The Chios Mastic Museum - Emporios - Komi
The unique history of mastic and the way that marked the history of the island through the centuries, is reflected in the modern Chios Mastic Museum located at 25 km distance from the town of Chios and before the village of Pyrgi.
Surrounded by mastic trees is a real architectural jewel in perfect harmony with the natural environment and its surroundings, the Chios Mastic Museum intends to highlight the productive history of the cultivation and processing of mastic.
The gum is secreted by lentisk mastic, which is drawn with great caution («embroidery»). After 15 days is gathered, passes various cleaning and screening stages and separated according to size. The possibilities of its use are many especially in confectionery, liquor and cosmetics.
By visiting the museum you will experience the traditional cultivation of mastic, the history and the culture through a multifaceted experience. You will see, touch and smell the mastic. You will understand the architecture, the history and the social organization of Mastihohoria, the cooperative exploitation and processing of the mastic and the ways in which today it travels around the world.
This is achieved through multimedia, documentary films, models and original machines in operation, but also through the outdoor exhibition, where the visitor comes into contact with the mastic tree and the natural environment in which it thrives.
March 1 - October 15: 10:00 to 18:00
October 16 - February 28: 10:00 to 17:00
Closed: Tuesdays, January 1st, M. Friday (until 24:00), Easter Sunday, May 1 July 22 (local holiday), 15 August, 25-26 December
General admission: € 3
Reduced ticket: € 1.5.
Then you can continue until Emporios village where there lies our hotel Emporios Bay.
The place is well known for its famous beach Mavra Volia with volcanic black pebbles and deep clear waters. Specifically there are three beaches in the series. The first is named Mavra Volia or black glass and the other two are named Foki. At the end of the first beach there is a canteen offering sandwiches, soft-ice cream and coffee. Then you will find a path that leads to the second and third beach with the name Foki.
In the port of Emporios you will find several traditional taverns. It is worth visiting the Prehistoric settlement of Emporios on the outskirts of the hill of Prophet Elias. The view from the temple of Athena on the highest point of the village will amaze you. It is open for visitors daily except Mondays from 8.30 to 15.00.
If you do not like much pebble beach but you are a sand lover, the beach next to the Komi region is a good choice. It is sandy and ideal for games and sunbathing. There free umbrellas, sunbeds, showers and a few traditional taverns and coffee shops.
Medieval villages – Mastic Villages
There are 9 villages in the southern Chios that they are built like castles. Their main purpose was to house the families of those cultivated the mastic trees and also protect the residents and the production of mastic from pirates. The Municipality of Mastichochora is based in Pyrgi and includes nine villages: Pyrgi, Mesta, Olympi, Elata, Lithi, Vessa Armolia, Kalamoti and Patrika. Whichever you will visit it will fascinate you and will take you back in time in a away so magical and unrepeatable. The best preserved are Pyrgi, Olympi and Mesta.
Before you arrive at Pyrgi stop off in Armolia a village mainly known on the island for the pottery - pots, cups, "Bourboulia", jars etc. There, on the main road you will find many shops and workshops with clay ornaments. Look for the last potter on the row of the shops who is willing to show you his art and talk to you about it and its history.
Pyrgi is called the "painted village", due to the elaborate decorative motifs on the facades of the houses, known as "scratch" and it is 25 kilometers from the city of Chios. It is worth visiting the Byzantine church of St. Apostles which is copy of Nea Moni.
Olympoi are after Pyrgi and they are located 30 km from Chios town. It is worth visiting the church of Agia Paraskevi on the main square with the wooden temple and the Bank of Olympoi, a two-storey building with elongated rooms preserved from the Middle Ages in good condition.
From Olympoi village you can go visit the cave of Sykia with its impressive stalactites and stalagmites. The cave of Olympoi is visited by tourist guide accompaniment, from early May until late September. Open daily 11 am - 6 pm, except Mondays.
The Mesta village is located 35 km southwest of Chios town. It is the furthest from the medieval villages, but also the most well-preserved. It is built like a maze and to walk through the narrow streets under the arches forming balconies it is like journey back in the 14th century. You should visit the church of Old Taxiarchis with its wooden temple which is considered an elaborate sample of Chian wood carving.
In Mesta you will find some taverns, but if you want to have lunch overlooking the sea you can continue to the Port of Mesta. There you will find 2 taverns with seafood and fresh fish.
Do not leave Mesta without tasting traditional Mestousiko wine and Souma. Souma can be drunk like ouzo and is made in the range of distillation of figs and grapes.
If you want something sweet, ask for Doughnuts Kanellos
Nea Moni - Avgonima - Anavatos - Lithi
In the center of the island, 12 km from the town of Chios, there is Nea Moni, a world famous medieval monument of cultural heritage, is protected by UNESCO (1990) and is considered as the most important attraction. Nea Moni stands out for its magnificent mosaic art, made by artists of Istanbul. Together with the St. Luke Monastery in Viotia and the Monastery of Daphni, the mosaics of Nea Moni are considered as the leading medieval samples of this art in Greece.
After the monastery of Nea Moni and just 16 km from the town of Chios, on top of a rocky hill is the picturesque village of Avgonima. Avgonima is a medieval village with houses built one next to the other and with a magnificent view to the Aegean Sea. At Avgonima there are some restaurants with delicious appetizers.
In 5 km from Avgonyma and throught a wonderful path between olive and pine trees, perched on a rock at the edge of the cliff you will find the castle village of Anavatos, in 21 km away from the city. It is a place of unique beauty, full of history, art and legends. Anavatos is also called the "Mystras" of the Chios Island and it stands proudly in the heart of the place reminding one undead state.
The route to the famous Anavatos can be combined with a visit to the magnificent Bay of Elinta which has turquoise waters. The Elida beach is among the most beautiful and cleanest beaches of Chios.
Then you can head to the village of Lithi located at a distance of 23.5 km from the city of Chios. Lithi is known for its sandy beach with shallow waters, and fresh fish can be found in the fish restaurants located along the beach
You can stay in Avgonima till late afternoon and enjoy the most magnificent sunset in Chios.
Volissos – Palaia Potamia - Agio Gala
Volissos is located 40 km from the town of Chios, in the northwestern part of the island. At the top of the hill was built a Byzantine castle in the medieval times. It had trapezoid shape with six circular towers. Inside the castle there were several buildings, cisterns and churches. Volissos is the biggest village in the northwestern Chios - in the area of the mountain Amani - and is also the capital of the Municipality of Amani.
After Volissos on the road to Agio Gala, it is worth visiting Palaia (old) Potamia, an abandoned several decades ago village which stands amidst a sunless ravine, in order to not be easily seen by the pirates. It is surrounded by oaks, fountains and windmills. Among the ruins and rubble of the stone houses, it is still surviving the public school, built in 1912 by the personal work of residents, and the church of St. Anthony. The ruins of Palaia Potamia have become one with the surrounding environment creating exciting, breathtaking and scary scenery.
Then, passing by the villages of Amani you will arrive at Agio Galas (69 km from the city). It is built on the northwest part of the island, on top of a rocky mountain. Unique caves extend below the village, with a group of at least three chambers, the largest of which is approximately 200 square meters. People settled in this cave during the Neolithic period (6000-5000 BC) and lived until 2700 BC. Pieces of clay objects indicate that the cave was also used as a sanctuary from Archaic to Roman times. From the Byzantine period until now has served as a Christian place of worship dedicated to the Virgin Agiogalousena. There is also a small chapel of St. Anne within the cave.
The wine lovers can visit the wineries Ariousios at the village Egrigoros and Kefalas at Volissos
For swimming we recommend Managros beach and Lefkathia beach at Volissos
For your dining we recommend Fabrica tavern at Volissos
When you are at Volissos do not forget to buy fresh baked bread from the old wooden oven of the village.