A tour at south Chios, the so called Mastic Villages (Mastihohoria). It is actually fortified villages, looking like a castle, with internal narrow alleys, byzantine churches, virgin beaches and the fine scent of Mastic covering the area. Here, only to the southern part of the Island, since the ancient times, is thriving the mastic, from the mastic bearing bushes that made Chios known all over the world. With a big production of clear mastic and by products that have many purposes and use.
Starting from the Chios town, our 1st stop is Pyrgi, the biggest medieval village and probably the most interesting on the cultural and anonymous architecture side. A walk to the narrow alleys, will opens a new perceptive, with the houses with pyramid like roof, (known as travaka) and the painting decorations on the external walls the so called “Xysta” (scratched). It is an engraving technique on the external coating of the façade, with alterations of the black and white. At the villages’ square you can visit the big church of Kimisi tis Theotokou and the church of Agii Apostoli, a well preserved byzantine monument, which is a small replica of the temple of the Nea Moni monastery, with exceptional wall frescoes from the 13th century.
Then an optional visit to the Cave of Olympians, which features a rich and impressive stalactite and stalagmite decoration, and is one of the most impressive and beautiful caves in Greece.
Our next stop is the medieval village of Mesta, which is characterized as a listed monument and is one of the most well-preserved fortresses of the Genoese state.
During your tour, you will notice that the village has only one entrance and one exit, while the walk through its labyrinthine alleys under the arches that form the balconies will offer you a unique experience and a unique trip to the medieval atmosphere of the 14th century.
We visit the two most important churches of the village, the church of Panmegiston Taxiarhon at the central square and the church of Old Taxiarhis with the exceptional wooden crafted iconostasis.
We have free time at the central square and we depart for the coastal hamlet Emborios. The beach “Mavra Votsala” (Black Pubbles) is unique thanks to its black pebbles that give a dark color to the sea.
That unique characteristic is because the now non active volcano Psaronas. In older times the volcano had erupted resulting the beach with lava and ash.
We have free time for lunch in one of the tavernas by the sea which are offering fresh fish, sea food and rich variety of mezedes, as well as traditional tastes of the Greek and local cuisine.
Afterwards we visit the Mastic museum, where you can discover the traditional expertise on the mastic cultivation and come to know closer the actual plant, its properties and its products.
Our last stop is the Armolion hamlet, where its people are masters on the ceramic art. Here you can visit the shops that exhibit and shell ceramic products, pitchers, jags, cups, or other decorative artifacts , that are distinguished examples of the traditional ceramic and pottery art, where its routes are vanished through the centuries.
In the afternoon we return to Chios town.
Duration : 6 -7 hours
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