Chios Page 5
Inland from Chios Town
The trip to New Monastery or Nea Moni takes one through some of the nicest territory on the island. Built in 1039 AD, partially destroyed in the earthquake of 1822, it contains some of the nicest examples of Byzantine art in existence. Also displayed are the bones of some of the 5000 who sought sanctuary here during the massacre. There's a special chapel for the bones. Axe wounds are visible on many skulls, including those of children.
The blue buses only go as far as Karyes, a 7km walk from Nea Moni, so if walking is a problem take a taxi to see this monastery. Modest dress is required. The church has a sumptuous double narthex with mosaics of 28 saints, including St Anne. There are many pilasters, niches, and richly colored mosaics. Of artistic merit are the Anastasis, Christ Washing the Disciples' Feet, Betrayal in the Garden, the mosaic of the Virgin, the dome and the Byzantine clock.
The Nea Moni is listed as a world heritage site.
The closest settlement to Nea Moni is Avgonyma. It's a beautiful and well restored village with a medieval tower.
North of Chios Town: Langada, Kardamila and Volissos
The north of the island is less developed and many of its villages almost deserted in winter. Vrontados is one exception. Just 5 km from Chios Town, it's home to many of the island's wealthiest. Homer and Christopher Columbus are both said to have sat upon its Teacher's Stone (or Daskalopetra), a rock throne overlooking the sea. It has a small Folklore Museum, the 19th Century Monastery of Panagia Myrtidiotissa and the International Society for the Study of Homer.
Volissos was once the primary market town for the 20 smaller villages in northern Chios. It's located on a fortified hill.
Langada, Kardamila, and Marmaros are other unspoilt Northern Chios villages worth visiting. The popular beach, Nagos Beach is north of Marmaros. Pitios is the birthplace of Homer, his "house" and olive grove are still there.
Even in the burnt, almost lunar, emptiness of the northernmost reaches of the island there are fortresses, towers, beaches, caves and other interesting things to explore.