Chios is linked to mastic, carries ages of history and has a long commercial and maritime tradition. It is also known for the Kambos area, with the genoese mansions and the citrus orchards, the medieval castle-villages and its secluded beaches.
Chios is the fifth largest island in the aegean. The south is smooth, with a scent of mastic. In the center and up north it is mountainous, with small scattered villages and nature unspoiled.
We are lucky to live in a place with many footpaths. We are committed to preserving them and bringing them back to life.
Scent of Mastic
The gentle routes of southern Chios offer a unique hiking experience. They cross terraces with olive trees and the distinctive mastic groves, with a view towards the medieval villages and the genoese “vigles” (lookout posts). The lifeblood of the area, the traditional cultivation of the mastic trees, was inscribed in 2014 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Medieval villages like Mesta, Pyrgi and Olympi, the Sykia cave and the famous Mavra Volia beach, along with numerous other local beaches, are major tourist attractions in the area and combine ideally with a hiking excursion.
Large sections of the major routes that connected different regions of the island still remain intact today.
“Ellinostrata” (the road of the greeks) is a trail that has existed for thousands of years. Up until the 1920’s, it provided the sole connection between the town of Chios and the villages on the northeastern part of the island. It traverses the bare Aipos plateau, with the thick stone walls and the huge heaps of stone (chouveles), and offers an impressive view of the sea.
The “Turkish road” used to connect the town of Chios with Volissos. A large section, several kilometers long, with its impeccable masonry, remains intact. It is considered one of Europe’s most notable road monuments. Another twin road leads to Lithi, on the western coast of the island.
Several excellent trails are also to be found around the thousand-year-old monastery of Nea Moni, a site included in the World Heritage List of UNESCO.
Back Through Time
The old routes on Aipos and the stone paths around the villages of Pelinnaio and Amani lead back to times when survival was synonymous to toil. Access to the cultivated fields and communication between the villages where requirements to sustain life in such isolation.
These gentle paths are now used for hiking, through beautiful alternating landscapes, next to stone walls, terraces, threshing floors, water wells, sheepfolds and shepherd’s huts, windmills and watermills. These rural monuments, in complete harmony with their environment and now engulfed in vegetation, shed an alternative light on the way we live today.
The Wild Side
Pelinnaio mountain is, in a single word, unique. Its highest peak, Aghia Triada (1297 m), is the third highest in the Aegean, forming a very distinctive ridge along with its neighbouring twin peak, Edelos (1274 m). The whole area is part of the NATURA network, rich in avifauna, herbs and dozens of species of orchid (some of which are endemic to Chios).
The routes on Pelinnaio are demanding and require several hours. The landscape is rugged and imposing, with large rocks, ravines and steep ridges. Yet, even on this remote area, you will find old mountain chapels, sheepfolds, water troughs and threshing floors, signs that people once tried (or were compelled) to live there.
Hiking on Pelinnaio is quite an experience.
ranging from rugged goat tracks to stone-paved roads, from the southern edges of the island to its northern coasts
of the island’s trails are preserved in good condition and are suitable for any kind of hiking excursion
km² of Νatura network
with diverse habitats, interesting flora including rare and endemic species, large numbers of birds and reptiles
- Thank you very much for guiding us through this awesome place. None of us expected that it would be so beautiful here!Elsa EglezopoulouPresident of Lesvos Hiking Club
- Your conduct, as well as your love and knowledge of the place made us feel welcome and at home. You revealed the island to us, calmly and without conceit.Yannis KaravaggelisMember of OTE Hiking Club
- We had a wonderful time. Chios far exceeded our expectations!Voula RaptiMember of EPOS FILIS Hiking Club
- This hike was very beautiful, with alternating landscapes, from the prairies to the rocky slopes of Pelinneo.Fabien GaillardFrench visitor of Chios
- It was a difficult trail but I will remember the scent of the herbs, the views and the constant changes of scenery.Eli HeirugNorwegian visitor of Chios
- We climbed on the two peaks of Pelinneo. It was a tough trail but the locals’ company made us forget all weariness.Dimitris KarachristosPresident of Loutraki Mountaineering Club