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Excursion to southern Chios

PYRGI - MESTA - ARMOLIA - KAMPOS. Tour of Southern Chios, the so-called Mastihochoria (Mastic villages), where mastic thrives and the only area on the island where the mastic bush is grown. Starting from the town of Chios, the first stop is Pyrgi, the largest of the medieval villages and perhaps the most interesting in terms of folklore and anonymous architecture. The architecture of the houses in Pyrgi is remarkable with the "travaka" or pyramidal roofs and painting of the exterior of the houses, known as "Xysta”. This is an etching technique where the render of the facade is etched with continuous alternation of black and white. Located in the village square are the great church of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary and the Church of the Holy Apostles, a perfectly preserved Byzantine monument, small replica of the monastery of Nea Moni with beautiful frescoes of the XIII century. Our next stop is the medieval village of Mesta, which is characterized as a preserved monument and is one of the best preserved fortified settlements under Genoese rule. The village has only one entrance and one exit. A stroll in the village’s narrow alleys, under the arches that form balconies offer the visitor a unique experience as the presence of the 14th century is strong. We will visit the church of Palio Taxiarchis (Old Commander), with its famous wooden iconostasis (1833 AD), located at the northwestern end of the village. Then we reach the port of Mesta, where we will stop for lunch. Our next stop will be Armolia, a village with a tradition in pottery. The villagers have a knack for the construction and decoration of pottery. On our return to the city of Chios, we pass by Kampos, Chios where we make a short stop to admire the old mansions. One of the most beautiful areas of the island, Kampos is a unique residential complex, which harmoniously combines the outstanding natural landscape with unique local architectural features.