The 5th largest of the Greek islands, crescent shaped Chios (pronounced Heeos) is a lot less touristy than some of the better known larger islands and much of its economy comes from mastic gum and from shipping. However, Chios has loads to offer those looking to get away from the mass tourism market.....
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The 5th largest of the Greek islands, crescent shaped Chios (pronounced Heeos) is a lot less touristy than some of the better known larger islands and much of its economy comes from mastic gum and from shipping. However, Chios has loads to offer those looking to get away from the mass tourism market and have a somewhat more Greek experience on an island that is lush, green and beautiful. Chora, the island’s capital and main port, is busy and well developed and visits to one of its excellent museums or to the beautiful Turkish quarter are both well worth it. Most of the island’s nightlife is in Chora – many modern bars and clubs as well as numerous tavernas, many with live Greek music. Obviously other towns have nightlife too, although outside of the main areas, such as Karfas and Vrontado, these tend to be more tavernas than bars. There are loads of amazing beaches all around the island, with highlights including the south west’s Mavra Volia with its dramatic black pebbles or nearby Vroulidia for its crystalline turquoise waters. There are plenty of beaches with ‘proper’ facilities, or adjoining to small villages, but also many almost deserted pieces of paradise if you’re prepared to venture slightly off the beaten track – the west coast being a good starting point for this. You can also take a day trip to Inousses, a small, tranquil island off the north east coast, with amazing panoramic views from the top of the hill or to Psara off the north west coast. For those interested in history, Nea Moni, a 7th century monastery and UNESCO World Heritage Site in the centre of the island is a must see. Also worth visiting are one of the medieval stone villages, such as Pyrgi, Mesta or Avgonyma, which has been lovingly restored and offers beautiful views across the island. Chios is accessible by boat from neighbouring islands, from Cesme in Turkey or through its domestic airport.
*Credit and thanks to Kostisl, Pitropakis, Katsiaryna Naliuka, Cllueca, Ailinaleixo, Philip Gabrielsen, Stephan van Es, Disou13 and Insider for the photos featured on this page.
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