You’ve heard of Santorini, Corfu, Crete and you know Mykonos is the destination for partying. But if Greece has a magical island, Chios is definitely it.
This lesser-known isle sits happily in the northeastern part of the Aegean Sea.
Chios is most famous for its cultivation and production of mastic, an aromatic resin that forms in teardrop shapes that comes from trees growing in the fertile Mastichochoria region of the island.
The largest mastic village is called Pyrgi. The buildings there are adorned with geometric patterns, called “graffito,” that are like nothing you’ve ever seen.
Don’t forget the medieval village of Mesta, built as a maze with tightly spaced homes.
The narrow streets were constructed with arches and vaults to protect important buildings from the pirates of the past. The whole place is hauntingly charming. Chios is about a 45-minute flight from Athens, making it the perfect beach escape for European adventurers.