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Authentic Chios: the insider's guide

Chios ● 03 October 2017
 

Chios is an island with medieval villages, majestic mansions, significant museums and rich cultural and gastronomic traditions. Discover its hidden gems with these tips from locals, and the next thing you want to do is to book your hotel in Chios and prepare yourself for unforgettable vacations!

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.

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.

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, imposing is the beach Mavra Volia, which 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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