History of Chios

The history of the island started from the Bronze Age. Excavations indicate that the island passed through various stages of civilization. By the end of the Bronze age the Ionians settled the island from Central Greece.

In 8th Century BC,according to tradition,Homer the creator of the greatest epic texts of the world,the Iliad and the Odyssey was born on the island. In 495 B.C Chios suffers the attack of the Persians and a few years later enters Delean league with the contribution of its ship.

During the Roman period (80 BC – 600 AD) Chios received help from the Roman Emperor Tiberius after the destruction of the great earthquakes. In the Byzantine period Chios became part of the Venetians and the Genoese. The fine trade naval ships gave prosperity to the island until 1566 when it became part of the Ottoman Empire. In the years of Ottoman domination Chios was punished with the slaughted of 25.000 residents and 47.000 abducted as slaves.

The massacre of Chios shocked the world and inspired the famous painter Delacroix, who painted the famous painting ‘Scène des massacres de Scio’.

(English:The Massacre at Chios).

Today Chios is famous for it strong merchant shipping community and international trade. It is also famous for the unique production of mastic.



Rockets in Vrontados

The Rocket – war

The Rocket-war in Vrontados is an old custom that begun since the Turkish occupation and still continues happening every year in Easter. The residents of Panagia Erithiani and Saint Mark’s are facing each other with thousands rockets and fireworks. The one church tries to hit the steeple of the other. Visitor from all over world are coming to see the most spectacular custom in Greece.



 Traditional Festivals

Every village organizes at least one festival in the village square usually the day of its church name celebration. The traditional music and dancing lasts two or even three nights.


 Traditional Dancing Festivals in Chios

Date Festival Villages
June 24 St. John Kataraktis
June 29 St. Peter & Paul Lithi & Tholopotami
July 7 - Kalamoti & Amades
July 17 St. Marina Ververato & Fita
July 20 Prophet Elias Armolia & Spartounda
July 21 St. Markella Volissos
July 22 St. Markella Lithi, Karyes, Mesa Didyma
July 26 St. Paraskevi Kalamoti, Karyes, Parparia, Kambia
July 27 St. Panteleimon Kambia, Zyfias
August 1 St. Stephen Komi
August 5 Eve of Sotiros Emporios
August 6 Sotiros Volissos, Egrigoros, Kardamyla, St.George. Vessa, Vassileoniko, Dafnonas, Exo Didyma
August 7 Eve of St. Aimilianos Mesta
August 8 St. Aimilianos Kallimasia
August 8-9 Soumas Festival Mesta
August 15 Assumption Kallimasia, Pyrgi, Nenita, Viki, Kourounia, Pitios, Vollisos, Pispilounta, Halkios, Kataraktis
August 23 The nine days of Mary Pyrgi, Viki, Potamia
September 1 - Tripes
September 2 St. Mamas Aphrodisia
September 5 - Nenitouria
September 8 - Komi, Lithi, Pityos, Kampia, Exo Didyma
September 14 Stavrou Halkios


Map of Chios