Oinousses Maritime Museum

  • Published in News

Oinousses is a complex of islets at the east of Chios Island, opposite Lagada village. The island’s picturesque town, Aignousa, is built amphitheatrically on a steep hill. Its characteristics are the narrow-paved streets and the traditional mariners’ houses.

Oinousses Maritime Museum is a true gem. It is housed in Pantelis Ant. Laimos mansion near the port. It was founded in 1965 and presents the long maritime history of Oinousses, through its collection of model ships, paintings, nautical instruments and books.

A story that spans centuries since the time the sailing ships of Oinousses dominated the sea routes of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, until the transition to steamships, the two World Wars and the role of the merchant navy and the postwar transition to Liberty ships.

The most valuable part of the exhibition is the collection of model ships made by French prisoners of war, during the Napoleon wars. The museum collection also features weapons used by mariners during the 18th and 19th century and paintings by Aristeidis Glykas.  

Opening hours: 08:00-14:00

Entrance: 1,50 € (except for children up to 15 years old)

Contact information: tel: +30 22710 55182

Website: Oinousses Maritime Museum

 

Read more...

Lalades, Chios’ wild tulips

  • Published in News

Spring has arrived and our spirits have been lifted at the thought of the colourful wildflowers that flood Chios countryside. Of course, the colour red will dominate the green fields of the island the next few weeks. In a few days the olive and almond orchards of Chios islands will be covered with the special Chios wild tulips, called lalades by the locals.

 

There are four species of wild tulip (toulipa aegenensis, toulipa udulatifolia, toulipa clousiana, toulipa praecox), and the three of them are found exclusively on Chios island, mostly at the central and southeast part of the island. The name lalades comes from the Persian word for tulip, “lale”, which has passed in Chios dialect through turkish. These delicate and elegant flowers create a unique landscape that has inspired poets, painters, photographers and cinematographers over the years.

 

Unfortunately, in the recent years the numbers of lalades reduce every year, because of the uncontrollable and careless collection of flowers. If someone picks a tulip with its bulb, then the tulip will not be able to flower the next year – it is destroyed.

If you have the chance to visit Chios countryside the next few weeks, you will be able to admire, enjoy and photograph a red carpeted field, at the same time paying attention to protect and preserve the flowers. If you would l like to pick a couple of lalades, make sure to cut the flower’s stem but take care not to pick the bulb!

 

As Konstantis, the hero of Petros Martakis Chios Humourous Stories, tells his friends: “Guys, don’t step on the crops and the flowers! Pick just a few of the lalades at the side of the field. But then, why pick them? Can’t you see they are like fires of the spring, painted by byzantine artists in this crazy beautiful icon you have in front of you?”

Read more...

Carnival festivities on Chios island

  • Published in News

Winter is almost over and spring is fast approaching. On Chios island you can experience special events and traditions all year long, however, the carnival festivities that take place at this time of year, signify the passage from winter to spring. A lot of them derive from the Greek orthodox tradition, mixed with elements of ancient pagan rituals. This is the case with the Carnival which is celebrated all over Greece, but on Chios it has some special events and expressions, that both locals and tourists can enjoy. These special carnival traditions of Chios are so worth experiencing. Chians are known for their sense of humour and their love for life and for a good time. Consequently, the Carnival period is the perfect time to express themselves in the way they know best.

The highlight of Carnival celebrations on Chios island takes place in Thymiana village, just 10 km from town centre. The Mostra and Talimi events take place there. Mostra is a parade of masquerades, that cross Thymiana village, dancing at the sound of carnival music. The parade usually has a satirical theme. Starting on Friday 8 March, before the last Sunday of the Carnival, the people of Thymiana dress up and set up the Mostra, that is, the handmade carnival chariots, performing satirical numbers and wearing handmade masks (moutsounaries). The celebrations peak on Sunday 10 March, the last day of the Carnival. This year, like every year, the traditional dances Talimi and Detos will be performed, followed by a show by Brasilionico Grupo Percussivo, a group of Brazilian street music, and the traditional parade. Festivities conclude, of course, with a traditional panigyri at the village square.

The Mostra tradition has roots back to the Middle Ages, when pirate attacks to the island were very common. It is said that during the Carnival time, while all the villagers were celebrating, the watchtower guards sent a signal that pirates were approaching the coast. The men of the village immediately went there and set up an ambush. The pirates were defeated and the villagers took their prisoners back to the village where they showed them off (Mostra comes from the Italian mostrare) and celebrated.

In commemoration of this battle and victory against the pirates, a representation of the battle takes place every year, performed in the streets of the village with the traditional Talimi dance. There are two groups of dancers representing the villagers and the pirates. They dance in pairs, holding swords, dressed in traditional costumes. In the end they dance the Detos dance, holding each other by the arms, a sign of reconciliation and friendship.

Apart from Mostra at Thymiana, here is an indicative list of Carnival festivities around Chios island, depicting the various choices we have for these three-day celebrations. Don’t forget to check out our on-line events calendar, which is constantly updated for inspiration:

On Sunday 10 March, 2019

Agios Georgios Sykousis

The custom of the Oxen is celebrated on the last Sunday of the Carnival. It symbolizes the farmers’ fruition, harvest and good crops.

Pyrgi village

The Cultural Association of Pyrgi organizes the traditional event of Karkalousses, where locals dress up and walk around the village making satirical jokes, and the traditional “detos” dance is performed.

 

Lagada and Kardamyla

Carnival festivities, with street parties, traditional music and food from noon until late evening

Volissos village

The dance of Diplos revives every year in Volissos, the largest village of the north part of the island. In the old days, on the last Sunday of the Carnival, at the peak of the celebrations, the people would dance this dance, creating human double chains, as they held hands. They would start from every neighbourhood of the village and dance their way to the central square, creating thus a very long chain. At the same time, the person leading the dance would sing and the others would follow.

On Ash Monday, 11 March

Mesta and Olympoi villages


The happening of Aga takes place at Olympi and Mesta villages on Ash Monday (this year on 11 March 2019). It is a parody of the spring tour that the Aga of Mastichi used to make around Mastichochoria, during Ottoman times. The person that plays the Aga is asked to “judge” the  visitors and make them pay a fine to the association organizing the happening. The celebration involves snacks and lots of "souma", a spirit the locals make from figs, in remembrance of the obligation they had to offer hospitality to the Ottoman tax-collectors and officials.

Agios Georgios Sykousis

On Ash Monday the Funeral of the Dead is reenacted. This custom denotes the end of the Carnival season and symbolizes the wish for a good harvest with the coming of the spring. A group of men with their faces smudged in disguise carry a man who represents the Dead, whereas the people following mourn as the deceased was a very gifted man. Someone reads a eulogy with underlying sexual content.

There’s a great variety of choices then for traditional events and celebrations at the villages of Chios, not to mention the different parties that take place in Chios town, from Friday through to Sunday, at bars and clubs of the town. Get ready then to party, enjoy life and welcome spring on Chios island! 

Read more...

Barbeque Thursday!!!

  • Published in News

Greek Carnival, the three weeks period before Ash Monday (11th of March for this year), is one of the most characteristic and distinctive festive celebrations, with customs that have their roots in the Dionysian celebrations of ancient Greece. The whole country celebrates joyfully, and Greeks wear costumes and consume large quantities of meat and wine. But most of the meat is consumed during the second week, especially on Thursday, which the Greeks call “Tsiknopempti” (Barbeque Thursday).

 

In Chios, Tsiknopempti is a very festive day!  Barbeques are set up in every corner and smokes and smells of charcoal grilled meat are diffused above the town and villages.

If you happen to be in the city of Chios such a day, take a walk in the streets and be a part of the festive atmosphere. Chians grill outside their houses and their taverns, but also the butchers and the distillers put charcoal grills outside their shops and everyone is welcome to taste hot “souvlaki” or a piece of meat. Of course fat meat is in order! In pastry shops you will find the traditional “kataifi”, the traditional Carnival pastry, plain or stuffed with nuts, or even covered with rich cream. Due to the festive character of the day, in many restaurants you will find live orchestras or DJs.

 

If you still have an appetite for a nice drive in order to enjoy the nature and quietness, visit a village and enjoy your meat in a traditional tavern, accompanied with local cheeses and especially “mizithra”, which is a fresh and creamy cheese with gentle texture. Enjoy your meal combined of course with local wine, ouzo or souma.

Read more...

Chios Maritime Museum

  • Published in News

Chios Maritime Museum is established at an impressive neoclassic building at the centre of Chios town (Address: Stefanou Tsouri 20), that was donated by the heirs of Anastasios and Marouko Patera. It aims to promote the long nautical history and tradition of Chios island and the role it has played in the modern shipping industry. Its exhibition includes naïve paintings of ships by the folk painter Aristeidis Glykas from Vrontados, parts and models of ships, photographs and other artefacts of maritime life. A visit there is a must during a walk around Chios Town.

As you enter the garden and yard of Chios Maritime Museum, you cannot miss the monument dedicated to the memory of 328 Chian mariners who were lost at sea during the  World War II. It was created by sculptor Alexandros Kokkinos. It is made from stainless steel and the 328 names are engraved on it.

Chios Maritime Museum has a library with a collection of books, brochures and documents about maritime themes. It was donated to the museum by journalist E. Batis and the collection is still growing, thanks to donations. The Museum organizes lectures, conferences and educational programs for children. It is also available for hosting events. Usually during the summer, it hosts a couple of very interesting music events, such as Chios Music Festival concerts.

After you finish your tour at Chios Maritime Museum, don’t forget to stop by the cute gift shop, where you can find handmade ceramics, t-shirts and print outs of paintings and Chios engravings.

Opening hours

9:00 – 13:00  (1 November – 30 April) & 9:00 – 14:00 (1 May – 31 October) . Closed on Sundays and official holidays (Open on the Sundays of August: 09:00 - 14:00)

General entrance: 2,50€ - Students and children: 1,50€ - For Schools and Students in Chios: free

Contact information

Tel: (+30) 22710 44139, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Website Chios Maritime Museum

Read more...

Kampos, a paradise for runners

  • Published in News

Those who choose running as a workout have the convenience of exercising wherever they are, and of course on their holidays, since this is the most appropriate and easiest exercise that one can do, that also offers mental uplift in addition to body training. But when one runs at Kampos, the enjoyment of running takes a whole different dimension.

Kampos of Chios is a plain, stretching along the eastern coast of the island, 10 km long and 2 km wide. The whole area is a sightseeing spot and it is protected by the Greek Ministry of Culture as a historical site and a traditional settlement. The natural landscape and the remarkable architecture that combines elements from the Genoese and the modern neoclassic cultural heritage of the island, the narrow, quiet and tangled streets between the citrus orchards and the imposing mansions with the high walls, make Kampos an ideal place for running. The area offers a wide range of running routes without elevation, ideal for those looking for large asphalt tracks. If someone wants to run uphill, there is also this option that will lead him to the highest points around Kampos, which offer a unique view of the area.

Running lovers will find the paths of their dreams in Kampos. Clean environment, with unexpected citrus smells emerging from the orchards and calm, as there are not many cars in the area.

The mansions with the arched doors and windows, the walls and the elaborate garden doors will make the runners want to run more and more in order to admire them all. There are many route choices and all you need is good music and the right stretches for a memorable run.

Tip: Every year, a semi marathon race of 21 km is organized in Kampos, a unique route crossing citrus fruit gardens. The event takes place at the end of the summer and this year is scheduled for Sunday 1st of September. There is also a choice for running or walking on a 10 or 5 km route. For more information and participation, visit: http://www.chiosrunning.gr/en/ 

Read more...

Maritime tradition of Chios island

  • Published in News

Chios’ long maritime tradition has determined the history and social organization of the island as well as the identity of the destination and its people. It is as important as the cultivation of the unique Chios natural mastiha (PDO).

The maritime villages of the island are full of exciting stories of hard work and success as well as grief and separation. At the kafeneia (coffee shops) mariners (retired or not) will tell stories of journeys at exotic places and ports.

Vrontados, Sykiada, Lagada, Kardamyla and Oinousses are proud of their mariners, captains and engineers. This long tradition of work at sea continues today with a lot of young people choosing to follow a career at the Greek Merchant Navy. The fact that a lot of powerful shipowners that dominate today’s global maritime industry are from Chios has played an important role in this tradition. 

 

Built by the sea, Chios’ maritime villages are living examples of this long tradition, which is evident in their architecture, the works of art in the public places, the infrastructure projects that have been donated by shipbuilding families (such as the Fafalieion Stadium in Vrontados, the Livaneio High School of Kardamyla and the Schools of Merchant Navy). Everyday life here is built around and based on the sea.  

A landmark that one cannot miss at the seaside of Vrontados is the Lost Sailor, a sculpture by Thanasis Apartis, dedicated to the mariners that were lost at sea. Accordingly, Maramaro, the seaside of Kardamyla village, is dominated by the sculptures dedicated at the mariner of Kardamyla and the mothers of Kardamyla that bid farewell to their sons and husbands, as they set out for a long journey at sea. On arrival at Oinousses, we are greeted by the Mermaid, a sculpture by Mary Papakonstantinou, dedicated to the magic sea creature that wishes well to mariners on their trips and a speedy and safe return.

 

 

Read more...

Weekend idea… Explore Central Chios!

  • Published in News

February is coming and there is no better idea than an excursion to Central Chios to make a winter Sunday exciting!

 

Starting from the town of Chios, take your coffee and maybe some “loukoumades” in a box and enjoy the ride through pine trees to the "Aegean Mistras". This is Anavatos, the village with two-storey stone houses that look like hanging over the cliff. Take your coffee with you and climb to the highest point of the village, through the stone paved path and the old abandoned houses. When you make it to the top, the winter landscape and the view will take your breath away!

Read more...

Mastiha on the rocks!

  • Published in News

The unique Mastiha is the brand product of Chios. Its multiple uses are constantly increasing. However, since the old days, the Chians used to make a special liqueur flavored with mastic.

The "Chios Mastiha" liqueur is classified among the Greek PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) products. It is produced either by blending mastic oil, alcohol and sugar, or by extracting alcohol from mastic tears and then distilling and mixing with sugar. It is transparent and distinguished by its particular aroma and its qualities as an excellent digestive. A glass of mastiha liqueur can accompany sweets or ice creams on an afternoon call, can perfectly close a nice meal, or give a special flavor to a fruit salad.

Read more...

Amanites: a "precious" meze

  • Published in News

In Chios and especially in the northern part of the island, when it is raining, a special type of mushrooms that the locals call “Amanites”, grow on the mountains.  With the scientific name Lactarius Salmanicolor, these mushrooms resemble the pleurotus mushrooms in the shape, but they have a difference in color, since they are orange, and in taste, since they are much tastier.

Read more...

Archive

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.

greece

mygreece

Read reviews about Chios on
Χίος

pvaigaiou en

where-to-stay

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