The island of Chios boasts one of the most unique and distinctive faces in all of Greece. Thanks to its history as the ancestral home of shipping barons and an array of medieval like villages including the UNESCO World Heritage Site—Nea Moni, Chios’ fortress like architecture is unlikely to be confused with its postcard cousins of the south.
Chios is the fifth largest of the Greek islands. Situated Aegean Sea, 7 kilometres off the Anatolian coast, Chios is a short 45-minute flight from Athens. The island is most famous for its cultivation and production of mastic, a fragrant resin that comes from trees growing in the Mastichochoria region of the island. Often referred to as Arabic Gum, the local export has a range of uses from paints and varnishes — to medicinal and edible. Tourists can choose from a range of mastic-based candles, jams and even flavoured liquors.
The varied terrains and backdrops of Chios make it one of the most diverse islands in Greece. From the mountainous terrain in the north, to the citrus-grove estates of Kampos and the agricultural landscape of Mastihohoria in the south, Chios offers a pure, untainted Greek island experience that you can’t replicate anywhere else.
At the islands centre is one of the most significant monasteries in all of Greece—Nea Moni. The UNESCO world heritage listed site was once considered a thriving hub for Byzantine artists to create mosaics in its principal church. A casualty of the Greek War of Independence between 1821-1829, the resident monks were slaughtered— their skulls remain on display in a cabinet inside the chapel.