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Cruise Excursions

TOUR A SOUTH VILLAGES , PYRGI , MESTA /DURATION 3-3,5 HRS

This area of Chios got its name MASTICHOCHORIA from the Lentisk (mastic) bush. Most of the mastic villages in the south part of Chios were settled in the time of the Genoese occupation of the island (12th century ).They were built mostly like fortesses and they were fortified against the pirates invasions.

Our first stop will be to the medieval fortress town of Pirgi, one of the unusual and attractive villages on the Island. It looks as though it has emerged from the Middle Ages, with its narrow alleyways and its house facades covered with the unique "xysta" decorations, geometric patterns in grey and white. At the central square of the village the effect of "xysta" is very intense as all outside walls of the buildings – including the main church – are covered with this extraordinary graffiti. The fortified character of the village of Pyrgi was destroyed in the big earthquake of 1881 but it keeps each unique atmosphere with all the beautiful facades of the houses with this extraordinary black and white graffiti.

On our way to Mesta we will stop in one of the fields with mastic trees.We will make a small stop of 10 minutes so that visitors can see the mastic trees and the guides can explain to the visitors how mastic is produced.

Our next stop will be to the fortified village of Mesta. Here the houses are built close together forming a wall enclosing the village ,with all their roofs connected giving the villagers another way to escape from roof to roof when invators were outside the village walls. As we walk through Mesta’s old and narrow lanes and the roofed alleyways we reach the central open square with the big beautiful church of Taxiarches.

After Mesta we head to the south – west coast and we return to our ship in Chios via the port of Mesta and the village of Vessa . We can also return to Chios port direct from Mesta following the same route we used to reach Pyrgi and Mesta.

TOUR B NEA MONI , ANAVATOS , AVGONIMA /DURATION 3-3,5 HRS

We will leave the port of Chios and follow the panoramic road that climbs the foothills of Mount Provatas to reach the center of the island where the monastery of Nea Moni stands.

Nea Moni is today one of the most famous buildings of the Byzantine period. The main church is a very important speciment of Byzantine architercture in the Aegean Sea and is decorated with mosaics world known for their technic and colours. Visitors can also visit the refectory and the Cistern, which is preserved intact and dates to the 11th century.

The monastery was founded in the middle of the 11th century from the Byzantine emperor Constantine IX Monomachos. For many centuries it was the most important religious centre on the island of Chios but was repeatedly destroyed in the 19th century. Chiots found rescue in the monastery during the massacre of 1822 where they were finally massacred by the Turkish troups. The monastery was severely damaged by an earthquake in 1881, which caused the collapse of the dome, the belltower, as well as the destruction of many mosaics. In modern times, many efforts have been made to restore the monument and preserve the mosaics in the catholicon. (Latest and morst organized effort also supported by the European union has been made the last 4 years and the main church was closed for the pubic , but the archeological service informed us that they will be finished later this year).

Our next stop will be the medieval village of Avgonima where we will have some free time for visitors to walk around the narrow streets surrounded by the stone made houses with the flat roofs and have a coffee break at the central square before we start again our trip to reach Anavatos.

The village of Anavatos is built on a cliff 450 meters above the sea, with steep sides to the south and west. Once again the outside walls of the houses were used together with the cliff, to shape the perimeter of a fortress. The 400 houses inside the walls were narrow, and built of grey stone with flat wooden roofs, low doors, tiny arched windows and wooden terraces.

The village was abandoned after the horrible slaughters of 1822 and is now a national monument for all the Chians and Greeks. Although the village is deserted today, it shows us a unique picture of a ghost town . Return to Chios harbour.

TOUR C NEA MONI , PYRGI

The visiting hours of Nea Moni and Pyrgi is the time we believe guest should at least spend at the villages.

Like this of course the excursion is more than 4 h so it's up to you to decide how long you want the visits to be. Please advice.


We will leave the port of Chios and follow the panoramic road that climbs the foothills of Mount Provatas to reach the center of the island where the monastery of Nea Moni stands.

Nea Moni is today one of the most famous buildings of the Byzantine period. The main church is a very impressive specimen of Byzantine architecture in the Aegean Sea and is decorated with mosaics world known for their technique and colors. Visitors can also visit the Cistern, which is preserved intact and dates to the 11th century.

The monastery was founded in the middle of the 11th century from the emperor Constantine IX Monomachos. It has been repeatedly destroyed in the 19th century. Chiots found rescue in the monastery during the massacre of 1822 where they were finally massacred by the Turkish troops. The monastery was severely damaged by an earthquake in 1881, which caused the collapse of the dome, the bell tower, as well as the destruction of many mosaics. In modern times, many efforts have been made to restore the monument and preserve the mosaics in the catholicon. After our visit to Nea Moni Monastery we follow the road to the west coast and from there following one of the nicest routes on the west coast we head to the south until we reach the medieval village of Pyrgi. Pyrgi is one of the most unusual and attractive villages on the Island, with its narrow alleyways and its house facades covered with the unique "xysta" decorations, geometric patterns in grey and white. At the central square of the village the effect of "xysta" is very intense as all outside walls of the buildings – including the main church – are covered with this extraordinary graffiti. The fortified character of the village of Pyrgi was destroyed in the big earthquake of 1881 but it keeps each unique atmosphere with all the beautiful facades of the houses with this extraordinary black and white graffiti. After our stop to Pyrgi, return to Chios port.

TOUR D FULL DAY / CHIOS ROUND

Nea Moni monastery, Avgonima, Anavatos, Mesta, Pyrgi

Departing from the harbor you will drive through the city of Chios and from there to the central part of the island . Our first stop will be the Byzantine Monastery of Nea Moni. Built in the 11th century it is one of the most important monuments of the island due to its architecture and mosaics. Here, in the courtyard, during the massacre of 1822 hundreds of Chiots were slaughtered by the Turkish troups. The monastery is famous for its mosaics .We can also visit the refectory and the cyctern also from the 11th century. After Nea Moni we travel west until we reach the medieval village of Anavatos. Standing on top of a 450m. hill with its stone made houses ,the village is built so well in accordance with the environment that you cannot actually see it from far. The final destruction of Anavatos came in 1822, with the Turkish invasion. The 400 inhabitants threw themselves over the cliff rather than surrendering to the invaders. We will follow the road to the west coast and from there following one of the nicest routes we drive to the south villages also called the mastic villages. Mastic villages got its names because of the lentisk bush. Most of the villages were settled in the time of the Genoese occupation of the island – 12 th century- and most of them , like most of the medieval villages of the island were built like fortresses using the outside walls of the houses to form the outside walls of the castle , in order to protect themselves from the pirate invations. Our first stop in the mastic villages will be the village of Mesta. The houses built close together form a wall enclosing the village.Stone made houses , with conncected roofs , small windows and roofed alleyways that lead you to the picturesque open central square with the impressive church of Taxiarches.In the square of the village visitors can have their lunch with local specialities Next is the medieval and fortress town of Pirgi.The geometric grafitto decoration on the facades of houses and churches is most unusual and continues today.In the square of the village we can also see the Byzantine church of the Holy Apostles.The outside of the church is a small copy of the "catholicon" of Nea Moni. Return to Chios Port Duration of tour will be approx 8 hours.

KAMBOS WALKING AND CITRUS MUSEUM /DURATION 2 HRS

Among the orange and lemon plantations in the south of Chios town, approximately 7 klms from Chios harbour lies Kambos.
Kambos is an area with orange and lemon plantations and mensions build among the trees with 2 floored houses and beautiful yards. During the Genoese occupation of Chios island (12th – 14th century) the Genoese and the local "high society" have built their mensions to Kambos area among the plantations. Two floored stone made houses, with high painted ceilings ,big windows and verandas looking over the plantation. Pebble made yards with wells that watered the trees and high walls surrounding the estates protecting the trees and secure the families.
Xydas family (owner of one of these estates) has created a small museum in one of this estates, Citrus museum. In the museum visitors can see the history of the people of Kambos and history and tools of the cultivation of orange and lemon trees that has made Kambos famous throughout the history of Chios, starting from the Genoese occupation of the island till nowadays.
Clients can see the exhibits of the museum and have a coffee in the yard under the fragrant trees.
There is entrance fee for Citrus Museum .

WALKING IN CHIOS TOWN / DURATION : 2 hours

The Castle of Chios town , coming from the Genoese era of the island , stands really close to the harbour. Guests walk from port to the Castle and through the narrow streets of the fortress they can taste the Genoese and Turkish influence with the Old Turkish graveyard and the old mosque. The Castle is like a small town which also "lives inside" Chios town. Small streets, mostly two floored narrow houses, small yards with pots of flowers in some of the old houses, ruins from old Turkish houses and baths, new buildings ,shops, The Giustiniani house (Giustiniani family were the "governers" of the island during the Genoese occupation) ,the Turkish Grave Yard with the tomb of Kara Ali (admiral of Turkish fleet that came to the island to stop the greek revolution in 1822 ) and who was killed when Konstantine Kanaris blew up the flagship of the Turkish fleet as a revenge to the Chios massacre in 1822.
After our visit to the Castle a coffee break at the Central square and then through the public garden with the busts of famous Chiots and the bronze statue of Kanaris we will walk through the main market street toward the Korais Library. Chios is well known in Greek History for its famous scholars and Korais is one of them and his name was given to the library which is one of the richest ones in Greece.
On the first floor above the Library we can visit the Argenti museum with traditional embroidery and costumes. Free time at Chios market if they wish and return to harbour on foot.

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