Armolia is used to be a medieval village, which has been restored almost completely. A few remaining arches above the narrow roads in the center give the visitor an idea of its original appearance.
There are still a few remains of the old houses, but in compensation for the changes all the new houses have a garden full of flowers.
The village of Armolia is located on a fertile level country, two kilometers from Kalamoti and 20 kilometers from the city of Chios. It constitutes the islands central crossroad for the southern villages of Kalamoti, Komi, Pyrgi, Emborios, Olympi, Mesta, Vessa and Lithi. The Armolousians have a long tradition in making and decorating ceramics such as vases, jars, pitchers, bowls and cups, which they painted with flowers, birds and fish.
Right at the entrance of the village is an artificial lake, which provides the animals with drinking water, and is used by the residents to flush the crops, as well as the workshops of ceramic vessels and jewelry. In the village, the small stone houses, doxharades, skepastra (covered areas), back streets and cobbled roads offer the visitor a picturesque view. Besides this, one of the most impressive iconostasis on the island, which is dated back to the year 1744, can be found in the church of Panaghia, adjacent to the villages central church of Agios Dimitrios.
On a hill west to the village stands the Byzantine castle of Apolichnon, which was built in 1440. There, the Genoese established another remarkable medieval monument, the administrative mansion of the Mastichoria (Mastic villages), which is still well preserved.
Elata is a small, yet noteworthy village, built at the side of a steep hill. It is a medieval village with some well preserved remains, such as the corner towers of its castle and some parts of the fortification.
Its inhabitants are mainly occupied with agriculture, producing mastic, almonds, oils, grapes, and more. In Elata is also a high school and the church of Agia Triadha, as well as the picturesque beach of Agia Irini near the village. From there one can also access the deserted islands Pelagoniso and Agios Stephanos, which are near Elata and ideal places for fishing.
Kalamoti is a traditional village with approximately 850 inhabitants. Their main occupation is the cultivation of the fragrant resin mastic and the horticulture in the fertile plain that extends from the village to Komi.
North of Kalamoti the medieval tower of Zyvos is located, which was destroyed during the earthquake of 1881. This tower was the scenery of the representatives' election and of the general meetings of the "Public of Mastic-villages". Near the towers remnants is the Byzantine church Panayia of Sicelia, dated back to the 13th century and the home of a beautiful ceramic decoration.
Komi is the enchanting beach of Kalamoti, which in recent years has rapidly become a significant independent sea resort. In addition in the south of Kalamoti is also the significant church of Panaghia Agrelopoussaina, which constitutes a dependent monastery of Nea Moni.
Kallimasia is the first village which visitors encounter thirteen kilometers from the city of Chios. It is one of the islands largest mastic villages, the capital of the municipality of Ionia, and it is built on a plain where deep green vegetation and olive trees prevail.
Inside the village one can see the remains of the medieval towers, the clean and lively squares, and the well-preserved and impressive churches. It is really worth to visit the Folklore Museum, where visitors will literally relive the past, as it features an antique tailor shop, a shoemaker shop, the facade of a house and the curtain of Karagiozis (a fictional character from the Greek folklore). The project aims to rebuild a traditional city with a square, traditional houses, coffee grocers and places of other profession that were born in the beginning of the 20th century. The Women's Handicraft Association has managed to preserve the areas customs in addition to customs found in other villages of the island, and other associations like the Cultural center of the village also contributes to this task. All the items and cloths are donated by inhabitants of Chios island.
In the surrounding area is also the nunnery of Panaghia Plakidiotissa, which was built on the remains of an earlier nunnery dated back to the 16th century. Finally the area of Agios Aimilianos, which is one kilometer from Kallimasia, has a magnificent beach for swimming.
Katarraktis is a small fishing village fifteen kilometers south of Chios city. It is a small, cozy port, perfect for sailing- and fishing boats, of which the last one at the same time provide the village with fresh sea-food all year long.
The village has a beautiful beach suitable for swimming and also a great number of taverns, crowded with people throughout the year. Two of the most famous churches of the area of Katarraktis, built in the medieval period, are the nunnery of Panayia Rouchouni and the church of Agios Ioannis of Argentis, which is located close to the 3rd Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities.
Komi is located four kilometers south of the village of Kalamoti and mainly inhabited by the residents of Kalamoti during the summer months. For the rest of the year, its few residents occupy their time with fishing and horticulture.
The beauty of this village originates from its beach, which is amongst the loveliest beaches of all Chios. Its shallow, warm waters and fine sandy shores are suitable for beach games and sunbathing, making it a special place to spend the holidays. As a result there are apartments and rooms for hire, as well as restaurants, taverns, bars and discotheques, which should suit all the visitor's needs.
Neochori is part of the municipality Agios Minas, and located approximately nice kilometers from the capital of the island, Chios city. It is also locally called Chora by the inhabitants, whose main occupation is farming.
The main church is devoted to Virgin Mary and it is an example of the local architecture of the 19th century. The most remarkable feature of Neochori, however, is the beach of Agia Fotia. Near the beach are hotels, rooms and apartments to rent, as well as taverns and cafes. The Monastery of Agios Minas overlooks the village from the hill nearby, in which today only eleven nuns live.
The village Olympi is 31 kilometers south of the city of Chios and six kilometers after Pyrgi. The village has beautiful houses connected to each other, forming a defensive wall, which used to protect the inhabitants in former times against possible attacks.
The narrow streets, cobbled roads and the rigid, yet simple architecture are also contributing to the beauties of this village. The villagers' main occupation is agriculture and beekeeping.
The whole village has been designated to be a listed medieval monument. Skepastra and Doxharades are one of the things that one can see here. Very impressive is also the defensive tower of the village, which is among the few intact ones in the villages of Chios.
The wonderful beach of Phana is not to far from the village and probably the most famous beach for the villagers' summer baths. Here are also the remains of the temple of Phanaios Apollo, which was constructed on the same date as the sacred temples in Delos.
The stalactite cave in Olympi is estimated to be around 200.000 years old. This underground cavern impresses visitors with its depths of 57 meters. Because of its numerous calcite formations (stalactites and stalagmites), this cave is among the most remarkable and beautiful caves of all Greece. The first phase of its development refers to the late Jurassic Era (150 million years ago) while the second phase refers to the Cenozoic Era (about 50 million years ago). The cave's formations are still in a stage of development. For centuries inaccessible for man, the cave was discovered in 1985.
Today, the carnival activities in the mastic villages, such as Olympi, continue the Turkish judge trials' charade. This event dates back to the Ottoman Occupation where the "Aghas" or Turkish official tried to force the citizens of Chios to pay taxes in mastic. During the carnival season, the man who is dressed as "Aghas" usually mock political officials currently in office and charges them with the legislature they disagree with. This satirical performance is unique to other mastic villages such as Mesta, Elata, Lithi, and others.