Chios! Grand, nostalgic, discreet, a real lady in the middle of the Archipelagos gifted with unique Ionic light and generous Mediterranean sun. Full of fragrances and flowers, the island of the mastic-gum, of poets, philosophers, people of spirit as well as merchants, the cradle of the glorious Greek merchant marine.
The island of Chios extends to 904 square km and has a population of about 52.000 people. One of the most important products of the island is mastic, which is uniquely produced on it. It is famous and world - widely renowned for its aroma and taste. It is uniquely cultivated in MastihohorIa and about 105 tons of it are exported to other countries.
The town of Chios lies in the centre of the eastern coast of the island facing the Erythrean peninsula and Asia Minor. This clearly shows the close relationship it has always had with Ionia. The island known for its masticha trees is full of green valleys.
The main town, Chios also known as Hora, lies on the eastern portion of the island. The harbour with its small multi-coloured houses and fishermen's boats competes with the newer part of the town, full of modern cafes. Chios is the capital of the prefecture and has approximately 25.000 inhabitants.
Most of the hotels, restaurants, cafes, gift shops, ticket and travel agencies and such facilities are located around the large harbour quay-road, but the visitor should make a point of walking back from that and explore some of the older streets. Campos, an area renowned for its mansions built of local stone, is certainly a sight to see.
The home of Homer is said to be Volissos a town of many coloured houses and narrow streets. The southern part of the island holds the most surprises. At the monastery of Agios Minas is a "weeping bush" from which a thick white gum flows from the bark!
This is the famous mastich of Chios and is truly unique to this island. Another interesting town to visit is Pyrgi - a beautiful village with house fronts specially decorated. A medieval village that has been preserved is Mesta.