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Prepare yourself because you are going to learn the most fascinating facts about Chios! Chios’ visitors are mostly interested in the top beaches, tourist attractions, and local cuisine. But how many of you are familiar with the Chios realities that give this story its true meaning?
Where is Chios
Chios is the fifth largest of the Greek islands. It is situated in the Aegean Sea, just7 kilometers (4.3 mi) off the Turkish port of Cesme. The island is separated from Turkey by the Chios Strait.
Read How to Get to Chios
Chios island geography
Chios island is crescent or kidney-shaped, 50 km or 31 mi long from north to south, and 29 km or 18 mi at its widest, Covering an area of 842.289 km2 or 325.210 sq mi.
The terrain is mountainous and arid with a ridge of mountains running the length of the island. The two largest of these mountains, are Pellinaio Mountain (1,297 m or 4,255 ft) and Epos (1,188 m or 3,898 ft). Both mountains are situated in the north of the island.
The center of the island is divided between east and west by a range of smaller peaks, known as Provatas.
When you are at Chios Town you cannot enjoy the sunset as Provatas is blocking it.
How to pronounce Chios
Chios is usually pronounced as Khios by non-Greek speakers. However, in Greek we say Hios. Chios is known as Ophioússa and Pityoussa in antiquity. During the later Middle Ages, the island was ruled by a number of non-Greek powers, and Chios was known as Scio among the Genoese, Chio for the Italian, and Sakız for the Ottomans. There is an interesting legend about the name and the Chios island history.
Facts about Chios: Watercourse
The fifth-largest island in Greece is called Chios. The island’s canal served as a wall separating it from the peninsula of Eritrea. The interesting fact about Chios that you probably didn’t know is that it is an island without a genuine fixed watercourse. In fact, irrigation supplies water to the entire island!
Chios island is the only place in the world where mastic trees produce mastic resin. An interesting fact about Chios is that mastic production is the primary source of income for many islanders. Its cultivation dates back to antiquity, and the precious resin it produces is mainly exported.
The nickname of Chios is “the Mastic Island”
The Chios mastic trees produce a teardrop-shaped resin that emerges from their bark. This resin is used to create a variety of goods, including extremely distinctive chewing gum, premium spices, alcoholic beverages, and confections.
The Chian mastic-producing trees can live for up to a century. On the island where most of these trees are found, there are even entire communities known as “Mastihohoria.”
It is a yearly custom in Chios to celebrate on Eve of Easter in Chios, which comes immediately after Christ’s Resurrection. People are launching rockets at each other between two “opponent” churches all around the island. Their aim is to strike the rival church’s bell tower! Whoever accomplishes that first wins!
Did learning these new facts about Chios make you want to come even more?