Facts About Chios

Chios is the 5th largest island in Greece, 10th largest in the Mediterranean, 3rd in sunshine and 1st in clear sky days, as researched by the Planetarium, the Observatory in Athens.

In Chios island you can find:

  • 91 beaches
  • 64 villages

Booking.com is the website with the most available rooms and Private Villas in Chios (more than Airbnb!)

Ferryhopper is the best website to book your ferry tickets or check the timetables for Chios

Get Your Guide has the best and largest variety of Tours in Chios and the greek islands

Rentalcars is the easiest way to rent a car or a quad for Chios with thousands of available options

Expedia has all the available flights to and from Chios

More interesting facts about Chios:

  • 91 of Europe’s 108 types of orchids grow in Chios.
  • The famous rocket war of Chios in Easter. An ‘explosive’ experience on the evening of the Resurrection (Megalo Savato, Easter Eve). The parishes of Agios Markos and Panagia Erythiani in Vrontados celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus like nowhere else.
  • The tulips (or ‘lalades’ as per the locals) in southern Chios embellish the fields of the island every spring.
  • Christopher Columbus passed through Chios and recruited Chios sailors and chartographers (map experts) for his explorations. According to others, he has origins from the island. Many families in Pyrgi carry his surname.
  • Three great, and in other ways subversive, personalities from the world of letters were born in Chios: Korais, Psicharis, Souris.
  • Other great artists and scientists: Emmanuel Roidis, Fotis Aggoulis, Nikos Gialouris (painter), Stamatis Krimizis (physicist), Dimos Avdeliotis (director), Matthaios Moundes.
  • The only Greek island that is so close to the 3rd largest city of Turkey, Izmir (Smirni in Greek). At the same time it is only 7km away from Ancient Ionia.
  • The wine of North Chios was called by the ancients “nectar of the Gods” (Ariousios Wine).
  • 250 mansions built with the Thymiana stone are preserved in Kambos of Chios, an area 10km long and 3km wide.
  • Most of the shipowning families of Greece come from Chios (Livanos, Chandris, Lo, Lemos, Andreadis, Aggelikousis, Patsos, Pateras, Fafalios, Tsakos, Fragos, Xylas and many others).
  • The countryside of Chios reminds that of Tuscany in Italy.
  • The first form of democracy even before that of Solon in Athens.
  • Great diversity and richness in the local costumes of each village, even neighbouring ones.
  • Mastic. The unique ingridient that you can find in numerous products. Don’t forget to try the mastic liquor.
  • Population in Chios until the 18th century was 120,000 inhabitants.
  • Chios has a completely different architecture from north to south and the only part of the island that is architecturally similar to the Cyclades (all the buildings are white) is the seaside settlement of Agia Fotini or Agia Fotia.
  • Chios is surrounded by the sister islands of Oinousses and Psara, where Konstantinos Kanaris, hero of the 1821 revolution for the independence of Greece, came from.
  • Chios has special ties with Syros in the Cyclades since the capital of the Cycladic island, Ermoupoli, was built by wealthy Chians, men of letters and merchants who found a welcoming second home there after the massacre of 1822.
  • Another name of Chios was Pityousa probably because of the many pine trees that existed especially in its northern part. Another name was Arioussa from the tree “arion”, which is a combination of oak and prino. The aria (oaks) covered a large part of northwestern Chios.

Popular places and buildings in Chios

  • Nea Moni, along with the Monastery of Saint Loukas (Central Greece) and the Monastery of Dafni (Attica), are the only Byzantine monasteries that are preserved in good condition in Greece. The mosaics of Nea Moni Chios are one of the three leading creations of the visual arts in Greece during the Middle Ages. A celebration on the Assumption of Virgin Mary is held on August 23rd. In 1990, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Monument. The artists who worked here were Constantinopolitans, who came directly from Constantinople and brought with them their style, which was similar to the style that decorated the imperial palaces and which has now been lost.
  • There is a painted village (Pyrgi). A unique village in the whole of Greece.
  • The church Agioi Apostoloi (Holy Apostles) in Pyrgi is a perfect replica of Agia Irini in Constantinoupolis (Istanbul), Turkey.
  • The volcanic beaches of Emporios, (Mavra Volia) where the visitor has the opportunity to swim or simply enjoy 3 beaches full of black pebbles that were the result of a volcanic eruption in historical times.
  • Famous for its medieval castle villages, Mesta, Olympi, Pyrgi, etc. and for Anavatos with the breathtaking views, the “Mystras of the Aegean”.
  • The first Mint in Greece in ancient times was in Chios.
  • The Public Historical Central Library of Chios “Korais” is one of the most important in Greece (3rd biggest). In its collection there are about 250,000 books.

Famous people from Chios

  • The place where undoubtably Homer (Omiros) lived.
  • Mikis Theodorakis and Andreas Papandreou were born in Chios.
  • According to one version, Chios is the birthplace of the mathematicians Hippocrates and Oinopides.

Chios island went through huge disasters, earthquakes, genocides, but its people always fought and will always fight for freedom.

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