Venture to villages from the Byzantine era, called mastichochoria, which were built to cultivate and protect the island's beloved mastic trees. These villages acted as fortresses with confusing alleys, watchtowers and tunnels to guard against smugglers. Ancient artists hand-etched black and white geometric patterns, called ksistá, into building walls as a strategy to disorient newcomers. Mesta, Pyrgi and Olympi are just a few of the many villages worth visiting.
Lose track of time wandering through the many museums, historical buildings and monasteries found throughout Chios. The Korais Library is one of the largest libraries in Greece, and hosts an eclectic mix of treasures, including texts from the 15th century, traditional costumes and tools. Visit the 11th-century Nea Moni monastery for its impressive frescoes and mosaics.
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