Chios is the 5th biggest Greek Island and there are many things to see. Chios has many well protected ancient villages and very nice beaches. Locals suggest different tour options according to the duration of your stay. If you come to the island for 2-3 days, then it is better to discover just the southern part and the centre. However, if you have more than 3 days, then you can spend some time in the north.
MUST SEEN PLACES
Here are the list of must seen places in the south and center:
- Chios (The center of the island)
- Karfas (2nd touristic place with many hotels)
- Komi (Turquoise beach with some cafes)
- Mavra Volia ( Volcanic beach)
- Mastic Museum (Explains all of the unique process)
- Pyrgi (Ancient village with unique building decorations)
- Olympi and Cave of Olimpi (Village and the Cave which is about 5 km away)
- Mesta (Historical village with lovely port)
- Lithi (Nice fish restaurants on the beach)
- Elinda (Untouched small bay near Lithi)
- Anavatos (Ancient city with stone houses on top of a mountain)
- Avgonyma (Lovely village near Anavatos)
- Nea Moni (Unesco World Heritage Monastery)
REACHING THE ISLAND
There is an airport on the island but there are not so many international direct flights. Since Chios is so close to Turkey, we came to İzmir Çeşme and we reached the island with a ferry. We bought our ticket from Turyol and the ticket price is €25 per person. It takes half an hour to reach the island. The ferry departs from Çeşme at 9 am in the morning. You can buy your tickets from the internet or directly from the port. Just be sure that you are ready at the port 15 min before your departure to deal with the custom works. We also turned back to Çeşme with Turyol ferry from Chios at 6 pm.
Turyol ferry is big and comfortable with both open and closed areas, so you can either have a sunbath or have a rest inside. We also had the chance to meet with the captain who was very polite and smiling. You can watch highlights of our journey from Çeşme to Chios on the Agean Sea.
Most of the hotels are located in Chios centre and Karfas. It is also possible to stay at little places in the villages for a different experience but I suggest you plan your tour by taking Chios centre as a base. We stayed in Hotel Kyma and we were amazed by the view of our room. We stayed on the top floor and our room has a terrace with a magnificent Agean sea view. The location of the hotel is very central and you can walk to the port in 10 minutes. We became friends with the owners Güher & Theodore. Both of them are sociable hosts and also very helpful local guides. They speak Greek/ English/ Turkish so they easily communicate with the tourists. If you have any questions about the island or you need some suggestions for your tour plan, just ask them.
Since the best way to get knowledge about the island is chatting with the locals, we have spent some time with Güher to learn more about the island. In the video, you can find more info about attractions on the island, best season, souvenir options etc…
TRANSPORTATION IN THE ISLAND
There is a very limited public transportation on the island. If you have a few days and you want to see many attractions, the best way is to rent a car and make your own tour. It also gives you the freedom to spent as much time as you want in a bay or village. We get our car from the Chios Rent a Car . It is is an old, trustworthy family business. The day we arrived at Chios, brothers Yorgos and Michalis were waiting for us at the port. Therefore our car was ready as soon as we left the customs. There are no wide highways on the island. Instead, the roads are narrow, hilly and bend a lot. So it is common and better to use a small car and we hired a Fiat Panda for that reason.
If you are going to visit the island in the high season (July/August) be sure that you make car reservation some time before your trip because it may be hard to find a car in the island. In this way, you can also have an additional discount. Chios Rent a Car also has a place in Karfas in case you need.
We had a small chat with one of the owners and our new friend Yorgos. You can find some more details in the video.
The best place in Chios for tasting and buying jams is the Rena’s Jam Store “Korakis- Marinos” the without any discussion. Although Rena is very famous with her jams and most of the tourists stop by her shop, she still keeps her shop open during siesta. Therefore you don’t need to worry about time and you can go and visit her place anytime you want. The shop is open between 7 am- 10 pm.
This shop is opened in 1937 by Rena’s father and still managed by the family. There are many special types of jams like pistachio, lemon flower, rose, aubergine, fig etc… There are also liqueurs in the shop and I strongly recommend the coffee liqueur besides mastic. Just try whatever you like, taste different flavours and buy some before leaving the island. In the video, you can meet with Rena and note down her special suggestions 🙂
There are many shops selling mastic products all over the island but we especially liked the Manos’ shop in Pyrgi . You can buy gifts from there with a more suitable price than the centre of Chios Town. Furthermore, Manos is a very funny guy and you will have a nice time by chatting with him. He treated each of as to a mastic liqueur and some sugar. There are many types of products like coffee, sweets, self-care goods, glasses, trinkets etc… In the video, you can meet with Manos and see his shop in Pyrgi:)
To sum up, Chios is a very nice touristic destination with its amazing historical villages, untouched beaches, friendly people and unique mastic products. In this post, I tried to introduce you the life and facilities in the island via our local friends. I’m looking forward to meeting with them as soon as possible and if you go Chios, say hi to them for me. 🙂
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