CHIOS



redline

Chios - The NW of the Island - Watchtowers on Chios

Watchtowers on Chios

The long rugged coastline of Chios has a protective girdle of watchtowers. They are almost 50 in number and punctuate the island’s promontories regularly in a complete circuit. Many survive in good condition, especially in the west and southwest of the island. A number of these towers, referred to as vigles or phriktories, are Byzantine in origin, but the majority date from the Genoese occupation of the 14th and 15th centuries. The organisational thoroughness of the Genoese has been noted elsewhere in this chapter; this went beyond the political and commercial structures which they created for the island’s economy and administration, and was underpinned by a formidable military security system of which the towers were an integral part. This was an expression of the value they set upon their possession of Chios—its strategic position in trade with the Orient and the Black Sea, and its unique production of mastic—a market the Genoese were set on monopolising.
The walled and fortified villages of the Mastic area, the chief fortress at the port of Chios, the critical look-out points over shipping routes, such as Avgonyma and Anavatos, and the coastal signalling towers or vigles, were all part of an integrated defence system of impressive design. In this strategic chess-game, the vigles were the front line of defence—the pawns on the board: their form is somewhat similar. They are the descendants of the Hellenistic towers, such as that at Drakanon on Ikaria—only they are constructed in rough stone rubble bound in mortar, rather than in ashlar masonry. Their strength was increased by the fact that they were solid to at least half their height. For this reason the only aperture—a cross between a door and a window—was rarely lower than 6 or 7m above ground level. This meant that access to the interior was only by rope-ladder and grappling hook. Only a small garrison of three or four men was needed to man the towers whose job was to relay messages by pigeon or fire signals; this related principally to any approaching danger, such as pirates or enemy forces; but it also importantly included giving vital notice to the markets of the main city of the arrival of commercial vessels of Genoese ownership.

 

Chios Island is part of the Northern Aegean Island group
Chios. The NW of the Island. Watchtowers on Chios.


Random information you might what to know about Chios Island
Nea Moni of Chios
The Katarraktis village

 

Rating: /5 ( Votes)

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

Book your Trip to Greece

ferry

advertisements