Say “I do”, on Chios island

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Chios island provides the ideal combination of luxury and class for the perfect wedding. At Kampos grand estates and at the villages of Mastiha, you will find the necessary touch of magic to make your special day unforgettable. Chios offers a unique setting to celebrate your wedding and a variety of activities to create a fun program for your guests.

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Lagada: A rejuvenating escape in Chios island!

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The picturesque seaside village of Lagada is one of the most popular destinations for the locals, whenever they want to enjoy an oasis by the sea, but also an irresistible attraction for the island's visitors. It is located in the northeastern part of the island, 17 km from the city of Chios and it is built amphitheatrically on the slopes of a hill. It comes from the ancient settlements of Koila and Kydianta and the inhabitants (approximately 2,000 people) are mostly seamen or fishermen.

In the picturesque port of Lagada, the blue of the Aegean, along with the green of the trees of the forest of Karyda, ending at the edge of the bay, make up a unique landscape. Part of the awesome landscape are the fishing boats, the local fishermen, the tables from the taverns set by the sea, the fish and seafood drying under the sun, to be served as an exquisite “meze” for the guests!

This landscape is ideal to take you away and we suggest that you enjoy some glasses of ouzo and the delicious appetizers that have just come out of the sea, to have a coffee assorted by sweets, or to just wander around, start a chat with a local seaman and be enchanted by his stories from his days at the sea.

Tips:

• The local feast of the village is on the 17th of September, the orthodox day dedicated to Agia Sophia. The “panigyri” takes place at the end of the harbor and of course it includes live music with traditional local dances.

• At both ends of the harbor there are play areas (playgrounds, basketball and soccer fields and also painted bases for endless games)

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Apothika beach: A carte postale from Chios

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May has come and Spring is at its best, the weather is magnificent and everyone is longing for the first excursions to the beaches. In Chios the beaches are so many, so beautiful and so different, that we can not decide which one is the most beautiful to present! What we can do, is to present some of our favorite beaches on Chios and entice you into their beauty!

So let’s start today with Apotheka beach. It is located in southwest Chios, 41 km from the city and 6.5 km from the medieval village of Mesta. It has thick sand and small pebbles. The access is a bit difficult, as the road stops about 100 meters from the beach, but its crystal clear waters always reward the visitor. Plus, due to its particular morphology, it offers shelter from the winds of the Aegean Sea. The beach is not organized, there are only a few cane umbrellas placed by the Municipality, but the locals adore its virgin beauty and visit it often.

At the same time, the company rents kayaks and Stand Up Paddles, which you can rent to explore the lovely bay, and enjoy more secluded coves and tiny beaches. Chios is also a famous place for scuba diving. You may try the experience in Apotheka, as there is a diving school there.

 

At the end of your dips, it is worth climbing up the hill in order to enjoy the view of the endless blue, while sipping a cocktail or a glass of ouzo! The bar also offers two or three handmade “meze”, local cheese and traditional bread to accompany your drink. The stunning view and the breeze of the Aegean Sea will offer you the ultimate relaxation and we can guarantee you will take with you unforgettable images! 

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May First at Chios: Wild Nature or Cosmopolitan Beach?

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May First, Labour Day and a holiday in Greece, is also a celebration of spring, welcoming the new season where nature is at its best. This day is a great opportunity for escapes at the nature and the island of Chios offers many choices for excursions, that combine the fields and the mountains with the sea! We are suggesting here two different excursions for May Day and you can choose, depending on whether you prefer to spend your day away from the crowds, or in a more cosmopolitan way.

So if you want absolute peace and wildlife, you should definitely visit the beautiful Kampia Ravine in Northern Chios. The 3,770 meter long route through the ravine is enchanting. The hiking trail runs down towards the river, which keeps water almost all year round, but also through cultivated areas. Enjoy your hiking in the valley with olive trees and small fruit trees, chestnut trees, plane trees, oaks over a hundred years old, cypress trees, tall pine trees and cherry trees. You will hear the calming sound of the water and the songs of the nightingales and if you are lucky, you will spot some of the interesting bird populations, including a rare species of eagles, which often appear in the area. The route ends at the secluded beach of Kambia, with its crystal clear waters. There is also a kiosk for relaxation that can host your picnic!

On the other hand, if you wish for something more cosmopolitan, we suggest you start your day with a walk in Kampos area. Take a stroll through the narrow streets, through the mansions with the exquisite gardens and orchards. The wonderful aroma of the citrus flowers will be with you all the way. At the end of your walk visit the Citrus Museum, where you can have your coffee accompanied by local sweets, under the citrus trees.

Then head south, towards the bustling Komi beach. There you will enjoy the sea and the golden sand, with all the amenities of an organized beach. Coffee and delicacies are served by the sea and so does fresh fish at the taverns of the area. And if you have the appetite for further entertainment, there are always the afternoon parties, organized by the cafes of the area.

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Holy Week and Easter on Chios Island

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Easter holidays have officially begun and our daily routine is adapted accordingly. The Holy Week on Chios island is determined by the fast, the Easter celebration preparations and, of course, the visit to church.

Observing the Holy Week liturgies is a must for a lot of people on the island, given that Easter is the most important celebration of the Greek Orthodox Church. The Holy Week liturgies can be impressive, moving and very spiritual. If you are looking for an authentic experience of Greek Easter, Chios island will spoil you for choice. Participating in a Holy Week liturgy in one of the ancient monasteries of the island, or in one of the castle villages of mastiha, is an unforgettable experience.

Holy Thursday in Nea Moni monastery of Chios

Nea Moni is the 11th century Byzantine monastery and UNESCO world heritage monument on Chios island. On Holy Thursday, the day Jesus’ crucifixion takes place, the congregation gathers to listen to the reading of the twelve gospels under candlelight, the imposing dome and the famous golden mosaics of the church dedicated to Virgin Mary’s dormition.

Holy Friday in Chios Town and the Mastiha villages

On Good Friday the Epitaphs in every church are decorated with fresh fragrant flowers. It is customary for locals to visit several parishes in order to admire their Epitaphs and pay their respects.

On Good Friday Evening the Epitaph procession of the town’s Cathedral takes place, accompanied by the Chios Philarmonic and a military group. The procession arrives at the town square where it is met by Epitaphs from other town parishes, creating an imposing spectacle. The Epitaph procession at the Castle of Chios is also very moving, as it passes through the narrow Castle alleys. Often the procession passes by Chios port at the time the ferry arrives, allowing for passengers and crew to disembark in order to pay their respects.

Following the Epitaph procession at one of the villages of Mastiha is a unique experience. From Vessa and Olympoi to Pyrgi and Mesta, whichever village you choose to visit on this day, it is certain that you will have an unforgettable experience.  

Holy Saturday at the Rouketopolemos (Rocketwar) of Vrontados

This is the main event of Easter in Chios. In Vrontados, at the north of the town, the two largest parishes, Panagia Erythiani and Agios Markos revive an old tradition. At Easter night they light hand-made rockets, signifying the victory of life over death and creating the most glorious spectacle of Greek- Orthodox Easter you have ever experienced.

Happy Easter to everyone!

* Thanks to Politis newspaperChiosphotos.gr and Tolis Flioukas for their photos.

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With Easter approaching, try these local spring recipes of Chios island!

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Taking our cue from last week’s blog post on the Easter delicacies of Chios island, we offer here a couple of local recipes which are perfect for the fastening period leading to Easter celebrations. These dishes are ideal meze (tapas) for a glass of Chios excellent ouzo or souma (the local spirit distilled from figs).

The recipes are found in the book “Traditional recipes from Kampos, Chios” where we can find a treasure of local recipes collected by the Kampos Cultural Association. The book is published by local “Aegeas” publications and can be found in Chios bookstores.

Broad beans in olive oil

1 part vinegar, 1 part lemon juice, salt

Prepare the broad beans and slice them lightly. Pour water, vinegar, salt and lemon juice in a pot. After it boils, add the broad beans and let them boil for a couple of minutes, but do not overboil them. Let them cool in the water overnight. The next day drain them and place them in a jar of olive oil.

 

Chickpea croquettes

Chickpeas, 1 grated onion, parsley and peppermint, oregano, ½ cup of flour

Boil the chickpeas. After they are ready, drain them and put them in the blender. Add the onion, the herbs and as much flour as necessary. Make the mix into croquettes and fry them. 

Preserved fish roe croquettes

100 grams preserved fish roe, 1 grated onion, 200 grams wet bread, some parsley, flour

We wash the preserved fish roe in cold water, we drain it and place it in a bowl. We add the rest of the ingredients and we mix it. Add some water if necessary. Leave the mix to rest for 25-30 minutes. We make the croquettes, cover them in flour and deep fry them.

Enjoy!

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Easter delicacies on Chios island

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Chios may be one of the most popular Greek destinations for Easter due to the rocket war but at the same time anyone who chooses to visit Chios this period will definitely enjoy savory traditional local dishes. Both the foods of the fast and the meats that follow the Resurrection will amaze you and in this article we offer some suggestions that will take off your meals during Easter holidays in Chios!

 

During the Holy Week, as most people observe the fast, sea food and vegan meals are the stars of local gastronomy. While wandering in the city and the villages, try the small artichokes and broad beans preserved in olive oil, fava puree, and vegan “keftedes” made with tarama, wild greens or chickpeas. In patisseries look for kaltsounia and methismena (cookies without dairy or eggs, stuffed with nuts or jam) and pies made of tamboura (red pumpkin).

 

As for the seafood if you are looking for a restaurant near the city, try Ihthioskala and Daskalopetra where seafood is consumed as soon as fishboats arrive at the harbour. But you should definitely visit the villages of the fishermen such as Lagada, Pantoukios, Kataraktis and Lithi and beaches such as Komi, Gridia and Emporios, where the seafood abound and you will enjoy them “the right way”: directly from the sea to your plate, on a table by the sea accompanied with ouzo.

After the Resurrection, there is meat consumption, mainly goat and lamb and of course the red Easter eggs. Combine them with a visit to a picturesque village like Avgonima or Volissos, Pitios, Mesta, Kalamoti and Armolia. Accompany them with the extra fresh myzithra cheese, rich artichoke or cheese pies and local wine and of course with the amazing Chian tsourekia (brioches)!

 

In the churches of the villages the Resurrection liturgy is very nice, while in the squares there are bonfires in order to "burn Judah". On Easter Sunday before your festive meal, we suggest that you choose a hiking route  from the ones mentioned on our website(http://www.chios.gr/en/things-to-do/peripatitikes-diadromes ) and enjoy your meal with more appetite and fresh air in your lungs!

 

 

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Glorious Greek Easter on Chios Island

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Like every year, Chios, the fragrant North Aegean Island, is the ultimate Greek Easter destination, mostly because of the Rocketwar event, but for other reasons too!

The rocketwar was and still is the most important event of Easter celebrations on Chios island. Locals from the two largest parishes of Vrontados village, namely Panagia Erithiani and Agios Markos, participate in a traditional event that dates back to the ottoman era. The locals make handmade fireworks called rockets which are fired between the two opposing parishes, in a mock up war that lights the night sky on Good Saturday.

However, we can have many more experiences in springtime Chios, as we discover hidden corners of the island during the Easter Holidays:

Spring is pure magic in Kampos. We may choose to stay in a local traditional mansion. We can visit Citrus Museum to learn more about the history of the citrus fruits commerce in Chios. We will walk across citrus gardens in full blossom, cycle in the narrow alleys of Kampos and go on a gastronomy tour of the area to try local delicacies, such as spoon sweets and other traditional products.

We can visit Chios monasteries, starting with Nea Moni, an 11th century Byzantine Monastery and a UNESCO Monument of World Heritage, where we can admire the famous mosaics, a prominent example of the Constantinople School of the time. Nea Moni also operates as a church where you can follow one of the liturgies of the Holy Week. We will hike on the path between Nea Moni and Agioi Pateres Monasteries, and then tour the medieval traditional settlements of Anavatos and Avgonyma where we can enjoy delicious traditional food at the local taverns.

On Good Friday we visit Chios Castle. From the picturesque church of St. George we follow the Epitaph process to Chios Town square, where an imposing event takes place, as epitaphs from various parishes of town gather. This is a night that lives up to the day’s solemnity: epitaphs decorated with all the flowers of Chios spring and moving byzantine psalms. Alternatively, we can follow the Epitaph procedure at one of the Mastiha villages of the south, such as Mesta or Olympoi.

In Vrontados, on Good Saturday the Rocketwar event takes place, as the handmade rockets are fired between the two parishes, signifying the start of the spring and the most glorious Easter celebration. However, apart from Vrontados, bear in mind that all liturgies of the Holy Week all over Chios Island are loud and noisy, but the smell of fireworks is an essential ingredient of the Easter atmosphere.

After the Resurrection liturgy on Good Saturday, we can enjoy the traditional mageiritsa in one of the local restaurants or hotels. On Easter Sunday a lot of local taverns and restaurants offer traditional goat or lamb and other traditional dishes, which we can accompany with local wine, ouzo or souma.  

On Easter Monday, it is customary to go on an excursion in the countryside, while celebrations with traditional music and dancing take place in a few villages.

This year, like every year, Chios is the ultimate Easter island destination, with so many choices of unforgettable experiences.

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Heroic Psara, a paradise for food lovers

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Heroic Psara, a dot in the Aegean Sea, a small island famous for its glorious history and incredible beauty. A paradise for those seeking natural beauty and absolute tranquility, but also for the foodies, due to the delicious local cuisine, based on the pure products of the island.

 

The marine dishes, the crown gem of the local cuisine, since the sea bottom of Psara is distinguished by its wealth. Local lobsters are served grilled over coals, in pasta, fried, accompanied with skordalia (garlic dip) in traditional dishes that will enchant you. The fish, fresh and plentiful, is served in all ways and accompanied by wild grasses of the area! If you prefer meat and dairy products you should definitely try stuffed wild goat, the local white cheese, the fresh mizithra cheese and the kopanisti dip.  Accompany your meal with the unique sun-dried wine of Psara, the beloved wine of the legendary “bourlottiers” of the 1821 Liberation Struggle.

 

If you like sweets,    the bitter almond preserve and almond sweets will tickle your palate.  However the true star is the pure natural thyme honey. Although the island’s beehives are active throughout winter, since temperatures are never truly low around coastal regions, the beekeepers of Psara only have one period of florescence and must wait to collect honey in late August. However, this harvest produces a magical honey, imbued with the unique scent afforded by the Psara air and the fresh Aegean breeze to the millions of thyme plants on the island. When you try it you will know the difference.

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Click here, to visit the website of the former Prefecture of Chios.

Chios.gr is the official tourism web site for Chios, run by the North Aegean Prefecture, where you'll find information on the main tourist destinations, beaches, as well as activities, events and much more!

You are not allowed to reproduce the whole or part of this work in any way without our written permission.

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Contact: Regional Unit Of Chios Department of Tourism | Phone numbers: 0030 22713-50514 & 0030 22713-50516 | FAX: 0030 22713-50517 | Emailtourismos@chios.pvaigaiou.gov.gr