Chios Island, Hotels in Chios, Tours in Chios, Tickets to Chios, Transfers to Chios, Nightlife in Chios, Fun in Chios

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Chios Island
Earliest inhabitant and first King according to tradition, was Inopion, the son of Dionissos or Thisseus and Ariadne, who came from Crete and taught the locals how to grow vines. The name of Chios comes from Chiona, who was the daughter of Inopion. According to Ion, however, the name comes from Hios, the son of Neptune, at the birth of whom, too much snow (hioni) fell on the island. According to a third option by the historian Isidoros, the name Chios comes from the Phoenicians and, in Syrian language, it means "mastic". The island was at times mentioned by other names as well, which were lost in time, such as Pitioussa (because of its pines), Makris because of its shape (Makri = long), Aethalea (because of its volcano) and Ofioussa (because of the many snakes = ofis, on it). The archaeological findings (at Ag. Galas and Emporios) prove that the island has been inhabited since 6.000 B.C . About the city of Chios there is some evidence earlier than the first Ionian colonization when the Ionians from the mainland inhabited Chios around 1000 B.C. and developed it into one of the greatest cities of the ancient times. Chios was one of the 12 city states on the mainland of Asia Minor and some near located islands constituing the Ionian Confederacy, also known as Panionian Dodecapolis. Not only did Chians make a profit by transporting goods from one place to another, but also by trading on their own agricultural and industrial production. The unique mastic was not the only source of wealth. In the seventh century BC Malas establishes the famous Chios School of Sculpture and a number of great sculptores Mikkiades, Bupalos, Archermos, Athenis, Maalas and Glavkos were graduates of the school. In the 6th century BC Chios was a large city, the population of which is estimated at 60.000 -80.000 people not counting the slaves. When Chios became a member of the Athenean Allience, it was free and self -governed. Until the Peloponesian War, there was a five -year period of peace and growth. The destroyed city was rebuilt and the inhabitants progressed in navy, commerce, accumulated on the island, which resulted in extreme luxury. Athineos mentions that the Chians were famous for their ingenuity in cookery and the Chian cooks were dearly south after. Thoukidides characterizes the Chians as the "richest among Greeks" and praises the state of their city. The Peloponesian war followed, during which the Chians fought at first together with Athenians. After their defeat in Sicilia, however, they defected and declared their support of Sparti. Spartians imposed "dekarhia" (ten tyrants) and a general ruler, so Chios knew again the vices of tyranny and violence. They lost all their ships, which were now the Spartians. The Chians regretted their defecting from the Athenians, very bitterly. In the Hellenistic Era the famous historian from Chios, Theopompos, joins Alexander the Great on his pursuit and records all the valuable facts for posterity. In Roman Times Chios again suffered as its wealth and accesibility was too great a temptation, althought certain Roman Emperors, especially Tiberius, helped the islanders, shortly before the birth of Christ, when it suffered an earthquake. During the byzantine period chios regained its comercial power, thanks to its shipping fleet. The byzantines did their best to defend Chios against the invaders from the East and West, but finally lost it to Venetians and later to Genoese who held the island firmly until 1566. the famous explorer, Christopher Columbus, came to Chios and stayed for two years. Since 1566 the new occupants, the Turks, replaced the Genoans. The Turkish occupation lasted 350 years (1566 -1912). In 1821, Greece began their revolution against the Ottoman Empire. After 400 years of slavery in their mother land, the Greeks took strength and fought for their independence. At this time Chios did not take any part. They were a peaceful people that had devoted their lives to the cultivation of MASTIC. This product was mostly sold to the Sultan and because of this the people were given more privileges than the rest of Greece and slavery was less difficult. Regardless of these privileges, the people of Chios stood proud and rebelled against the Ottoman empire. In March of 1822, Likourgos Logothetis, of Samos, led his army of 2,500 men and conquered Turkeys garrison. When the Sultan heard word of this he ordered his leading commander Kara-Ali and his fleet, to invade Chios and punish the people of Chios. Kara-Ali disembarked 7,000 soldiers and slaughtered many of the people of the island. Not only did the people of Chios suffer from the barbarian army of Kara-Ali but also beard brutal punishment from the Ottoman army that hit from Asia Minor. In a short period of time catastrophe had hit the beautiful Agean island and the residents had either been slaughtered, but had been taken prisoners and later sold as slaves. The population of 100,000 Greeks, only 40,000 were able to flee to neighboring islands or mountains. The people that fled to the mountains soon after were forced to leave the island as well. By the end of August the population of Chios was down to 3,000 people. The news of the barbarian slaughter reached the rest of Greece very quickly and to neighboring European countries. Only then did the nations around the world understand the importance and the justification of Greece's independance from the Ottoman empire. Since the Greeks were not able to stop the destruction of the island of Chios by Kara-Ali, they decided to seek revenge against him. To lead the revengeful mission was brave Constandinos Kanaris, naval commander, from the island of Psara. The enemy fleet, even after having destroyed the island of Chios, was still anchored in the islands port. Celebrations for the Muslim holidays had coincided with the destruction of Chios. The Ottoman commander and sailors had stayed on their vessel to begin the holiday celebrations. More over the disastrous earthquake in March 1881 turns everything into debris. On June 4th, 1882, Kanari along with another naval commander and his ship, Pipino, left from the island of Psara with their fire ships. Karani surrounded Kara-Ali's fleet and Pipino surrounded the lower fleet. After setting anchor and lighting fire to their ships, they deserted their ships and sailed to shore safely in small emergency boats. The enemy ships noticed Pipino's fleet and were there on time to extinguish it. Although, Kanaris' fleet was in blazes and soon enough the enemy ships had caught fire and began to explode as fireworks in the sky. This victory took 1600 lives. This encouraging victory gave strength to the Greeks for their independance and from here on all battles were fought with zeal and conviction for their freedom. By the time of Balkan battles in 11 of November 1912 Chios is finally free and connected with the rest of Greek cities. Chios was again under a foreign occupation in 4 of May 1941 when it was seized by the Germans. The German occupation was ended in 10 of September 1944 and during this period Chian people were heroically resisted.
Chios Island
Chios - What to Visit?
Made from volcanic ground, the island of Chios emerges in the northern waters of the Aegean Sea. While the northern part is mainly covered with mountains and barren lands, the southern part is colored by fruits, almonds, olives, vines and uncountable mastic trees. These are the most characteristic trees of the island, a bush from whose fruits the Chian exclusively produce worldwide know products such as the mastic gum and a unique liquor that is served as an appetizer. The main city, also called Chios, is built in a narrow plain with low hills opposite to the Minor Asian coast, in the same place where the ancient city was found. Today, it is a commercially active and lively city, with buildings of recent construction of more than one floor. However, the old flavor can still be noticed since big parts of the Genoese fortress with houses of the Ottoman period are conserved in good conditions, although this Byzantine fortress of the 10th century A.D. had to be repaired by various following conquerors. The main entrance and the western wall show Occidental signs and blazons, while some parts of the 60 meters width ditch surrounding the fortress are also preserved. It was built in the Byzantine period and constituted the the administrative centre of the island. It enjoyed a great development during the Genovese governance. It was an example of a Renaissance-type city. Its walls resisted numerous attacks from Genovese, Venetians and Turks. You will also find the "Justiniani" Museum for Exhibitions and other appreciable Byzantine monuments, as for example, the Saint George Church. Outside the fortress, in the central square of Vounaki, a mosque houses the Byzantine Museum. This central square "Vounaki" has an admirable garden with the ruins of a church dating from the first Christian years and with various statues of well-known Chioansm, especially Constantine Canaris, a great fighter of the Greek Revolution in 1821. You will also find an outside cafe and a summer-cinema. The Homerion Cultural Centre organises painting and sculpture exhibitions, theatre representations, concerts, interesting speeches and conferences. For your walks in the commercial part of the town, you can use the central street and walking area of "Aplotaria", as a point of orientation. "Aplotaria" comes from the verb "aplono", meaning to spread out, because the salesman laid out their products in front of their shops. On your right and on your left, you will find little paths with hundreds of shops and a great variety of products. At the end of the "Aplotaria" street, the Chian Maritime Museum is hosted in a neoclassical building, where you discover Chios' great maritime tradition, known throughout the world by its Ship-owners which control an important part of the world commercial shipping. If you continue walking on the F. Argenti Street, you will find the Chios Cathedral and on its opposite, the historical High School. Further down is the library "Adamantios Korais" (famous University Professor in Paris), one of the biggest and most imporant in whole Greece, which was considered until the destruction of Chios in 1822 as one of the main librairies of the Eastern Worl. Among its book-collections you will see, in addition to some rare editions donated by late Korais, other significant collections. It contains approximately 130.000 works. An important step to come to a full understanding if Chios' history, is the visit of the Archaeological Museum of Chios, next to the Aegean University. Significant discoveries of the pre-historical, ancient and classical periods from excavations in various sites of the island are presented in the museum. Once visited the town of Chios, it is worth to make an excursion to other villages such as Karyes. Ten kilometers from there stands Nea Moni, a monastery of the 11th century with spectacularly beautiful mosaics, ones of the best in Greece together with those in Dafnonas and Osiou Loukas. On the other hand, on the southern part of the island you will find some medieval villages that you should not miss either, such as Mesta, Olympi and Pirgi, in the center of Mastichora. The most characteristic feature of these villages is that their houses are built one attached to the other in a way that their walls make up the village’s wall. Furthermore, the houses in Pirgi are engraved with interesting gray and white decorative drawings. In the center of the village, many small streets come out onto a picturesque square where it stands the church of Aghioi Apostoli, decorated with beautiful murals. Outside the village, in the southern coast of the island, in Kato Fana, lay the ruins of holy Apollo. In Emborios, partly hidden under the sea, there are some remains of what it used to be an ancient important commercial center of the Bronze Age. The village has also a beach of black pebbles perfect for swimming. The road heading North passes from Vrontados, a municipality with rich villas Towards the end of the settlement there stands the enormous historical rock of Daskalopetra, from where Homer used to teach. Some taverns next to the sea will invite you to taste the local mezedes and the typical drink ouzo. Near this site are the beaches Ormos Lo and Daskalopetra. The Vrontados area is well-known through a custom happening every year on Eastern, after the Announcement of the Resurrection of the Christ. The so-called "Rouketopolemos" (fight of fireworks), offers a fantastic spectacle every year and gets known in the world through tv-news. A complete highway system connects the city of Chios with the 64 villages (belonging to 8 communes) and the fabulous beaches of the island.
Chios Island
Monuments & Museums
Chios has a turbulent history and many sights and remembers still remain from this times. Plenty of monasteries were built and worked out with incredible mosaic's and it is worthy to visit all of them. Museums tell us the ancient happenings of many rulers and artists of our Island. Homer the famous ancient poet used to read and teach his poems from "Homers Stone" in the pictured beach of Daskalopetra. Take your time, look around the Island and review the history of thousands of years of human culture.
Chios Island
Monasteries and Churches
In Chios island there are many historical monasteries and churches you can visit to live an unforgettable experience. There are monasteries that adorn deserted areas and picturesque mountainsides, timeless monuments situated on rocks near the sea or on a plain surrounded with pine trees built to any of the 22 local saints that stained the earth of the island with their blood. In such places you will have time to spend it, either on your own or with your friends, in an environment of full calmness, internal thinking and review.

North Monasteries & Churches

Central Monasteries & Churches

South Monasteries & Churches

Chios Island
Chios island offers a huge variety of unique beaches so that everyone can enjoy the magic of the Aegean Sea in her or his own way: crowded or isolated beaches, with sand or pebbles... and, of course, with an unbelievable crystal water bathing every single shore. The most cosmopolitan beaches are the closest ones to the main town of Chios.This Island also has a more beaches that are not as well-known or popular but are nonetheless beautiful. On most of these beaches you will find small taverns and snack-bars that will make your visit pleasurable.
Chios Island
In the north side of Chios are beautiful villages located next to the sea, like Lagada en Kardamyla with many taverns where you can eat fresh fish and other local specialties. Moreover, if you are interested in monasteries and historical places, then you can visit the monastery of Agia Markella and the one of Moundon, which is situated in a small village called Dievcha, on the way to Volissos. The central part of Chios is the biggest in size on the island. Here you can visit Vrontados, the birthplace of thousands of sailors, full of orchards and olive groves. On the seaside road stands Daskalopetra, with the famous stone from where Homer used to teach. Continuing your route you can visit the picturesque castle - village of Anavatos, which is built high up on a rock, together with many other places with a special beauty and culture. On the south side of the island there are many beautiful villages to visit, each of them with a great history and a unique natural beauty. Kambos is a place full of gardens, orchards and old traditional stone houses. Continuing our rout we reach the area named, "Mastichochoria". Here are the villages situated where the famous mastic trees are cultivated. From these trees the famous Chian mastic s produced , full of freshness and aroma. Have a pleasant tour!

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