Chios, Greece’s best kept secret island
One thing you can’t deny about Greece, it has some of the worlds most amazing islands, if you add to that the climate, the fantastic Greek food, the hospitality of local people and amazing views wherever you go, these islands are made for unforgettable vacations. Most people know the famous islands like Santorini, Crete and Mykonos. But if you are looking for a fresh, unspoiled and crowd free Greek island, visit Chios.
Few years ago we visited friends who owned a summer home there. We spent and amazing long weekend in Chios driving around exploring the island, tasting olive oil, eating fresh seafood in the local tavernas and soaking up sun and the amazing views.
This island is a popular destination for locals, so your vacation definitely will be more authentic than on any of the more touristic islands. Lush areas with citrus trees, small fishing villages, secret swimming spots, old fortresses, churches from Byzantine times and gorgeous beaches with white sand or black volcanic pebbles. But the best part, Chios has the most welcoming local people. Life is definitely slow here, but they are taking time to enjoy their beautiful country.
Chios is the fifth largest of the Greek islands, situated in the Aegean Sea, 7 kilometers (4.3 mi) off the Turkish coast. The geographic location brought the island both great success and tragedy. Chios is the only place on earth where mastic is commercially produced, back in a day when Ottomans were ruling here, mastic brought wealth and special privileges to locals since it was sultans favorite gum. However, during the 1822 War of Independence thousands of Chians were slaughtered and even more forced into slavery.
One of Chios’ most famous beaches is the picturesque Mavra Volia. Perfect combination of black pebbles, pristine deep blue waters and wild cliffs makes this a beautiful swimming spot and one of the best places to enjoy sunset or sunrise.
If you are looking for a more remote swimming spot, head to Vroulidia, it was one of our favorite spots, yellow rocks, white pebbles and gorgeous blue waters.
Another gorgeous spot is Lithi beach on the west side of the island. Enjoy the sun and as well some great seafood.
Amazing Greek food
One of the best things about Greek islands? Of course it’s the food. Most tiny tavernas cook only what fishermen bring in that day. Often you can see a line of octopus hanging outside of a taverna, drying out in the hot Greek sun. This is done to draw out moisture from the octopus, especially important if grilling octopus.
How to get there
There are two ways to get to Chios, one by air and one by boat. You will have to fly to Athens first and then take a local 45 min flight to Chios or it’s a 6-9 h boat ride.
Where to stay
We stayed in this beautiful farmhouse with awesome breakfast just 6 km south of Chios. The prices are right and the hosts extremely welcoming. http://www.astrakia.gr
When people try to describe Chios, they use words like “amazing”, “magical” and “mesmerizing”. If you are looking for an authentic travel experience and breathtaking yet still unknown Greek island, this place is for you. Get to know the locals better and create some amazing memories.