Fodor's To Europe!

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Days 5-6
Next stop: Samos Previous stop: Lesbos Return to full itinerary »

"Craggy Chios" is what local boy Homer, its first publicist, so to speak, called this starkly beautiful island. Indeed it may not appear overly charming at first, but give Chios a chance and you'll discover a wonderful destination with friendly inhabitants, and villages so captivating that having just one of them on this island would make it a gem.
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  • Shopping
  • Archaeology
  • Natural Beauty


  • In Chios town, walk around the bazaar district as well as the old quarter which was built by the Byzantines. Don't miss the Giustiniani Museum, which exhibits Byzantine art, and learn about the sea-based heritage of the island at the Chios Maritime Museum.
  • Hidden among olive groves is the island's most important monastery, the 11th-century Nea Moni. The octagonal, medieval church is the only surviving example of 11th-century court art.
  • Pirgi is the largest of the fortified inland villages in southern Chios. Many buildings are coated in a mix of cement and volcanic sand, whitewashed and then stenciled from top to bottom in traditional patterns of animals, flowers, and geometric designs.


  • Greek Carnival, which begins in February, reaches a climax in Thimania, south of Chios town.

Side Trips

  • Mesta is the island's best-preserved village, 18 mi/29 km southwest of Chios town.
  • Take a walking tour with Masticulture to learn about the mastic growing process.

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