Chios is the 5th largest island in Greece, with a population of just over 50,000 people. Because of its location, needing a long ferry ride or a connecting flight from Athens, it receives fewer visitors and is much less touristy than most big islands. Its size also means that those people who do visit are spread out more rather than being based in one or two places. Fewer visitors also means that local people have more time for you and can be overwhelmingly hospitable.
By Air: Chios has an airport and there are regular flights from Athens and Thessaloniki on Olympic and Aegean. You can fly from other islands such as Crete and Rhodes but will need to change planes in Athens. The airport is about 2.5 miles (4km) from Chios Town and you'll need to take a taxi to get there.
By Ferry: There are ferries to Chios from Piraeus, Thessaloniki and Kavala on the mainland, and you can also get to Chios from some of the other Aegean islands including Rhodes, Samos, Lemnos and Lesbos. There are also ferries between Chios and Cesme in Turkey. Most ferries come into the main port in Chios Town.
Chios is known as The Mastic Island because of the mastic trees that grow in the south and south-west of the island. These trees used to be more widespread but today Chios is the only place in the world where they are still harvested commercially. The resin from the trees produces mastic gum, a chewing gum that is popular in Greece. Mastic can also be used for other purposes including perfumes and soap, and also in cooking. You should try the liqueur that's made from mastic, too.
The mastic growing area comprises seven main villages known as the Mastichochoria, although there are several other smaller villages where mastic is grown. In one of the villages, Rachi, there's a Mastic Museum you can visit. They're all attractive old villages of great character, and if you have a car you can spend an enjoyable few hours visiting them and wandering round.
Chios Town. The capital of Chios is also known as Chora (or Hora), and this is where the main ferries come in. The waterfront bustles with cafes and bars, but head away from the water and you can see the quieter quarters, filled with old buildings. There's the remains of a Genoese castle and several museums to visit too.
Visit the Mastichoria (see above).
Visit the offshore islands. Chios has two small satellite
islands, Psara and Inousses, and they both make for a good trip if you really
like to get off the beaten track in the Greek islands. You can do Psara as a
day trip. For Inousses there's a ferry from Chios Town, and water taxis also leave
from Lagada, which is about 10 miles (17km) due north of Chios Town along the
coast. Depending on the timings, you'll probably have to allow for an overnight
stay on Inousses.
Tiny Inousses, with a permanent population of less than 1,000, has its numbers swollen in summer by descendants of the many shipping barons who came from this island. A remarkable number of wealthy Greek shipping magnates came from here, and you can see the grand houses that today's generation keep on as summer homes.
Day Trip to Turkey. The Turkish coast is only about 4 miles (7kms) away so it's a fairly quick crossing and you'll find options for taking regular ferries or day trips to Cesme or to some of the Turkish beach resorts nearby.
Hiking. There are numerous hiking opportunities on this big island, which has a mountain ridge running down its backbone and a high point at Mount Pelineon (4,255ft/1,297m).
Nea Moni Monastery. In the centre of the island is the Nea Moni Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It dates to the 11th century and at one time was the wealthiest monastery in Greece. It was said that three shepherds saw a vision of an icon of the Virgin Mary, and as a results many artists came here to help create the remarkable mosaics in the main church and around the monastery. Nea Moni is about a 25-minute drive into the hills due west of Chios Town.
Twelve projects including upgrade works on the Acropolis have been cleared for funding out of “Greece 2.0” – the country’s recovery plan approved earlier this month. Alternate Finance Minister Theodor…
The United States will keep all existing Covid-19 travel restrictions in place due to concerns over the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announce…
Chania is the main city in Western Crete with a lovely setting and a beautiful harbour as well as several museums.
Greece has been placed on the Covid-19 orange list of Cyprus’ colour-coded country categorization travel system, based on a new epidemiological risk assessment of countries. The new changes come into…
Starting Friday, July 16, indoor venues such as restaurants, bars, and theaters will only be accepting vaccinated and seated-only customers until August 31, Development and Investments Minister Adonis…
Greek carrier AEGEAN has started the operation of its seasonal base on Mykonos, aiming to enhance its flagship quality services and improve the connection of the popular Cycladic island with major int…
The UK’s FCDO revised its travel advisory for Greece after announcing on Thursday that as of July 19 travelers from amber-listed countries would not be required to self-isolate upon return.
Greece said this week that starting July 15, restaurant and F&B business owners would be able to download an application that will check whether the health/vaccination status information provided by c…
Travel by road domestically in Greece will not require a negative rapid test but the presentation of a negative self-test is highly recommended, said Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias d…
The Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA) has extended the travel rules for passengers of domestic flights traveling from the mainland to the islands, until 6am, on Thursday, July 15.