5 Amazing Greek Islands Near Chios
Greek island hopping from Chios is easy! Here’s everything you need to know:
Chios is an island that takes time to explore. You will need about a week with a full schedule if you include sightseeing in your trips. However, it is an island connected to a few more of the Aegean, so you can hit two birds with one shot.
Every time I visit Chios I try to jump to at least one more of the Greek islands near Chios. The distances are not always short, but you have the option of booking a flight or a ferry to different destinations.
Other than having the option of visiting another… country (Turkey), you also have the opportunity to use Chios as your hub for another trip. At the end of the day, all Greek islands are unique and have their different reasons to be considered so beautiful.
So, despite how much we love Chios, at the same time we feel that if you have the time, then you’re lucky enough to visit more places…
From Chios, you can basically visit all of the islands of the Northern Aegean: Lesvos (Mytilini), Limnos, Samos, Psara, Oinousses and a lot more like Ikaria, Patmos, Rhodes or even Syros and Mykonos in the Cyclades! In some cases you will need to take a short flight or a time-consuming ferry. Therefore, despite each of these Greek islands deserve a visit, I will try to give you a shortlist with the best options.
Timetables for ferries change every year, so times and schedules are updated too. Let’s Ferry provides you an updated time schedule for any journey. It currently lists 9 different destinations and 7 different islands from the Chios port.
However, there are a couple more you can visit by a local taxi boat or smaller ferries and are not listed there. Feeling like you will miss out? Don’t worry, that’s why we are here.
So, curating the long list of all transport connected destinations by air or sea, I present you the 5 amazing Greek Islands you can visit from Chios with just a few hours ferry:
Why You Should Visit Lesvos (Mytilene)
Lesvos is called the Lady of the Aegean. Well, in that case Chios is a queen (there is a Greek saying “if you don’t praise your home it will fall on top of you”, if that makes sense…). It is the second biggest island of the Northeastern Aegean (after Chios, see?) and is famous for the ouzo, that magnificent drink that the Greeks produce.
Lesvos has been heard in the past years for the wrong reasons. It was one of the quickest paths for refugees and immigrants passing from Turkey to Greece. But I can confirm, knowing Chios has been facing the same problem (but in a lower scale) that Lesvos is safe for travellers. You might read otherwise in different sources but the ‘unexpected’ visitors who arrive by boat on a daily basis are held all together in specific areas and then forwarded to the mainland to leave to Europe.
Hey, I was not planning to make this part of the blog political, no matter how much it touches me. But having seen these people in Chios and Lesvos in 2015 and 2016, I say it and believe it: You will have a great stay in any of these places.
So, if you’re planning to go to another island from Chios then consider Lesvos as your short break. It is so much different than Psara or Inousses by all aspects.
In Lesvos you can see the home of Odysseas Elytis among others.
Are you up for an experience? Then explore the 150 sq. km of petrified trunks in Sigri. Don’t miss out on the picturesque village of Molyvos with the imposing castle.
Beaches? Plenty… Pick one or two from Tarti, Vatera and Skala beach (its Eresos part is good for nudists too).
Lesvos is one of those Greek islands with so much diversity that you can pick the type of holiday you like.
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Lesvos is well organised with hotels and B&Bs and we’d definitely recommend at least 2 days stay because there is so much to see and explore.
How to get from Chios to Lesvos
Lesvos’ capital town, Mytilene, is about 2 hours away by ferry from Chios.
There are 2-3 boats daily doing the trip from Chios to Lesvos. Blue Star Ferry and Hellenic Seaways both continue their route from Chios to Lesvos with the boats coming from Piraeus. The same ferry boats return to Chios so the connection is very frequent and you can pick the time you prefer to travel.
If you want to check all the timetables or even book your ferry ticket to Lesvos (which you have to pick up at the port anyways – that’s the Greek law) you can visit the Let’s Ferry website.
Best Hotels in Lesvos:
Lesvos is a pretty big island with plenty of available options for your accommodation.
These are the Best Hotels, Villas and Apartments in Lesvos:
Tip: in case you are island-hopping then you need to stay more than 1 night in Lesvos because the island is quite big. You will also need to rent a car or a scooter to move around easily without wasting time waiting for the public bus. Unless you fancy taxis that you will easily find but obviously will be more expensive. Most of the distances are not short and you will realise it when you hit the road.
2. Inousses (or Oinousses)
Why You Should Visit Inousses
Inousses (or Oinousses, I won’t say it again…) could prove a love at first sight. It is another Geek island with unique beauty.
As soon as your ferry gets close to the island, you are being welcomed by a bronze mermaid wearing a crown on the head and holding a sailboat in her hand. This is a trademark of the characteristics of Inousses, an island with huge naval tradition. Some of the most famous shipowners in the world originally come from Inousses, mainly due to its strategic location.
Inousses is a complex of small islands of the Aegean. The biggest one of all keeps the name Inousses. ‘Oinos’ in Greek means wine and the island took its name from the excellent wine produced there.
There are a lot of beaches to choose from. The ones I like most and worth exploring are Apiganos (my favourite), Bilali, Fokia, Pelekis, Katsika, Kastro, Fasoli, Marmaro and Aliki. Foyrkero and Aliki are on my list this summer. There are some breathtaking views on the west side of the island and the hospitality is like the one in Chios since there is a strong connection between the… two islands (Inousses belong to the Municipality of Chios).
How to get from Chios to Inousses
Inousses is connected to the port of Chios by the mainstream ferries but only a couple of days in the week. It is about half hour away from Chios by ferry.
Travel agencies at Chios main Port can give you the up to date information and book your tickets for the the available ferries while you are there. Just pop in at a travel agency in Chios port (you’ll be spoilt for choice), ask for the timetables for the ferry to Inousses and book your trip on the dot.
However, there is an even faster way to visit Oinousses: From the village of Lagada, northern of the island (20 minutes drive from the port and main town), there are small boats, called sea taxis, leaving and coming back every so often (it depends how fast they get full). They will take you to Inousses and book your return with that ticket you’ll pay. Life jackets are provided in case you are having strange thoughts already. The trip is only 15-20 minutes and I suggest this as an experience. Check out this semi private sail cruise from Chios to Inousses.
Also, if you are a larger group and willing to spend a bit more, there is also a Private Sail with a Cruise Yaght.
Where to Stay in Inousses:
There are some excellent additions to Folegandros’ Hotels scene lately that make it an extremely attractive destination.
These are the Best Vacation Homes and Apartments in Inousses:
Why You Should Visit Lemnos
Lemnos is an unspoiled island in the north side of the Aegean. It is not as close as Lesvos or Samos (from the big neighbours), but has it own beauty and can offer you unforgettable experiences.
You will find the place called Limnos too, but what is not doubted is that this land is unspoiled. So, if you have a few extra days to enrich your itinerary and your holidays in Greece, then consider this.
Lemnos has some amazing beaches to choose from and many things to do during your stay. is famous for its Like most of the Aegean islands, it is unique, has some beautifully built villages. Add the great local wine and food to get a winner.
The variety of wine grown here is considered rare. There are only a few places in the world where the Muscat of Alexandria thrives. So, if you are a wine lover, don’t miss out on visiting one of the wineries in Lemnos. The Union of Agricultural Cooperation of Limnos is just one of the few great wineries you can visit. Not far away is Isalos where you can have a Wine Tour or Wine Tasting Experience featuring some local cheeses. Check all the wineries of Lemnos on Google Maps.
The capital of the island, Myrina, but also the other beautiful villages of Lemnos are packed with small tavernas. I love Menelaos tavern by the sea (at Diapori), Mantella for its generosity in the portions (at Sardes) and Sto Kastro while staying around Myrina.
Visit the Archaeological Site of Ancient Poliochni, settled in the 3rd millennium B.C.
Explore the exceptional ecosystem of Chortarolimni – Aliki – Asprolimni where more than 4000 species of birds including some not so popular.
For your beach life I would suggest Thanks Beach, Small Fanaraki and Big Fanaraki or Karvounolaka for singles or couples, Havouli for families and Plati Beach if you don’t mind tourists (I guess you are one too, right?).
How to Get from Chios to Lemnos
You can either take a direct flight (more expensive) from Chios to Lemnos or one of the ferries (usually 3 times a week).
SkyExpress is the airline that connects Chios and Lemnos (they use ‘Limnos’ instead of Lemnos as the destination) as well as more islands of the Aegean and the Ionian. The prices cost about 56 euros one way unless you book last minute (but in most cases it stays the same). Notice that there are no flights every day. Lemnos is good to visit from Chios only if you have enough time in your holiday and I explain why later.
The flight from Chios to Lemnos is a one-stop flight (in Mytilene, Lesvos island) and this is why it takes approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes from take off to landing.
As for the ferry, it is quite a long journey (8 hours and yes, it still stops in Mytilene for an hour) and this made me doubt a couple of times if I should include Lemnos in this list. But you know what? They are part of the same complex and there is a flight, so why not…
The ferry from Chios to Lemnos takes approximately 8 hours and costs 24 euros for an adult ticket.
You can just visit any travel agency at Chios Port in Chios, anytime you are in Chios and they will be able to give you the latest timetable (it changes every few months) and the exact itinerary from Chios to Lemnos (Chios – Lesvos – Lemnos 99% of the times).
Alternatively you can also check the times yourself at Let’s Ferry and book your tickets with the comfort of your home.
Best Hotels in Lemnos:
Lemnos is unspoiled but not in the aspect of accommodation. There are some really beautiful hotels and apartments you can rent for your stay in Lemnos.
These are the Best Hotels, Villas and Apartments in Lemnos:
Tip: The flights from Chios to Lemnos return immediately after landing, so it is not an island hopping ideal for a day trip. If you have the time though, the flight schedule gives you the opportunity to stay 2 or 3 nights in Lemnos.
Why You Should Visit Samos
Samos is one of the greenest islands in the Aegean Sea. It is famous for its vegetation and natural beauty, combined with beautiful beaches, plenty of history and great local wine.
Traditional villages are perfectly nested in the mountains, so whichever you pick to see during your stay will be a special experience. The cosmopolitan harbour of Pythagoras is not just for… mathematicians, but also for people who know how to add up holiday and relaxation to make them forget about anything that bothered them back home.
Not just the port of Samos but the whole island is packed with small tavernas next to the shoreline, making the taste of fish even better.
Visit the architectural miracle of the 6th century, the ‘Tunnel of Eupalinos’, at Pythagoreion.
As for you swim, you can choose from remote to completely organized beaches. I love Votsalakia bech, Xrysi Ammos (Golden Sand) at Marathokampos, Pythagoreio Beach (I know, he’s everywhere, right?), Mikri & Megali Lakka, Psili Ammos (ideal with kids) and Tsamadou.
If you are a wine lover, don’t miss out on visiting one of the wineries in Samos. The United Winemaking Agricultural Cooperative of Samos will do the job, no matter how complex it sounds… Check the wineries of Samos on Google Maps.
How to Get from Chios to Samos
You can either take a direct flight (more expensive) from Chios to Samos or one of the ferries (not daily).
SkyExpress is the airlines that does this domestic flights between islands of the Aegean and the Ionian. The prices cost about 49 to 67 euros each way unless you book last minute. Notice that there are no flights every day, but roughly it will be a perfect option if you want to spend two nights in Samos. So, you leave Chios in the afternoon and return in the morning after about 40 hours.
The flight from Chios to Samos takes approximately 30 minutes from take off to landing.
As for the ferry, you have two options as of your destination. To go to Karlovasi or Vathy. When the boat goes to Karlovasi
The ferry from Chios to Samos (Karlovasi) takes slightly more than 4 hours and costed 17.50 for an adult ticket just two minutes ago.
The ferry from Chios to Samos (Vathy) takes only 2.30 hours and costs 14 euros for an adult ticket.
You can just visit any travel agency at Chios Port in Chios, anytime you are in Chios and they will be able to give you the latest timetable (it changes every few months) and the exact itinerary from Chios to Samos in case you don;t want to make an in between stop.
Alternatively you can also check the times yourself at Let’s Ferry and book your tickets with the comfort of your home.
Best Hotels in Samos:
Samos has a variety of accommodation and you will probably find what you want for your short break.
Here is my shortlist after admitting that I have visited two of the seven listed here. But, thanks to Kostas, my local friend in Samos, I am sure this is your best options.
Tip: Maybe try to avoid a day-trip to Samos…I recommend 2 nights stay if you come from Chios, especially if you prefer a flight to save time on your holiday. Maybe people of SkyExpress felt the same when they fixed their schedules for the connection Chios – Samos.
Why You Should Visit Psara
Psara is a small, calm and sophisticated destination.
It is a place with rich cultural and historical heritage with a beautiful scenery, pristine beaches and crystal clear waters. Look at the map how close to Chios it is.
It is an island with a low number of residents as well as tourists that is trying to keep its unique character. The main town of Psara, Chora, has a few taverns and cafes. People from Chios tend to visit Psara just for the lobster pasta (the cheapest I’ve ever had in Greece but delicious in taste), have a few hours of relaxation and then go back.
However, it has a lot of history for those who like sightseeing and gives such a relaxing feeling offering an alternative vacation for the visitors seeking tranquillity.
If you need a historical push to get you there, learn that defenders of the island self-sacrificed themselves by being blown up so that not to fall in the hands of the Turkish conquerors.
In Psara there are numerous beaches, both with colourful pebbles and really beautiful white sand. You need a boat to visit some of them, but there are plenty of choices.
Don’t expect luxurious hotels and many accommodation options. In my opinion it is not really needed since it would destroy the scenery. Psara is so unique and no matter if you visit it for a day or more it means you that need to relax; and you will.
Remember to buy thyme honey before your departure. You’ll thank me later!
How to get from Chios to Psara
First things first: There is no airport in the small island of Psara. The connection from Chios to Psara is not that frequent by ferry either. Blue Star Ferries and Hellenic Seaways go once a week as it shows on Let’s Ferry. This is from the port of Chios and it takes 2.5 hours.
However, there is a daily connection from Chios to Psara with a smaller ferry boat. Information changes depending on the season, but the most reliable website I found is Psara Link.
But any travel agency at Chios Town will be able to provide the ferry schedules and book your tickets.
Where to Stay in Psara:
As mentioned earlier, your options are limited in Psara.
There is 1 (yes, one!) house currently listed on Airbnb. This one.
A decent stay could also be Kato Gyalos, Kavos, Xenonas Psaron, Restalia.
Tip: In case you are just island-hopping, one night in Psara could prove enough to do some sightseeing and enjoy a nice beach and perfect food. If you are considering staying in Psara more days then you should be prepared for a really quiet place. But if you manage to get a boat from Volissos, then it makes the journey quick and the stay more worthy since you can spend 5-6 hours on Psara. So, you can swim and eat with no rush. Oh… that lobster pasta!
So… are you ready for your Greek island hopping this year?
Recommended Websites for Hotels, Ferries, Flights and Car Rentals for Chios:
- Booking.com is the website with the most available rooms and Private Villas in Greece (more than Airbnb)
- Let's Ferry is the best website to check the timetables and BOOK YOUR FERRY TICKETS to and from Chios & all Greek islands
- Expedia has all the available flights from Athens, Thessaloniki or other European cities to Chios as well as connecting flights from anywhere in the world (Chios Airport Code: JHK)
Highest Rated Hotels in Chios:
Best City Hotel in Chios Town: Chandris Chios
Best Hotel in Kampos: Argentikon Luxury Suites
Best Hotel in Karfas: Erytha Resort
Best Hotel in Kardamyla: Ai Yannis Suites
Best Stay in Mesta: Mesta Mastic
Best Hotel in Vrontados: Pearl Bay Hotel
Best Stay in Volissos: Yasemi of Chios
Best Hotel in Avgonyma: Avgonima All Seasons Hotel
Highest Rated Villas in Chios:
Best Villa in Chios: Mastiha Villas
Best Villa in Evreti: The Mastic Cottage
Best Villa in Karfas: Villa Corali
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