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Be prepared to be welcomed in style, as Chios is a hospitable island with polite and peaceful residents, ready to greet every new visitor with love and kindness. Located in the Aegean Sea, 7 kilometers off the Anatolian coast, Chios is the fifth biggest of the Greek islands. The island is disjointed from Turkey by the Chios Strait. Chios is remarkable for its exports of mastic gum, also known as The mastic island, but also include olives, figs, wine, mandarins and cherries.
Tourists are allured by its medieval towns as well as the 11th century monastery of Nea Moni, a splendid UNESCO World Heritage Site. The crescent or kidney shaped island is sprinkled with mountainous and arid terrain, its shores being embraced by mountains. The two largest of these mountains, Pelineon (1,297 metres) and Epos (1,188 metres) reign majestically in the north part of the island. According to tradition, the island's name infers from Hiona, the daughter of Oenopion who was the first pioneer on the island, grandchild of Minoas, the ruler of Crete and child of Ariadne and Dionysus (divine force of the grapevine) who taught the locals how to cultivate the savory vines, widely appreciated up to present days.
Local cousine pampers visitors with dishes such as Kordelia, Malathropita, Sfougato and mouth watering desserts Mamoulia, Masourakia accompanied by Mastika, a liquor seasoned with mastic, a resin gathered from the regionally beloved mastic tree.
Pyrgi is a standout amongst the most charming towns of the island, on the southwest of Chora, common prestigious for its beautifying uniqueness. All houses are painted in grey and white geometrical shapes creating a sensational symphony of shapes and shades. Its Folklore museum of Pyrgi houses an accumulation of agricultural tools and handicraft artefacts.
Olympoi village in the southwest of Chios town distinguishes itself through its splendid architecture with the conjoined external walls of the houses shaping a fortress when looked upon from outside. The imposing archways and narrow cobbled roads, the grand central tower and beautiful places of worship, as well ass the Olympoi Cave with the breathtaking stalactites and stalagmites make this town an unquestionable requirement upon setting foot on the island of Chios.
Chios town or Chora is the island's capital and main port and its managerial focus facilitating all regulatory structures, the University, various neoclassical buildings, structures of Arabic influence and mosques alongside the captivating Genoese villas in Kampos set in the midst of the fragrant citrus trees. The energetic town of Chios is spotted with numerous cafes, restaurants and bars set along the shoreline or at the town's central square. The Archeological, Byzantine & Naval Museum as well as the celebrated Koraes Library are also found in Chora. Different locales one ought not miss while going to the town of Chios are the old city remains, the Genoese castle, the public garden, the ancient theate and last but not least, the bronze landmarks of the obscure officers and the statue of Kanaris.
Upon sailing in the Aegean waters, one must not miss this diverse and fragrant island, with its Medieval mastic villages, splendid beaches, old mansions with stone pebbled courtyards, village castles perched on rocks, museums and Byzantine monuments, explosive customs, impressive caverns, Oinousses and Psara isles, uniquely embroidered with long lasting traditions.
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