An enjoyable activity to be done with a group of friends, the cooking lessons organized by a Chios native will grant you insight into the intricacies of local cuisine, and give you the chance to try a hand at creating an edible masterpiece with some of the freshest local ingredients.
A number of companies offer all-day yacht tours around Chios and to neighboring islands - an experience guaranteed to leave visitors with lasting impressions. Most tours include a BBQ lunch on board and stops for swimming out in the open sea and/or lesser known, secluded beaches. Chios Yachting:
Citrus reigns king here in the heart of Kambos, a picturesque area south of Chios Town. A tiny citrus plantation and museum devoted to the sour fruit will give you an insight into its processing stages, and the adjacent gift shop - an opportunity to stock up on some unique citrusy souvenirs.
The most interesting aspect of this museum is the building itself - a mosque with the only intact minaret in the Aegean Islands. The museum contains a clutter of Hellenistic statuary, Roman slabs and a collection of Turkish, Jewish and Armenian tombstones that hint at the island’s multi-ethnic past.
"New Monastery" is a misnomer – this imposing religious institution was founded in the 11th century by the Byzantine Emperor Constanine IX Monomachos. It is, perhaps, the finest religious building in the Aegean islands, with mosaics that date back to the golden age of Byzantine religious art.
Inland from the town lies the fertile plain known as the Kambos, an area of olive groves, lemon and orange orchards, almond trees and patchwork fields divided by stone walls and country lanes. Under the Giustiniani, this rich hinterland was the domain of wealthy Genoese landowners and many of their substantial stone mansions can still be seen – some have been turned into holiday homes by wealthy Athenians, while a few have been converted into comfortable guesthouses.
Further inland, in the southern part of the island, lie the so-called masticochoria (mastic villages). These well-preserved, fortified villages date from the 14th-16th centuries and were centres for the cultivation of mastic. Mastic is the sweet-tasting gum of the lentisk bush, which was exported all over the Mediterranean – and the area still produces around 300 tonnes of mastic every year. The most picturesque villages are Pyrgi, with its houses decorated in black and white geometric patterns called xysta Mesta, where towers and walls surround a baffling labyrinth of village streets as well as Olympoi and Vessa are all a worth a visit.
This tiny island cluster in the narrow strait between Chios and Turkey is said to be one of the wealthiest spots in Greece – several millionaire ship owners have their roots and family homes here. They prize their peace and quiet, so the islands are pleasantly unspoiled and there are good (but tiny) beaches next to the main island's small port village. There is also a Maritime Museum which celebrates the island’s seafaring traditions.
Tucked away in a secluded location, this tiny bay is a hidden gem on the island of Chios. The pristine turquoise waters and idyllic landscape of the untamed nature are a true find if you're looking for a few hours of peaceful bliss. The beach itself is mostly sandy with a few pebbles mixed in.
Even if archaeology doesn't particularly excite you, this Chios museum certainly will - the skillfully arranged exposition tells a fascinating story of the island's glory days and boasts a striking collection of ancient jewelry. Exhibits date back to the 8th and 9th centuries.
Tucked away in the northwestern part of the island (about 60 km from Chios town) is a tiny mountain village of Agio Galas. Take a tour to the cave and visit the local church, and don't forget to ask about the story behind the place's name (Agio Galas means "Holy milk").
Tucked away in one of the back roads, this off-the-beaten path sight is definitely worth a visit - especially if you're a beer-lover. There are no organised tours, but the brewers are extremely friendly and will most probably offer you a sample or two of the wonderful Chios beer.
This big beach is probably the best – and certainly the most popular – on the island. Only 8 km from Chios Town, it has fine sand and a full range of beach facilities including loungers, umbrellas, beach sports, showers and a good choice of water sports, along with places to stay, eat and drink.
Brilliant blue water and clean white and black pebbles are the hallmarks of this beach at Neohori, 11 km south of Chios Town. Agia Fotia has a reasonable choice of places to stay and eat and is one of the most conveniently located beaches on Chios, with easy access to the town and the airport.
Between wooded headlands, this curve of pebbly beach is overlooked by the historic convent of Agia Markella, so the beach has been preserved from over-development (and nude bathing is frowned upon). There are a couple of small summer tavernas which operate from late May until September.
Also known as Vrondados in some brochures, Daskalopetra lies 7 km north of Chios Town and owes its popularity mainly to its location. The water is clean, but the beach is mainly pebbly. Good choice of places to eat with accommodation nearby, and conveniently close to town and airport.
This calm blue bay on the west coast, near Anavatos, has sand and clear water that is great for snorkeling. It is an excellent place for a swim or a picnic lunch if visiting Anavatos by car – but this is very much a place for true beachcombers, as there are no facilities of any kind.
Komi beach is one of the best beaches on the island for families with lifeguards (high season only), loungers and beach umbrellas (not available on many Chios beaches), bars, restaurants and cafés. The sand is a mixture of coarse sand and pebbles. This beach may get crowded in July and August.
Next to Volissos village on the island’s north coast, this is the most popular beach in the northern part of the island, with soft white sand and deep, very clear water. Busy with locals at weekends, it also has a choice of basic places to stay and a couple of small bars and taverns.
Three black-pebble beaches extend along the coast near the village of Emborios, which has grown into a small and friendly resort. Very clear water adds to their appeal, and this is an excellent spot for a swim when visiting the masticochoria villages, which are nearby.
Undoubtedly among Chios' best, To Apomero serves traditional Greek cuisine in a scenic setting. One of the restaurant's main draws is the unbeatable skyline uncovering from the dining hall - Chios Town and the sea are clearly visible from the elevated location. Do not skip on the delicious meze.
This family-owned tavern first opened its doors in 1987, and has been serving home-made Greek food ever since. The restaurant is located in the central square of Avgonyma village. Here you can enjoy home-made spaghetti, chicken, grilled goat and pork, as well as traditional Greek specialties.
Meltemaki is a casual eatery popular with diners from Chios and beyond. The unbeatable setting right by the water draws patrons in, and the fresh seafood cooked to perfection keeps them coming back for more, year after year. Located several kilometers south of Chios Town.
One of the best eateries in the harbour area, To Tsikoudo tends to get crowded during peak lunch and dinner hours, so arrive slightly early to ensure being seated. The tavern is most known for its direct view of the water (the reason prices are higher than usual), and food quality is very decent.
One would be hard-pressed to find burgers quite as decadent-looking elsewhere on the island. Try one of the incredibly appetizing specialties held together by a steak knife, or opt for a pizza or any other of the American-inspired menu items. Most diners enjoy unobstructed views of the water.
Fabrika is a tavern in the most traditional sense, with a restaurant and several rooms for hire. The tavern occupies the building of an old olive and flour mill, with some of the equipment still available for visitors to see. Dine on grilled meat and seafood, and have loukoumadhes for dessert.
This beautiful Vrontados taverna is constantly teeming with diners, and for good reason - food here is superb, and the menu rather varied, with seafood selection ranging from fish to lobster and urchin. Enjoy the unbeatable views over the water to the sounds of live music (shows hosted frequently).
Kafekouti lounge café, 7 km from Chios town, is located on a rocky hill in the Daskalopetra fishing port. It offers beautiful (and rather unique) views over Daskalopetra, Vrondados and Chios town. Serves food from a rather extensive menu and a variety of decadent desserts.
There is hardly a better place on the island to try the "loukoumades" - a variety of traditional local donuts, that come in a number of flavors. Stick to the classic chocolate, or try the unique, exclusively Chian mastic-flavored ones. The cafe is located in the town of Mesta.
Chios Town has a good array of dance clubs and music bars, many of which are firmly established and open most of the year. Walk down the waterfront stretch by the port, where most of the cafés-by-day, bars/dance clubs by night are located. Many host guest DJs, and some have weekly themed parties.
This superb café, bar and music venue located in a grand neo-classical building on the waterfront offers all-round entertainment almost around the clock (in summer, from 8.00 until around 3.00 the following day!) with live music and DJ's, meals, drinks and snacks.
Lively beach club with water sports, activities, restaurant and bar that metamorphoses into a rocking music club later in the evening. Greek and international DJ's and bands playing metal and house. Perfect for both day and night entertainment. Hosts the island's most popular color party.
Pura Vida stands out among competitors on many levels. The venue boasts an extensive selection of wine and beer, a variety hardly paralleled elsewhere on the island. Non-alcoholic drinks include specialty coffee and bubble tea. Good music is played at night till the early hours of the morning.
The Ammos Beach Bar in Komi (the island's south) enjoys a good reputation as a day- and nighttime hang out venue. During the day, it serves light foods, snacks, coffee, and a selection of beers; guests are welcome to make use of sunbeds. Party beats start sounding louder as the night progresses.
A top-notch wine bar in Chios Town, Odyssey boasts an extensive selection of various wines and hosts live music sessions on the regular. Ask for a recommendation if unsure - the staff are very helpful and willing to provide assistance. Do not skip on the cheese and meat plates.
Remezzo is a three-storey restaurant and bar located directly by the waterfront. By day it serves international cuisine (burgers, wraps, salads, and more) and decent non-alcoholic drinks (including a selection of specialty coffees). By night, the venue transforms into a lively cocktail bar.
A fabulous venue in the island's north, Yoso Beach Bar is a the place to be both during the day and at night. Guests are welcome to make use of the bar's sunbeds and join one of the frequently hosted parties. Drinks served from a re-purposed van add to the place's hip charm.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, most shopping on Chios is done in the island's Chora, or Chios Town. Its windy streets are packed with shops and boutiques selling an array of traditional souvenirs, from edible delights (containing the local specialties - citrus and mastic) to cosmetics and local ceramics.
The wine store is well-stocked with Greek (and international) wines. This one is a grat find for those looking to bring some local wine back home with them. If unsure, consult the knowledgeable staff who are there to make a timely recommendation. The store closes in the afternoon.
An authentic ceramics shop may be difficult to locate even on an island like Chios with a longstanding tradition of ceramic product-making. Xrysa Margounaki is one pottery shop where items are crafted and decorated directly on-site, and visitors are welcome to observe bits of the process.
Hondos is a Greek department store that focuses heavily on cosmetics and women's wear. The array of make up and beauty products is some of the best in Chios, and make-up artists offer complimentary services to customers. The store also sells accessories, such as bags and watches.
Technotropies by Vasilia is a small boutique containing unique designs in the form of jewellery and various accessories. Items are created using artisan techniques, which results in a rather curious display. Come here for a unique Chian souvenir - a necklace with an island-shaped pendant.
The compact boutique specializes in women's fashion. Items on sale include a selection of seasonally renewed clothing pieces (with an accent on light dresses and summer wear), shoes, accessories (bags and hats) and jewellery. New arrivals are often advertised on the store's webpage.
Chios Airport is located 4 km south of Chios town. The fastest way to get to town is by taxi (pre-order or hire one directly at the airport). There is a bus service to town as well (KTEL Bus Chios:+30 2271022079). In addition to summer charter flights, there are several daily flights to Athens and a twice-weekly service to Thessaloniki via Lesvos.
Urban buses operated by Chios City Lines serve Chios Town and outlying suburbs (local buses are blue, those serving the suburbs are green). The city bus station is located next to the City Hall. Long-distance buses stop behind the Homerion Cultural Centre, next to the central square. +30 22710 23086 Chios Intercity Lines links Chios Town with villages all over the island, but services are timed to meet local needs and on many routes operate only once or twice daily. +30 22710 27507 Scooters and motorcycles may also be hired, but inexperienced riders should take great care. Car rental is widely available and affordable, as is fuel.