One of the largest Greek islands in the Aegean Sea, Chios boasts distinct architectural villages, olive and citrus groves and legendary aromatic mastic trees. Chios invites visitors to explore World Heritage-listed sites, enthralling museums, mysterious caves and exotic local cuisine.
Things to do in Chios
Museums in Chios offer fascinating glimpses into the island’s culture, the most unique being the Chios Mastic Museum. It tells the story of the island’s trademark evergreen mastic trees producing a rare resin cultivated since ancient times. You can stroll the garden area, chew on pure mastic and purchase mastic lotions, soaps and souvenirs.
Other notable museums in the area include the Archaeological Museum, which features prehistoric artifacts and Neolithic coins, pottery and sculptures. The Argenti Museum and Korais Library displays a 19th-century birthing chair, shepherds' tools and 15th-century medicinal texts.
For an intriguing peek at a 11th-century Byzantine monastery and collection of monk skulls from the 1800s, visit the World Heritage-listed Nea Moni Monastery. Feel like going on an outdoor adventure? Duck inside the Cave of Sykia Olymbi, a dazzling 150-million-year-old cavern sparkling with brilliantly hued stalactites.
Food is a central part of life in Chios, where small “ouzeries” dot the villages offering small plates of fresh fish and grilled meats, while beach cafes serve spicy mussels with beer and ginger. Traditional eateries populate northern Chios, with Taverna Fabrika in Volissos sharing homemade custard and hearty barrel wines in a century-old olive mill.
Getting around Chios
Visitors arrive on Chios by air or ferry from main Greek cities or coastal resorts in nearby Turkey. Buses along the water-front connect main villages, beaches and historic sites, while taxis operate within Chios Town and across the island.