The City of Chios

Trip Start May 10, 2010
Trip End May 15, 2010

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Where I stayed
" IANTHE " Traditional Hotel in Vessa

Flag of Greece  , North Aegean,
Monday, May 10, 2010


I honestly was disappointed when we drove to the City of Chios, because it is a bustling port and commercial city. It is not obviously picturesque, however it is a city that offers several diversions to those who like to visit a foreign locale. The visitor should make a point of walking back from the busy harbour quay-road and explore some of the older streets. This port road is the place where most of the hotels, café shops, souvenir shops, travel agencies and restaurants are.

The City of Chios is built on a long coastal plain backed by mountains. The village of Karfas is to the south of the city and Vrontados in the north.

The remains of the medieval fortress on the northern edge of the town is impressive, however only a few remains of walls and the theatre are to be seen today.

To be honest we did not see much of the City.  Besides I am here to explore the beautiful villages of Chios, and I am planning to see many of these old villages of the southern part of the island in this first trip of mine.  The city of Chios at the moment  is not included in this trip. I hate places that are busy with so much traffic and very touristy.

The big central park at Voukianiou Square is an oasis in this city, and it is surrounded with cafes and small tables with people sitting under the shade of trees.  Here old men play cards, sometimes chess, or backgammon.  They are served either ouzo or suma which is a kind of alcoholic drink like tsipouro but it's made from figs. They accompany these drinks with mezedes.

A column commemorating the leaders of Chios who had been hunged by Turks  in 1822 is on the north side of the square.

An old Turkish Mosque with a tall minaret is at the east side of the square, and it houses the Byzantine Museum.

Most of the buildings in Chios-town were destroyed in the earthquake of 1881. They  were neo-classical or Smyrnian design, and unfortunately after the earthquake many of the houses were demolished to make way to modern apartment buildings. The locals had probably not realized the beauty of those older buildings until it was too late. Luckily those which were saved were restored and these projects are in evidence today.

Many young people can be found sitting at the café shops at the waterfront.  Most of them are enjoying a frappe coffee or mixed drinks in the evenings.  They sit there and enjoy some chat with friends. I noticed that some bars and restaurants had more customers than others, and there were quite a few with almost none. I believe the most trendiest place absorbs more people.  Of course this is something that I really don’t care because I am here to explore the island and not hang around for a coffee or a chat.

There are many soldiers on this island since Chios is a border island, and in fact my son was here for about 3 or 4 months when younger.  You can find them in the cafes or some bars.

Several shops specializing in masticha products can also be found on the waterfront of the city of Chios. The Mastihashop owned by the Cooperative of Mastiha Growers on

Chios has a wide variety of mastiha products. In other shops found in this area a visitor can find other traditional products from the island. The waterfront has also many of the fastfood joints which can be found anywhere in Greece. Something else that a visitor can find here is the foreign press shop with all kinds of magazines, and it is here that you can get your guidebooks or maps that will help you explore the island before moving on. Many foreign Newspapers can be found here as well. Papers like the Athens News, and the Herald Tribune, and many more.
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