The Northern Aegean Islands: Places to Explore

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Chios

"Craggy Chios" is what local boy Homer, its first publicist, so to speak, called this starkly beautiful island, which almost touches Turkey's coast and shares its topography. The island may not appear overly charming when you first see its principal city and capital, Chios town, but consider its misfortunes: the bloody Turkish massacre of 1822 during the fight for Greek independence; major earthquakes, including one in 1881 that killed almost 6,000 Chiotes; severe fires, which in the 1980s burned two-thirds of its pine trees; and, through the ages, the steady stripping of forests to ax-wielding boat builders. Yet despite these disadvantages, the island remains a wonderful destination, with friendly inhabitants, and villages so rare and captivating that even having just one of them on this island would make it a gem.

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