Best things to see and do in Chios in 3 days. Discover the island’s most famous landmarks and tourist hotspots – like Chios Town, Vroulidia Beach or Mastichohoria (the Mastic Villages) – in our Chios 3-day itinerary!
This Chios 3-day itinerary is a part of our broader Dodecanese Islands travel guide. We recommend you check it out for the best travel tips and the most accurate information about the archipelago, regarding transportation, hotels and restaurants for the islands of Rhodes, Kos, Chios and Karpathos.
Located a stone-throw away from the Turkish coastline, Chios is the 5th biggest island in all of Greece. Inhabited since the start of times, it eventually rose to become an extremely important center of commerce and trade, mostly due to the local production of mastic, a resin that comes from a specific plant that happens to be quite abundant in the island. This substance has always been fundamental in the making of medicines, cosmetics, perfumes, lotions, varnishes and paint, helping turn Chios into an extremely popular and lucrative location. On the back of the mastic trade alone, entire villages were built, special trails were created and, in the end, a whole society was born. Therefore, Chios’ connection to this business has influenced the entire island, its culture and its history.
If you’re on your way to Greece and looking for what to see and do in Chios in 3 days, we leave you with a detailed Chios 3-day itinerary, complete with all the tourist landmarks and points of interest you don’t want to miss.
Did you know the ancient Greek poet Homer actually lived part of his life in Chios? A few kilometers north of the capital Chios Town, you can still feel the presence of the myth who wrote Iliad and Odyssey with a visit to Daskalopetra, the place where, according to urban legend, Homer used to visit whenever he wanted to think, write or even recite some of his favorite poems. After visiting the rock, it’s now time to explore Chios Town. Unlike the other most popular islands in the Dodecanese, the best of Chios, even on a cultural level, does not lie within the capital’s city limits. Still, that doesn’t mean Chios Town is not deserving of some love!
Once in the capital, make sure to photograph the iconic Windmills of Chios, wander aimlessly through Chora – the town’s old center – climb up to the Castle of Chios and finally visit the Aghios Georgios Church. Once you’re done, keep heading south towards to village of Agios Minas, where you can have a look at the Saint Mina Monastery. Plus, the walk to get there is pretty pleasant! Halfway through, you can make a strategic stop at the small town of Kampos, famous for its opulent Genoese mansions and for housing the Museum of Citrus (3€), which shows how these fruits were produced and harvested in the local 19th century manor houses.
For your second day in Chios, you will finally pick up your car (or scooter) and explore the north of the island. Your first stop will be at Nea Meni, the most important monastery in the island. As soon as you set foot inside, you will immediately understand why UNESCO bothered to designate it a World Heritage Site! Heading further north towards Volissos, you will be stopping along the way to explore a couple historic villages, such as Avgonima and Avanatos. These two fortified locations are incredibly picturesque, and a living testament to the island’s less pacific times.
Eventually, you will finally make it to Volissos, the main town in the region. However, do not expect anything that will even resemble a city. After all, this is still an historic town, with a well-kept city center filled with stone houses and old churches, overlooked by the imposing Castle of Volissos, magnificently perched on the top of a hill. But this will not be the end of it, as there is more to see up north! Drive for a few more kilometers and you’ll find the Aghia Markella Monastery, erected in honor of the island’s patron saint. Plus, the monastery was built right over a beach, so don’t be shy and go for your first dip in Chios! Finally, you will complete the last section of your drive and visit the Agio Gala Cave (5€), a photographer’s paradise with its rock formations which have been standing for millions of years.
Since we’ve arrived to your last day in Chios, it is time to witness first-hand the impact that the mastic production and trade have had on the island’s development. That being said, you’ll start by exploring the region of Mastichohoria, a group of small villages where the substance used to be extracted and transformed, which were fortified by the Genoese as a form of protection. As a result, these towns have maintained their traditional architecture and character, which is why visiting them and exploring some of the ancient mansions and churches is a must-do when in Chios. Among the Mastic Villages – as they are also called – we recommend checking out Vessa, Mesta and Olimpi. On a league of its own, and although it is technically a mastic village as well, visiting the town of Pyrgi is absolutely mandatory, as this is considered the loveliest and most beautiful village in Chios, mostly due to insanely detailed paintwork over most historical buildings.
To close the Mastichohoria chapter for good, and after visiting the most popular villages in the region, cap off your mini-tour with a visit to the Chios Mastic Museum (4€), where you can find out more about the resin extraction process and its overall impact over the entire island. Finally, you can enter “relax” mode and head towards the turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea. You may choose between the city of Emporios and its Mavra Voulia Beach, known for its mysterious black sands, or, for something a bit more conventional, the Vroulidia Beach, popular for its small yet pristine stretch of golden sand.