ANAVATOS -The inaccessible village in Chios

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

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Flag of Greece  , North Aegean,
Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Anavatos is another interesting village 6 kms from Avgonima, that I am about to explore today…..Join me, and let's see what we should know about this deserted village out here before exploring it. I believe it is one of the most dramatic settings of any village in Greece.

The word "Anavatos" means inaccessible, or unreachable. It is perched precariously on a large granite rock off the edge of a cliff. The view from the car as we drive towards it is astonishing.

The village was built on a conical cliff with steep sides to the south and west, and with only a single access to the north.

The natural protection came in handy when the Turks besieged the island.  After the horrible slaughters of 1822 people living here abandoned their village.

Its overall shape of the settlement is quite well-preserved to give a unique picture of a ghost town surrounded by a wild and rough natural environment.

Nowadays, Anavatos is considered to be a National Monument for all the Chians and Greeks.


We park the car, and head towards the only restaurant here. I buy some water, and I am ready to go up the steep hill to the peak of the village. I need to hurry before it gets hotter. Yianni stays behind and joins the company of some Cypriots we found here.

I am the only person going up but I believe there are more people scattered about taking photos. I walk for more than 5 minutes and come across some tourists who have finished their tour and head towards the restaurant.

I walk and walk but there is nobody out here. 

The restoration projects have now stopped because of lack of money, so there is nobody to stop me from heading towards the peak.  I take so many pictures on the way up and every now and then I stop to have a look at the beautiful surroundings and the cliffs below.  It is as if I am taking pictures from an airoplane.

There were 400 houses inside the walls very narrow built made of gray stone with flat wooden roofs, very low doors, and tiny arched windows.

I am at the very top and I get some beautiful pictures of the huge Church –the Acropolis.  It is unbelievable.  There are still some frescos on the walls.

There are times that I am a bit scared being all alone up here, but the beauty of what I see makes me want to see more and more. I feel sad because the people working here

trying to restore the village have now left.  It is so unfair!

When I returned I met Yianni at the restaurant, but there I found the only woman living in this village whose name is Smaragda. She was busy playing a game of backgammon with a friend.

Smaragda told me that she is happy to be living here and she is not worried much since she can get to Chios town if anything happens. Probably she is right, but I imagined myself living in this village, and I find it really hard….especially during the long winter nights !!

There is also a small house with a very beautiful little garden overlooking the small church at the entrance of the village. I am told that belongs to Maria Sarri, one of Greece’s beloved artists. She most probably comes here in spring or summer.

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laorfamily on

I can't decide if living on a "ghost island" all by yourself will be really cool or really freaky.

Amber on

It actually is a ghost village that has a couple of people living there. Very beautiful and peaceful. There are villages near enough to socialize if that is your thing.

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