The island's capital, Chios, is also its main port and is located
more or less in the middle of the east coast of the island. The old
city with the Neoclassical buildings, the traditional shopping area,
Aplotaria - a neihgbourhood with many Turkish influences and a
mosque, are all regarded as the "heart" of town. All over the settlement, a modern influence is obvious: in the coffee shops
(kafeneia), the buildings of administration, the shops. The new constructions create one charming whole.
The important sights are: the public garden, the ruins of the walls of ancient Chios, the ancient theatre, the old neighbourhood, within the walls of the Genovese castle, the statue of Kanaris and the bronze monument of the Uknown both of which stand in Vounaki square.
The road to Kardamila, on the north-east end of the island, unwinds through the barren mountains of the inland. The ride is exhausting, but, in the end, the traveller is rewarded by arriving at two settlements with unique features.
Pano Horio, built in a region vegetated with plane trees,
is like an oasis, while the local architecture of the island has also left
its marks here.
In Kato Horio, or Marmaro, stand impressive mansions, and it is also the birthplace of several shipowners as well as old sailors of the island.
Built amphitheatrically with a fine view of Kambos, Karies has a population of just 600 inhabitants. The village is famous for its
spring waters which are reputed to be the best on the island and which water the village's rich vegetation. It is also famous for its fine climate as well as its aromatic herbs.
The cultural society of the village organizes dances at the public square during the summer.
The best preserved small medieval village of Mesta, with its 400 inhabitants, is a model of defensive architecture, and this is why it is regarded as a museum-village. The houses, tightly built one next to the other, form a kind of fortification. All the narrow cobbled streets lead to the central square, where the "life" of the whole village exists. The entrance is through two door-gates. The always alert Byzantine Antiquities Department does not allow any kind of intervention that could possibly alter the original architectonic style of the village. Thus, even restorations are conducted according to the traditional way.
Pirgi is a village of incomparable beauty and has a population of about 1,200 inhabitants. It has a traditional appearance and is also called "zographisto chorio"(painted village) because of the decoration of the exterior walls of the houses which have greyish-white geometrical shapes the locals call "xysta". This style originates from Italy, when the island was under the rule of the Franks, and it is applied by experts using a chisel and fork.
The village has a medieval structure with narrow streets and roofs that lead to the central square, while the houses are built so close to each other they form a fortification.
In Pirgi, there are 50 churches, and it is regarded as the
birthplace of Georghios Theotokas.
Volissos is a village built on the slopes of a mountain that has a
ruined medieval castle at its summit, the walls and towers of which
are still in fair condition.
Voliskos of Thoukidides, as it is also called, has a population of 500, and tradition says that it is the birthplace of Homer. It is
also believed that Aristophanes wrote a parody of the Iliad here called "Vatrachomeomachia".
Vrondados is a village populated mostly by sailors, which is a reason for the statue of the "uknown sailor" which stands in front of the city hall. Part of the beautiful scenery are the three windmills, the church of Agios Stephanos and the famous "Daskalopetra"(Teacher's Rock) that is reputed to be Homer's Stone. The tomb of the writer,Yannis Psycharis, is not far away.