Chios is not a major tourist destination, though busy enough. Package tour operators are starting to look at Chios as a possible destination. The sap from the lentisk tree “mastic” which is used in a wide range of pharmaceuticals grows in abundance in the south of the island. Chios has some good beaches and village in which to explore.
The port and capital of Chios , the Genoese castle is surrounded by old houses. The Archaeological Museum has exhibits from the Neolithic period, coins, sculpture and pottery. The Byzantine Museum also has some interesting exhibits and the Giustiniani Palace Museum , has on show 12 frescoes depicting Byzantine prophets. The Korai Library contains a collection of 95,000 books, including some rare books collected by the founder of the library.
Pyrgi is one of the so-called Mastihohoria villages (Mastic villages), due to the growth of trees from which the villagers harvest the sap (mastic). Under Turkish rule the villages where given special status, because mastic was a valuable commodity. The village is well fortified, the streets are narrow and winding, to confuse any raiders from taking over the village. The houses of the village have geometric designs or pictures in black and white upon them.
Another of the mastic villages, situated in the rolling hills of the district it is also well fortified, you go through one of four gates, inside the walls is a warren of narrow lanes and tunnels. This was also like Pyrgi, to confuse attackers who wished to control the village. These villages of the Mastihohoria should be on the tourists list of things to see.
Kampos lies to the south of Chios , and is a labyrinth of walled mansions. These were the residences of 14 th century affluent merchants. Some of the mansions have been restored to there former glory, while others are falling into decay. The area is quite widespread, if visiting it is best not to go on foot.
This monastery, standing in beautiful surroundings, is from the 11 th century is 14km. from Chios . This was one of the wealthiest monasteries in Greece , and the most well known artists of the period where instructed to decorate the monastery. The monastery has had many trials and tribulations to contend with, earthquakes, massacres when the church was set alight and all the monks slaughtered. The artwork at the monastery is unique, with fine mosaics. Today the monastery is on the World Heritage list.
In 1822, the village was the site of a sad tragedy, when the residents decided to throw themselves of the cliff on which the village stands, rather than be taken prisoners of the invading Turks. Today only, a few elderly people live in the lower houses of the village. Anavatas is under going a rejuvenation project to encourage more tourists.
These nine tiny islands of the northeastern coast of Chios of which one is inhabitable also called Inousses. The rich shipping magnates of Greece , and major finance capitals of the world spend their summers here and they discourage any tourist invasion to the island. The island is also the home of a naval academy for boys.