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Chios - The NW of the Island - The Limestone Plateau of Mount Aipos: Pitios & Rimokastro

The Limestone Plateau of Mount Aipos: Pitios & Rimokastro

Two kilometres south of Moni Moundon the road rejoins the main east/west road from Vrontados to Volissos: 7km further to the east through scattered pine forests, in the direction of Chora, a branch road to left leads off to Pitios (3.6km).

Mount Pelinnai­on is a grand massif with conspicuous peaks, while Mount Ai­pos, to its south, is quite different in character—a wide, shadeless, undulating mountain plateau of seemingly waterless rock. In a cleft between the two, sits the once remote settlement of Pitios. A small area of cultivable land surrounds the village—a patchwork of fertile fields on the side of Mount Pelinnai­on, and barren on the side of Mount Ai­pos. A long but tendentious local tradition links the village with Homer; until not long ago, visitors were shown the ‘house where the poet was born’. The village is dominated by its 13th century fort—a curious military building shaped in plan like a half-melon, with a curved castellated front to the north and a flat side to the south: the unusual shape is not dictated by the space available on the rock outcrop, but may arise from modifications made when a pre-existing, four-square Byzantine fort was reinforced by the Genoese, using more up-to-date military architecture.
   Returning to the main road once again, and continuing east towards Chora, a landscape of frightening austerity unfolds. At the summit, after 7.1km, a rough track leads back (1.5km) to the north across the rock plateau to Rimokastro. On a shallow rise, with commanding views across to Oinousses, are the camouflaged remains of collapsed stone walls covering a large area; in the midst of this desolate scene is an outbreak of clearly cut and finished, rectangular blocks, belonging to an ancient, late Classical or Hellenistic building, originally constructed in isodomic masonry, and apparently divided into three rooms. The threshold of the east door is carefully cut with escape channels for rainwater at the ends of the sill. The bleak and waterless rock around invites speculation as to the purpose of such a building. An absence of votive objects and a mass of potsherds of domestic items, suggests that this was a large farmstead (perhaps for the raising of a particularly tough and tenacious breed of livestock?) which may well have doubled up, as so often in the Hellenistic world, as a fortified look-out post.
   From the summit beside the turning for Rimokastro, the road descends slowly, towards the precipitous edge of the plateau of Mount Ai­pos. Seven kilometres short of Chios town, it reaches a belvedere with a sudden and * magnificent panorama of Vrontados and Chios far below, and the mountains of Turkey stretching beyond. The descent is dramatic thereafter. Theeniously constructed retaining walls of the modern road have been made from using the flattened flagstones from the paved surface of the old road, whose route the modern road closely follows down a precipitous descent of over three hundred metres in altitude.

 

Chios Island is part of the Northern Aegean Island group
The NW of the Island. The Limestone Plateau of Mount Aipos: Pitios & Rimokastro.


Random information you might what to know about Chios Island
Mastic tree and products
The Monastery of Aghios Markos

 

access

Chios Island, Greece.

By air: Domestic flights from Athens, three times daily with Olympic Air and twice daily with Aegean Airlines, serve Chios throughout the year. Five days a week there are Olympic Air connections with Thessaloniki, including a twice weekly local, Eastern Aegean route, from Thessaloniki to Rhodes , via Lemnos, Mytilini and (once a week only) Samos . The airport is 3km from the centre of Chios town.
By boat: The principal route—Piraeus, Chios, Mytilini— is served by Hellenic Seaways, with a daily 12.30 departure from Piraeus, arriving Chios at 7pm, continuing to Mytilini, and returning to Piraeus overnight. NEL Lines run three times weekly along the route from/to Samos to the south, and Mytilini, Lemnos, and Kavala, to the north. Smaller ferry-boats connect Chios with Psará (5 times weekly), and Oinousses (6 times weekly). Crossings to Turkey (Çeşme) run almost daily during the summer season (Easter–mid-October); thereafter much more infrequently.

Chios Travel Guide

beaches

Chios Island, Greece.

 

Lithi Beach

Emboreios Mavros Gialos

Chios Travel Guide

eating

Chios Island, Greece.

Delightful, welcoming and with fresh, imaginative dishes and good bourekakia (lightly filled and fried filo-pastry rolls), is the (recently much enlarged) taverna, Roussikó, in Thymianá (just east of the main church in the village).
In the main town of Chios: both "Byzantinio" and "Elleniki Kouzina", on opposite sides of the crossing of Ralli and Roïdou Streets between the port and the public gardens, are favoured by locals for their clean environment, inexpensive home-cooking and well-prepared, workaday food; no frills and no atmosphere, just simple food.
Iakovou (evenings only), on Aghios Giorgios Street in the Kastro, has more atmosphere and offers a number of Asia Minor dishes.
Around the island: Lefteris at Pandoukiós (just south of Langada on the northeast coast), Tria Adelphia on Lithí Beach (central west Chios) and the taverna, Limani Meston in Liménas (southwest Chios), all offer excellent, fresh fishdishes in pleasant settings by the shore; while Markellos at Pitiós is well-known for meat and vegetable dishes of local cuisine; and Pheragides offers mezes in the delightful setting of a plane-shaded plateia at Kardámyla in northeastern Chios.
The cliffs and rocky coasts of Chios are home to an aromatic samphire ("kritamo") which is a distinctive element of its salads—always worth asking for, if it has not already been included in the mixture. Chios also has a tradition of excellence in oriental pastries; the quality of the baklava and other sweets made by the Amandier Patisserie in Livanou Street (south side of port) is worthy of any Ottoman pastry-chef.

Chios Travel Guide

further reading

Chios Island, Greece.

For social history of the important families of Chios and for the events of 1821/2 the following site contains much valuable information: www. christopherlong.co.uk/pub/ chiosinfo.html

Chios Travel Guide

lodging

Chios Island, Greece.

A number of the nicest places to stay on Chios are in Kampos, to the south of the main town, in the elegant stone villas which are so characteristic of the area. Two, that are close to one another, and run by different members of the same family, are particularly recommended:
-Perivoli (Argenti Street, T. 22710 31513, fax 32042, www.perivolihotel. gr), and -Perleas (Vitiadou Street, T. 22710 32217, fax 32364, www.perleas.gr). Both offer simple accommodation and attentive hospitality, moderately priced, in elegant villas with gardens. Although signposted, neither is easy to find: if you call ahead, you will be piloted, or collected. There is public transport to this area, but a rental vehicle is advised. In the centre of town, at the south end of the port, is the Hotel Kyma in a stone-built mansion looking onto the sea (T. 22710 44500, fax 44600, email: kyma@chi. forthnet.gr); the antiquity of the plumbing and bedroom furniture are more than compensated for by the friendliness and attentive hospitality of the owners and by the charm of the building.
A different experience is offered by Spilia Xenonas at Kardámyla above the northeast coast, 23km from the port (T. 22720 22933, fax 22823, www. spilia-chios.gr). This is a group of small, carefully restored, characteristic, stone cottages at the top of the village, with views towards the sea in the distance: a good homemade breakfast is provided. Wooden signposts guide you up to the cottages on steep stone paths through the village; any car will need to be left some distance below.

Chios Travel Guide

museums

Chios Island, Greece.

Archaeological Museum
Byzantine Museum
Folklore Museum

Chios Travel Guide

practical info

Chios Island, Greece.

821 00/02 & 822 00 Chios: area 841 sq. km; perimeter 213km; resident population 51,060; max. altitude 1,297m. Port Authority: T. 22710 44433. Travel and information: Municipal Tourist Office, T. 22710 44389, www.chiosonline.gr

Chios Travel Guide

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