Chios: The splendor of the mastic island
Chios sits supreme on the Northeastern Aegean Sea and exudes a mastic-scented air of a rich history and tradition in each and every one of its many and unique villages. This history of wealth and power is most visible in the region of Kampos, a distinctly beautiful area, situated just south of the capital of the Island, Chios town.
A myriad of citrus orchards swell among the stately mansions, an amalgam of architectural styles from Byzantine, Ottoman, Genoese, Venetian and Classical. Today, many of these historic mansions welcome visitors and offer genuine traditional hospitality of high quality.
A landmark for centuries of economic and cultural expansion, the Island of Chios was famous for its ship building, cultivation and production of wine, citrus fruit and mastic, and the making of silk, leather and furniture, as well. The region of Kampos was the heart of the island’s prosperity, luxury and growth.
The grandeur and wealth of Kampos is still manifested in its tall stone walls that surround the elegant mansions while providing a refuge for its citrus groves, marbled courtyards, lanes of cypress trees and traditional draw wells, and above all hospitality.
Kampos was a wealthy and impressive community. It is composed of stone-built mansions – testimonials to art and architecture – blooming gardens and traditional wood water-mills. Prominent families of the island once owned and lived in these estates and today, Chiote families have restored them into residential heritage beauties. They have also been converted into upmarket hotels or elegant restaurants with a high aesthetic.
Kampos is a well-preserved sanctuary of hospitality. It is vibrant, thriving and natural, and in synch with the character of the various historical periods of the island. As you tour the island, Chios’ distinctive character is indelible. Magical corners, stunning villages, magnificent coastlines dominate the view, while the scent of the mastic permeates the memory. The island’s enduring legacy is a historical narrative of beauty, architecture, diverse cultural influence, rich agriculture and hardship, the sum of its tangible and intangible cultural heritage.