There are 9 villages in the southern Chios that they are built like castles. The main reason of this construction was to protect both the people and the production of mastic from pirates. Medieval or Mastic Villages includes: Pyrgi, Mesta, Olympi, Elata, Lithi, Vessa Armolia, Kalamoti and Patrika.
Each one, will fascinate you and will take you back in time in a magical and unrepeatable way. The most habited are are Pyrgi, Olympi and Mesta.
Before you arrive at Pyrgi arrange a quick stop in Armolia. It’s a village mainly known for handmade potteries – pots, cups, “Bourboulia”, jars etc. There, on the main road you will find many shops and workshops with clay ornaments. Each one has its own history, and a large collection for you to choose from.
Pyrgi is famous as the “painted village”. Most of the houses have a unique decoration motif. The locals, call it “scratch”. It is located only 25 kilometers away from the city of Chios. Do not forget to visit the Byzantine church of St. Apostles which is copy of Nea Moni.
You will reach Olympoi about 5km away from Pyrgi. It is worth visiting the church of Agia Paraskevi on the main square, witch is decorated with a wooden temple. Also, you can visit the Bank of Olympoi, a two-storey building with elongated rooms. It is preserved from the Middle Ages in good condition.
Only 5 km away from Olympoi you can visit the cave of Sykia with its impressive stalactites and stalagmites. The cave of Olympoi is open, from early May until late of September. You can visit it daily 11 am – 6 pm, except Mondays.
Less than a km away from the cave, you will find an iconic beach for Chios. Agia Dinami is a must swim beach.
Mesta is 35 km southwest of Chios town. It is the furthest from the medieval villages, but also the most well-preserved. Once you pass throu one of its 5 gates, you will feel like you are lost in time. The narrow streets under the arches forming balconies it is like journey back in the 14th century. You should visit the church of Old Taxiarchis with its wooden temple which is considered an elaborate sample of Chian wood carving.