Beautiful Africa

Chios

Chios (Greek: , pronounced [?cios]; alternative transliterations Khios and Hios) is the fifth largest of the Greek islands, situated in the Aegean Sea, 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) off the Anatolia coast. The island is separated from Turkey by the Chios Strait. The island has a port for merchant shipping. The island produces a unique mastic gum. Tourist attractions include its medieval villages, and the 11th-century monastery of “Nea Moni”, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located on the island. Administratively the island forms a separate municipality within the Chios regional unit, which is part of the North Aegean region. The principal town of the island and seat of the municipality is Chios (town).[2] Locals refer to Chios town as "Chora" ("" literally means land or country, but usually refers to the capital or a settlement at the highest point of a Greek island). Chios island is crescent or kidney shaped, 50 kilometres (31 mi) long from north to south, 29 kilometres (18 mi) at its widest, and covers an area of 842 square kilometres (325 sq mi). The terrain is mountainous and arid, with a ridge of mountains running the length of the island. The largest of these mountains, "Pelineon" (1,297 metres (4,255 ft)) and "Epos" (1,188 metres (3,898 ft)), are situated in the north of the island. The center of the island is divided between east and west by a range of smaller peaks, known as "Provatas". [edit]Beaches Chios has several beaches, such as Vroulidia Beach and Glari Beach.[citation needed] [edit]Regions Chios can be classified into five regions: [edit]East coast Chios (t wn) Midway up the east coast lie the main population centers, the main town of Chios, and the regions of Vrontados and Kambos. Chios Town, with a population of 32,400, is built around the island's main harbour and medieval castle. The current castle, with a perimeter of 1,400 metres (4,600 ft), was principally constructed during the time of Venetian and Ottoman rule, although remains have been found dating settlements there back to 2000 B.C. The town was substantially damaged by an earthquake in 1881, and only partially retains its original character. North of Chios Town lies the large suburb of Vrontados (population 4,500), which claims to be the birthplace of Homer.[citation needed] The suburb lies in the Omiroupoli municipality, and its connection to the poet is supported by an archaeological site known traditionally as "Teacher's Rock".[3] Directly south of Chios Town lies the island's airport and the region of Kambos (, "plain"), a large fertile plain. Here there are stone mansions and walled orchards. At the southern edge of the Kambos plain lies the town of Thymiana.[4] Thymiana is the sole source of a beige-burgundy two-tone sandstone used both in the local mansions and much of the town itself.[citation needed] Inland lie a number of villages rising up into the central mountains culminating with the village of Ayios Georgios Sykoussis, perched at the peak dividing east from west. Along the coast lies Karfas (), a sandy beach, which along with the nearby village of Ayia Ermioni ( ?) is now the main tourist centre, with a number of large and small hotels.