The Ultimate Chios Island Travel Guide

Stunning beaches

The Destination

Chios is a beautiful island located in the northeastern Aegean Sea in Greece, known for its picturesque villages, beautiful beaches, and medieval architecture. The island is the fifth-largest island in Greece and is also famous for its production of mastic, a natural gum extracted from the mastic tree.

Just like all of the Greek islands, Chios has many stunning beaches that are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports, catering for every need; but the island is so much more: Chios has a rich history and cultural heritage that is evident in its medieval architecture, such as the famous Castle of Chios and the Ottoman mosque of Vounaki. The island also has many charming villages, including Pyrgi, Mesta, and Olympi, which are famous for their narrow quaint streets, traditional houses, and ancient fortifications.

Visitors to Chios can also enjoy a range of activities such as hiking, cycling, and exploring some breathtaking landscapes. Finally, Chios is renowned for its cuisine, with traditional dishes such as Chian Mastelo and stuffed vegetables being popular among visitors.

Although Chios is not the first destination to pose on worldwide holiday lists, it is an excellent place for anyone looking for a mix of beautiful beaches, fascinating history, cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and delicious cuisine.



Chios is known for its production of mastic, a natural gum extracted from the mastic tree, and visitors to the island can learn all about this unique product in a variety of ways. The Mastic Museum in the village of Pyrgi is an excellent head start to the history and cultivation of mastic. In the nearby village of Mesta, visitors can see traditional mastic cultivation techniques in action and even purchase mastic-based products. Also, the village of Olympi hosts an annual Mastic Festival where you can enjoy traditional food and drink while learning more about this unique product. Overall, when visiting Chios, definitely seize the unique opportunity to learn about and experience the culture and tradition surrounding mastic.


Chios boasts several beautifully preserved medieval villages that offer visitors a chance to step back in time. Pyrgi, Mesta, and Olympi are just a few examples of these charming villages. With narrow streets, stone houses, and ancient fortifications, these villages provide a glimpse into the island’s rich history and cultural heritage. As visitors stroll through the winding streets, they’ll feel as though they’ve been transported to a different era, surrounded by the beauty and simplicity of a bygone time.


The windmills of Chios are an iconic part of the island’s landscape and a must-see for visitors. These traditional windmills, made of stone and wood, were used to grind grains and produce flour for baking bread. While many of the windmills have fallen into disrepair over the years, 4 of them have been restored and are now open to the public. Here you will take some iconic pictures, with those imposing structures and the sea surrounding the dock where the windmills are built.


Thriving with culture and unique monuments and sightseeing, Chios castles and caves are another must-see for anyone visiting the island. The Castle of Chios, also known as the Kastro, is a well-preserved fortress that dates back to the Byzantine period and offers stunning views of the surrounding area. Likewise, the Castle of Volissos is another monument of the same era with imposing structures and panoramic views to the area. On the other hand, nature has also blessed the island with some exciting cave formations; the Cave of Sykia, located near the village of Pyrgi, is an underground wonderland filled with stunning stalactites and stalagmites. Visitors can explore the cave on guided tours, which offer a unique perspective on the island’s geology and natural history. The Olympi Cave is another unique site, actually consisting in an underground gorge, while the most fascinating Cave on the island is that of Agios Galas, which is the largest on the island and set in a fantastic setting!

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In Details

Welcome to the enchanting island of Chios, a hidden gem in the Aegean Sea that is sure to captivate your senses and leave you wanting more. This island boasts a rich history, unique culture, delicious gastronomy, and breathtaking landscapes that are waiting to be explored.

Apart from its several medieval villages, a landmark of the island that leaves both Greeks and foreigners astonished, with their narrow streets, arches, traditional architecture adorned with intricate geometric patterns and designs, and the signature mastic tradition that offers countless activities to visitors, you will definitely notice the sweet scent of citrus in the air, especially in specific parts of the island. Chios is known for its citrus production, particularly in the Kambos region, where you can taste freshly squeezed orange juice and indulge in traditional dishes made with locally grown produce.

But when the matter comes to holidaying, beaches are a top priority as well and, yes, Chios is a paradise for beach lovers. The island is home to countless beaches with unique morphology, each offering something different. Visit the black pebbles of Mavra Volia, the crystal-clear waters of Elinda beach, or the family-friendly atmosphere of Karfas beach, and soak up the sun and sea.

And since the best way to get around the island is by renting a car or scooter, you will have the chance to create several routes an explore a multitude of traditional villages, coastal settlements, sunkissed shores at your own pace and time. Don’t be afraid to venture off the beaten path and discover hidden gems that are waiting to be uncovered.

Last but not least, Chios is also a foodie’s heaven, offering a rich culinary experience that is deeply rooted in tradition. The island is renowned for its citrus fruits, mastic gum, and locally grown produce, which are incorporated into many dishes. Locals love to combine the citrus and mastic produce into scrumptious, fully nutritional delicacies, such as marmalades, sweets, liquers, and juices to name a few. Try the famous “Chios Mastelo,” a succulent dish made with lamb that is slowly cooked in a clay pot, or indulge in fresh fish and seafood, such as octopus and squid, which are caught daily in the Aegean Sea. Don’t forget to taste the island’s famous desserts, such as “diples” and “mandolato,” which are made with honey, almonds, and mastic, and will leave you wanting more.



A stunning cove nestled within dramatic verdant slopes with white pebbles and azure waters that is partially organized.

Mavra Volia

By far the most famous and exquisite coast with unique black pebbles and dramatic rock formations, unorganized but great for snorkelling.


Gorgeous turquoise waters and picturesque scenery, unorganized and perfect for a peaceful day surrounded by pristine nature.


Family-friendly sandy beach with shallow waters, well-organized with plenty of amenities and water sports very close to Chios town.

Agia Dynami

A narrow coast surrounded by cliffs and pristine nature, this is a non-organized beach with turquoise waters, sand and a few pebbles.


Tranquil sandy beach with traditional tavernas and calm waters, organized with facilities, great for families and easily accessible by car.


Pebble beach with crystal clear waters and fascinating gorge in the backdrop, unorganized and believed to be the place where Homer used to teach.

Agia Fotia

Also known as Agia Fotini, it is a pebbled coast in the homonymous settlement with beach facilities, cafes and taverns, perfect for families.

Megas Limnionas

Coarse sand and pebbles in a popular resort with clean waters and many facilities that has recently been developed attracting dozens of visitors.


One of the most untouched beaches with a secluded sand and pebble coast, unorganized and perfect for nature lovers and sea sports fans.


Long sandy beach with crystal clear waters and plenty of facilities, well-organized and perfect for families and water sports enthusiasts.


Ideal for relaxation and reconnecting with nature, this is the largest eastern coast of Chios, with pebbles and a serene ambience.


Located at the southernmost part, this is small, serene cove with blue-green waters, completely unorganized with a pebbled coast.


A graphic, secluded coast reachable by car – better an off-road one – with blue waters, serene ambience and non-organized for utter relaxation.

Agia Markella

Pebbled and sandy beach with clear, quite deep and cold waters, a long and wide stretch of coast and a serene ambience.


One of the most charming sandy coasts of Chios, with, deep waters and partially organized, and nearby fish taverns for a full day at the beach.


Another favourite long and wide sandy coast with shallow waters and untouched nature around that is also preferred by watersports lovers.


The longest beach on the island with a stunning 2.5km stretch of coarse sand and pebbles, unorganized and a stunning setting.



Chios Island National Airport is located approximately 3km south of Chios town, and it is served by several domestic airlines. You can fly to Chios from Athens International Airport (about a 50-minute flight) or Thessaloniki International Airport (about 1hr+10’). The island is also reached by ferry from Piraeus and the ride lasts about 9hrs while the island is also connected to several Greek islands like Samos, Mytilene, and even Cesme in Turkey.


Chios offers a wide variety of accommodation options to suit different preferences and budgets. If you’re looking for a luxurious stay, you can choose from the many luxury villas in Greece that dot the island’s scenic landscape. These private villas are equipped with all the modern amenities you could want, including private pools, sun terraces, and stunning views of the Aegean Sea. For families, Chios has a range of family villas that are perfect for a comfortable and relaxing stay. The properties included in The Greek Villas portfolio are spacious and come with sublime facilities and all the contemporary amenities that a family needs, such as fully equipped kitchens and large living areas.

No matter what type of villa in Chios you choose, you can be sure that you will have a memorable and comfortable stay on this beautiful Greek island, so reach out and we will help you find what best suits your needs.

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