Chios, the island of mastic

Possible birthplace of Homer, as well as of the mathematicians Hippocrates and Oenopides, Chios is located in the northeast of the Aegean Sea.

The island is only a short distance from the coasts of Asia Minor, in particular it is just 3.5 nautical miles from Punta cape to Erythraea peninsula at the height of Cesme. It is the fifth largest island in Greece with a coastline of 213 kilometers and a population that lives both in the city of Chios and in the 64 villages of the island. The large expatriate communities in London and New York are remarkably big.

The Regional Unity of Chios consists of the islands of Chios, Psara, Antipsara and Oinousses. It is divided administratively into three municipalities, those of Oinousses, Chios and Psara. The largest of these is the municipality of Chios, which occupies the entire island of Chios and is the largest municipality of the island.

The territory of Chios is in the main part of the mountain, while only in the South and East of the prefecture some lowlands are formed. To the north of Chios is the Pelinnaion mountain with its highest peak of Prophet Elias (1,297 m). There are no rivers in Chios, except small torrents. The island is known for its picturesque landscapes, but also for the temperate Mediterranean climate with mild winters and rare rains in the summer. The winds usually blow north-northwest and the temperature ranges between 28-29 degrees Celsius.

The main products it exports are mastic, oil, figs and wine, and has an international reputation for the size and quality of its shipping.To the east of Chios, across Lagada, is the island cluster of Oinousses. The beautiful city of the island, Amynassa, built amphitheatrically on a steep hill, consists of tall traditional and luxurious houses, with narrow alleys and paved streets.

Psara, along with Antipsara, are to the northwest of Chios,48 nautical miles away. These two islands together with some other neighboring uninhabited ones such as Daskalio, Kato Nisi and Agios Nikolaos constitute a small complex.


Although not widely known, Chios is a terrestrial paradise for sea lovers. With more than 90 recorded beaches, Chios is one of the top destinations in the Aegean that will satisfy even the most demanding visitor.

The beaches of Chios are famous for their purity, the clarity of their waters and their unique diversity.Going around the island, you will enjoy cosmopolitan and deserted beaches, pebble beaches, coastal caves sculpted in steep rocks, sandy beaches and beaches lined with dark pebbles due to volcanic soils. On most shores access is free.

The mastic of Chios

Chios mastic is a unique agricultural product that is produced only in a small geographical area in the south of Chios. The settlements of this area are called Mastichohoria. Mastic is the product of the mastic tree that grows and thrives only in South Chios. There is evidence that cultivation and commercial exploitation as an exportable product begins in antiquity (Hellenistic period). Although there were other types of mastic at that time, the high quality of Chios mastic established it as a unique product with enormous commercial value and exclusive production. Inevitably, therefore, the history of the island was associated with mastic. The Byzantine Empire handed over the island to the Genovese in the 14th century when the production and trade of mastic was systematized, while the Ottomans – the Genovese's successors in power – forced the Chians to pay a special tax in kind (mastiha). After World War I there was a decline in the production and the value of mastic. The establishment of the cooperative association “Chios Mastiha Producers Association” helped the production to recover, despite the adversity of the era and the Second World War. In recent years, systematic research, development and promotion have increased sales and product reputation, as well as the income from mastic producers, whose interest has been greatly upgraded.


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