Day-tripping to Chios

Day Trippin' ChiosOne of the great things about living in Turkey is that it is almost entirely surrounded by water.  Where there is water, there are ferries to interesting places.  Along the western coast, many of these ferries goo to Greek islands.  Last year we took one to Rhodes, and this year we tried the small island of Chios.

Day Trippin' Chios

Disclaimer: Some of our articles may contain affiliate links; when you click on these links you'll have the option to purchase or register for a service at no extra cost to you, but doing so helps us run this blog. That's awesome!

To get there we drove to the coastal city of Cesme and paid a mere 40 Euros for the return ticket for that one day.  The only frustrating thing was that we didn’t know to fight to get to the front of the passport control line and we were behind many Turks.  The Greeks have to hand-input all of the Turks’ information and this took up some of our precious time.

Day Trippin' Chios

The rest of the island is well set up for a day trip.  We walked straight to a car rental place and rented one for the remainder of the day.  The lady even marked out the route we should take to get the most out of one day.  She was right, next time I would at least spend a weekendthere.  One day really is not enough.

Day Trippin' Chios

Our first stop was the Nea Moni Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (inscribed in 1990) along with two other monasteries from the same period and style.  It’s a good thing we started here, too, as the monastery closes at 1:00 PM each day.  We had about forty minutes to do the entire complex, which included the church and a small museum.

Day Trippin' Chios

I love hearing how the monks decided on where to build a new monastery.  For Nea Moni, three monks were looking for a new site to build upon when they discovered an icon of the Virgin Mary on a bush.  The icon is now located in the museum along with at least one copy.  Constantine, himself, footed the bill after he was named emperor according to one of the monk’s predictions.  Because of its lofty beginnings and favors, Nea Moni became one of the riches monasteries in Greece.

 

Evidence of this can be found inside the church where the background of the many mosaics is painted in gold. Some of the mosaics were very complete where others have been badly damaged, either from the Ottoman take-over or the earthquake that followed.

Day Trippin' Chios

Apparently the battle of Chios was extremely bloody.  One of the rooms inside the church has a glass cupboard displaying skulls and bones from some of the victims.

Day Trippin' Chios

After the monastery, we drove to Lithio, where we ate lunch and swam in the warm water.  Along the beachfront were many restaurants, and we had our obligatory calamari.  Calamari, in Greece, is the whole squid cleaned and cut into slices, lightly battered and fried.  The tentacles are delicious, but you must remember to not swallow some of the cartilage, like the beak.

Day Trippin' Chios

After swimming, we didn’t have much time, so we high-tailed it back to the rental car agency.  The girl had said she would be there to collect the car, but it was siesta time and the shop was closed up tight.  We had just a few minutes before our ferry was supposed to launch when she showed up, got in a fight with a parking policeman, and delivered us to the port.  A heart-pumping end to a relaxing day on just another Greek island.

If you are looking for some other Greek islands, check out 10 Things to do in Mykonos!

Have you been Greek Island hopping?  Have you been to Chios?

2 Comments

  1. Stumbled across this from your Heritage Wednesday Pinboard and can answer yes! I’ve been to Chios. Not many people have, it’s not on the main circuit of Greek islands, but I went there for my first ever European “foreign” summer holiday (having lived in India before, holidays had been in Kashmir, Kulu, Rajasthan, NOT Europe!!) I think it must have been in about 1980. We were pretty much the only non Greeks or Turks and we did the opposite, we went to Cesme for the day (my first trip to Turkey!)

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Send this to a friend