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Chios Island Travel Guide: 80 reviews and 165 photos

Chios Island Has Had A Long and Turbulent History

Claiming to be the birthplace of Homer, Chios is known as the fragrant flower of the Aegean resulting from this islands jasmine, wild tulips, mastic trees (which produce the chew in chewing gum) and other intoxicating fragrances. From the first inhabitants of the early Neolithic Era and Early Bronze Age to the current tourist traveler, everybody who comes to Chios is intrigued with this Greek Island and its beautiful beaches, its medieval villages and its violent past.

Chios, fifth largest of the Greek islands, is strategically situated in the northeast Aegean Sea sitting just five miles from the Turkish coast.. Although only now being discovered by the average tourist, Chios is considered one of the most beautiful of the islands in the Aegean. Like many of the Greek islands, Chios has a turbulent history with much slaughter and mayhem. Fortunately for us, its long 3,000 years of history has resulted in well preserved Byzantine monasteries and interesting medieval-era villages to visit. Among it famous sites Chios is home to the monastery of Nea Moni, from the 11th century, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nea Moni holds impressive medieval mosaics from as far back in history as Constantine the 9th’s reign.

As part of its charm, at locations such as Anavato and Mesta, you can visit and walk through villages that have remained virtually unchanged since the middle ages, with their cultures and traditions still fully intact.

Chios has largely remained unknown to most tourists but this mountainous island with its crystal-clear waters, sandy beaches, good facilities, many English speaking residents and interesting historical sites is now gaining in popularity. Rightfully so.

Azamara Quest - first cruise ship to visit Chios

I was fortunate to visit Chios on the first cruise ship to ever dock in its port.

Until June 2008, Chios was not visited by cruise ships. So our visit was a huge event for the residents of Chios. Many people came out to see and photograph our ship in port and to take part in the festivities that the town prepared for our arrival.

A BIG celebration for the 1st cruise ship to visit

A band welcomed us to the dock while native dancers and musicians entertained us with traditional dances and music. Chios opened its arms to us and welcomed us into its history and traditions.

I am glad to have participated in this grand event and it will always hold a special place in my memories.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Lots of English speakers; good food; great scenery; interesting places to visit
  • Cons:Not easy to get to
  • In a nutshell:I really enjoyed visiting this island even if it was for only 1 day
  • Last visit to Chios Island: Jun 2008
  • Intro Updated Jul 14, 2008
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