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Travel in time

with this tour of central Chios’ medieval settlements

The tour in central Chios is a real travel in the past, dominated by important byzantine monasteries and well preserved medieval settlements, standing still in time.

Κάστρο της Χίου

Castle of Chios

We suggest starting our journey in time from Chios town, with a morning walk in the Castle of Chios. The Castle, also known as Chios Fortress, stands on the northern part of Chios Port, built in 1320, on a site of former byzantine fortifications. All the successor conquerors of the island in the times to come took care to expand and fortify it. For example the Venetians, who conquered Chios for a brief period of time, reconstructed the central entrance of the Castle, the Porta Maggiore, in its present form. The tour of Chios Castle is an experience by itself, but we suggest you to start this tour of central Chios enjoying your morning coffee “intra muros” (inside the walls), on the Castle square, before setting out by car to discover Chios’s medieval past.

From Chios square we follow the road signs to Anavatos-Avgonyma. We go uphill to Konstantinos Monomachos’ road, the Fragomahalas neighbourhood, as the locals call it, passing by the contemporary monastery of Panagia Voetheia and outside the village of Karyes. Before reaching the crossroads that leads to Karyes, we stop to enjoy the spectacular view of Chios town from this high spot.
Νέα Μονή

Nea Moni

We continue uphill following the winding road through the pine forest, until we reach the turn to Nea Moni monastery, an 11th century UNESCO monument. Nea Moni is one of the most important Byzantine monuments,due to its architectural form and especially due to the exquisite mosaics decorating the main church, also known as “katholikon”. After visiting the church, we visit the impressive Trapeza, the dining room of the monks, but also the small museum of the monastery. Another important site for the history of this monastery is the ossuary of the victims of the 1822 massacre, standing there as evidence of the cruelty people are capable of in times of war, and as proof of the catastrophe Chios went through. 
Those who love hiking in nature, can follow the hiking route connecting Nea Moni with Agioi Pateres monastery, higher on the mountain. The monastery was built at the site of the cave where the three monks who founded Nea Moni had retreated to leave in isolation.
Continuing uphill to the mount Provatas, we reach the crossroads to Anavatos and Avgonyma.
Anavatos is built on a steep cliff that emerges in front of us all of a sudden, as we drive closer. After the 1822 massacre, the village was abandoned. At the entrance of the village,we can see the monument dedicated to the victims of the massacre.

The uphill walk to the Acropolis of the settlement is really worth it. Admiring the breathtaking view from upthere, you will find out why Anavatos is also known as the “Mystras of the Aegean”. Although the restoration works are still in progress, we can admire impressive buildings like the three storey building that housed a school, an olive press and a church, in three different levels. Make a stop to admire the church of Taxiarches. On our way back, we can get some rest at the small café for a cool refreshment.

We continue our tour, leaving Anavatos. On the way back to Chios town, we follow the turn to Avgonyma.


You will enjoy walking in this well preserved medieval settlement with the beautiful cubic houses with their tiny windows and tidy yards.

Head to the west side of the village to enjoy the view to the island’s west coast and a gorgeous sunset, if the time is right. Don’t miss the chance to taste the excellent food served by the tavernas of the village, mainly local dishes like lamp, fried balls with herbs and chickpeas, handmade pasta, accompanied of course by the local souma, or ouzo. This is the best way to close your tour, with tasty local food  in a unique setting!

Interactive route map

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