Chios is one of the islands of the north-eastern Aegean, very close to Asia Minor, opposite to the Erithrea peninsula. More specifically, Chios distances just 7km. off the Turkish coast. Chios, being the fifth in size of all Greek islands, extends to 842 sq. km. with a population of approximately 54,000 inhabitants.
The Province of Chios consists of three separate islands: Chios, Inousses and Psara. Chios can be reached either by sea or by air. The main connections are with Athens and Piraeus, as well as the islands of Samos and Lesvos. Chios is one of the few places in Greece from where one can visit Turkey.
The higher top of the island is that of Pelineon mountain at the north part, about 1297m. high. Two other important mountains are Provatas and Epos. The terrain is principally mountainous, while the center of the island is divided between east and west by a range of smaller peaks.
The main port is the one of the town of Chios. Secondary ones are scattered throughout the island. Those are: Lagadas, (on the north coastline), Marmaro, (on the north-east), Mesta, (on the south-west), and Limnia, (on the west coastline). The length of the coastline is more than 200km.
Chios is noted for its strong merchant shipping, its medieval villages and its unique mastic. Mastic, is one of the island’s most important products, famous worldwide for its taste and aroma. Mastic is cultivated in Masticochoria, (the Medieval villages). The cultivation of the mastic has been known since antiquity. The oldest references to mastic have been traced back to Herodotus during the 5th c.
The importance of the specific product made Chios, several times in the past, a target for various conquerors. One of the main reasons the Medieval villages were built like fortresses was to protect the mastic and its producers from the barbarians.
A variety of products is made from the mastic resing, such as chewing gum, alcoholic drinks, sweets, perfumes and spices. Most of the mastic, (around 90%), is exported, mainly to the Arabic countries.
Chios, offers a lively nightlife, a unique natural beauty and numerous sights for all tastes. Fine beaches, both organized and isolated, with golden sand or colorful pebbles are embellishing the island’s coastline.
The co-existence of yesterday and today, makes the island of Chios the ideal destination for all visitors with numerous hotels, restaurants, shops and many more attractions.