Mediaeval villages, a diverse landscape, beaches with wild beauty.
Who doesn’t know Chios, with its ‘mastic villages’ and proud Mediterranean captains? And yet, it’s one of the most unexplored and unspoiled islands of the North Aegean, full of secrets, surprises and hidden treasures. Chios is an island that has been blessed by nature and history. It is fragrant, and authentic, multi-dimensional and irresistible. When you come here on holiday, be prepared to leave behind a little bit of your soul.
About The Location
A network of narrow roads that barely fit a car, tall walls made by skilled stone masons, ornate doors with beautiful arches. Here, in the island’s most fertile valley, once lived the island’s leaders. This is where the aristocratic families of Chios, including the Genovese in the 14th century, built their mansions.
There are about 20 mediaeval mastic villages in southern Chios. Particularly noteworthy are Pyrgi and Mesta, followed by Vessa, Armolia, Nenita and Patrika. Walking around this cluster of towns is magical, especially in August, when you’ll see trees shedding ‘tears’ of mastic crystals in the surrounding farms.
The mastic tree – a low bush with outstretched branches and a bent trunk, related to the pistachio tree – is the symbol of the island. The harvesting of its resin, which consists of making incisions in the tree (what the locals call Kentima or embroidery) results in mastic ‘tears’ dripping from the trunk.