Çeşme is a fairly frequented tourist haven, which is no surprise because it’s full of beautiful beaches. What is surprising is that the Greek island of Chios is only 20 minutes away by ferry and it is seldom traveled in comparison…which is a shame because it’s lovely.
We got an amazing deal on a resort with a private beach and got to wake up to this view every morning! It was great only being a minute away from a perfect morning swim. Much like Çeşme, Chios is full of beautiful beaches, but because we basically had a beach to ourselves, we didn’t venture off to any of the others.
After a much-needed day of settling in and hanging out in the water, we were ready to explore more of the island. One of the main attractions of Chios is the tiny town of Pyrgi, known for its beautiful houses covered in unique grey and white geometric patterns.
Every building in town was so beautiful and elaborate and I especially loved the color contrast of all of the tomatoes being hung out to dry throughout the neighborhoods. We spent several hours simply wandering through the tiny alleys admiring the patterns. We also stopped to sip on some mastiha, a liquor made out of mastic, which is one of the island’s specialties.
Another highlight of the island is the little pier with historic windmills, not far from the main port. They are much bigger than they seem and look absolutely stunning next to the turquoise water. We visited in the afternoon, but I imagine they are breathtaking at sunset.
We were really surprised by how beautiful and charming Chios was. We had been to Greece before, so we knew we’d likely be in for a treat, but it was so nice to explore one of the lesser known islands and not build up so many expectations. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about traveling, it’s not to be afraid to go off the beaten path. The beaches, lovely architecture, food, and hospitable locals blew us away!
I look forward to even more Greek islands in my future, but especially those that are so close to Turkey! The ferry ride was only 25 euros and was a breeze (as long as you show up at least an hour before departure for passport control). It’s also interesting to see the influence that both Turkey and Greece have had on one another so close to the border.
Besides, it’s really hard to turn down the opportunity to see two countries in one trip and drink really good wine for 2 euros a glass.