Amades-Viki-Kambia-Kipouries-Diefha. The landscape surrounding the highest mountain, Pelinaio, is exhilarating, the villages are picturesque and the dirt roads will lead you to secret, secluded beaches.

Nea Moni Monastery and its masterful mosaics
The most important monastery in Chios, and one of the most important in all of Greece, it was established in 1024 by the Byzantine emperor Constantine IX Monomachos. Large, rich and famous, it has been recognised as a Unesco World Heritage Site. At the altar of the Virgin Mary, you’ll see some of the most beautiful mosaics in the world glittering before you.

Gastronomy of Chios
Other than its famed masticha, Chios offers a large choice of local produce and authentic tastes. The gastronomic wealth of this blessed place includes butter and cheeses such as mastelo, citrus fruit such as the Chios mandarins, ouzo and aromatic liqueurs, wines of excellent quality, local sweets, pasteli (a sesame and honey bar), and of course abundant fresh fish and seafood. Have we whetted your appetite? There’s only one way to satisfy it.

Best beaches of Chios island

Beaches in Chios have lovely surroundings and clean water. Emporios, Mavra Volia, and Karfas are the most famous Chios beaches, organized with tourist facilities. Driving around the island, visitors will come up with many secluded and unorganized Chios beaches, perfect for total relaxation and privacy. You will find below a list with the best beaches in Chios island.

  • Mavra Volia (aka Volcano Beach Chios), map
  • Vroulidia (Broulidia Beach), map
  • Apothika, map
  • Agia Dynami, map
  • Agia Fotia (or Agia Fotini), map
  • Salagona, map
  • Trachili, map
  • Nagos, map
  • Anemi (aka ‘Yosonas’ or Yoso Beach), map
  • Glaroi Beach (sounds like ‘Glari’), map
  • Elinda Beach, map
  • Didima, map
  • Tigani Beach, map
Map of Chios island, Greece

Where to stay in Chios island

The best hotels in Chios island, chosen by our expert, including luxury hotels, boutique hotels, budget hotels and Chios hotel deals. Check out the prices.