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Heroic Psara, a paradise for food lovers

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.


Oinousses Maritime Museum

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



Lalades, Chios’ wild tulips

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?”


Carnival festivities on Chios island

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! 


Barbeque Thursday!!!

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.


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