Hotels in Greece Villarenters Holidays Aegean-Islands Chios
The city is a bustling port and commercial center. In the center of town stands the Byzantine museum with a variety of historical artifacts from the island's past. Modern Chios has been built on the site of the ancient city from which there exist a few survived findings in particular the walls and the theater. The Castle is quite impressive.
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Chios island is approximately crescent or kidney shaped, 50 km long from north to south, 29 km at its widest, and covers an area of 842 km2 (325 sq. miles). The terrain is principally mountainous and arid, with a ridge of mountains running through the spine of the island. The largest of these, "Pelineon" (1297 metres or 4260 ft) and "Epos" (1188 metres or 3900 ft), are situated in the north of the island. The centre of the island is divided between east and west by a range of smaller peaks, known as "Provatas".
Midway up the east coast lies the main population centres, the main town of Chios and the regions of Vrontados and Kambos. Chios Town, with a population of 32,400, is built around the island's main harbour and medieval castle. The current castle, with a perimeter of 1400 m, was principally constructed during the time of Venetian and Ottoman rule; although remains have been found dating settlements there back to 2000 B.C. The town was substantially damaged by an earthquake in 1881 and only partially retains its original character.
North of Chios Town lies the large suburb of Vrontados (population 4,500), which lays claim as the birthplace of Homer. The suburb lies in the Omiroupoli municipality, and its connection to the poet is supported by an archaeological site known traditionally as "Teacher's Rock" (Δασκαλóπετρα).
Directly south of Chios Town lies the island's airport and the region of Kambos (Κάμπος, "plain"), a large fertile plain noted for its stone mansions and walled orchards. At the southern edge of the Kambos plain lies the town of Thymiana (Θυμιανά). Thymiana is noted as the sole source of a beige-burgundy two-tone sandstone used both in the local mansions and much of the town itself. Inland lie a number of villages rising up into the central mountains culminating with the village of Ayios Georgios Sykoussis perched at the peak dividing east from west. Along the coast lies Karfas (Καρφάς), a large sandy beach, which along with the nearby village of Ayia Ermioni (Άγια Ερμιόνη) is now the main tourist centre with a number of large and small hotels.
The south of the island is noted for the "Mastichochória" (Μαστιχοχώρια, literally: Mastic Villages), the six villages of Mesta (Μεστά), Pyrgi (Πυργί) und Olυmpi (Ολύμποι), Kalamoti (Καλαμωτń), Vessa (Βέσσα), and Elata (Ελάτα), which together have controlled the production of mastic gum in the area since the Roman period. The villages, built between the 14th and 16th centuries, have a carefully designed layout with fortified gates and narrow streets to protect against the frequent raids by marauding pirates. Between Chios Town and the Mastichoria lie a large number of historic villages including Armolia (Αρμόλια), Myrmighi (Μυρμήγκι), and Kalimassia (Καλλιμασιά). Along the east coast are the fishing villages of Kataraktis (Καταρράκτης) and to the south Nenita (Νένητα).
The south coast is sparsely populated with only two populated areas; the modern bay of Komi and the ancient village of "Emporio", inhabited since 1800 BC, and the site of the black volcanic beach of "Mavra Volia" believed to have been created by the explosion of Santorini island in 1600 BC.
The west coast, between the deep natural harbour of Limenas at the south and the town of Vrontados at the north, forms a crescent shaped series of almost uninhabited rocky bays. The nearest population centres being the two hillside villages of Lithi and Sidirounta, while further inland lie the villages of Elata, Vessa, Avgonyma and the deserted village of Anavatos. On the west coast there still stands a system of stone beacons that were built at regular intervals to signal the approach of ships and warning the islanders against invasions by pirates.
The north of the island contains two major villages: Volissos on the west coast, and Kardamyla on the east. Further to the north, are three villages where cherries are grown—Amades, Viki and Kambia. In June Kambia holds an annual Cherry Festival—"Yiortí ton Kerrasión". Kambia holds several festivals during the summer months. Also located in the northern region is the island's tallest mountain, Mount Pelineon, at 1,297 metres (4,255 ft).
Spartounda and Fyta are a few miles before Kambia. In the village of Fyta stands a watchtower dating back to the late 16th century, the time of the Genoese occupation.
The village of Kourounia lies 20 kilometres (12 mi) north of Volissos in the northwestern part of the island. Next to Kourounia is the village of Egrigoros.
Directly in the centre of the island, between the villages of Avgonyma to the west and Karyes to the east, lies the 11th century monastery of Nea Moni, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The monastery was lavishly built with funds gifted by the Byzantine Emperor Constantine IX, after three monks, living in caves nearby, had petitioned him while he was in exile on the island of Mytilene. The monastery had substantial estates attached, with a thriving community until the massacre of 1822. It was further damaged during the 1881 earthquake. In 1952, due to the shortage of monks, Nea Moni was converted to a convent. It is said that when the last nun living in Nea Moni dies, the convent will once again be transformed into a monastery.
Further south is the verdant region of Kambochoria. This is a collection of medieval villages (Halkios, Vavili, Vassileoniko, Ververato, Dafnonas, and Zifias) with a combined population of about 3,000 and an agricultural economy. In this region grows four varieties of wild tulips.
West of the Kambochoria on the central ridge of the island lies the 16th century village of Agios Geórgios Sikousis. The village is situated 400 m above sea level, strategically overlooks both sides of the island, and was previously fortified with both wall and tower.
The island's climate is warm and moderate, categorised as Temperate, Mediterranean(Csa), with modest variation due to the stabilising effect of the surrounding sea. Average temperatures normally range from a summer high of 27° to a winter low of 11° in January, although, temperatures of over 40°C or below freezing can sometimes be encountered.
Rainfall while usually plentiful, varies greatly both throughout the year and between years. Rain is rare during the summer months, but the winters are changeable and wet. Sunshine is plentiful, as is typical of the Eastern Mediterranean, with almost no cloud cover in the summer months. Average humidity varies from 75% in winter to 60% in summer.
The island normally experiences steady breezes (average 3–5 m/s) throughout the year, with winds direction predominantly northerly ("Etesian" Wind—locally called the "Meltemi") or south westerly (Sirocco).
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