Traveling down the island we meet the monastery of Nea Moni, which is considered the most important Byzantine monument on the island and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The New Monastery was founded in the 11th century and enjoys a special place thanks to its art and its direct relationship with Constantinople and the Imperial Court. According to the monastic tradition, Emperor Constantine Monomachos financed the construction of the monastery after finding the miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary from the three Chian monks, Nikita, Ioannis and Joseph, in the present location of the monastery. For many centuries it has been the religious and economic center of Chios, after both the Genoese and the Turks respected it. The decline begins in the 19th century with financial difficulties at the beginning and with the destruction of 1822 later. The mosaics of the New Monastery are among the most important creations of Byzantine art, thanks to their exceptional quality and the fact that they are works of artists associated with the largest laboratories in Istanbul. From the original complex of the 11th century, the catholicon, the cistern (tank), the tower, part of the Bank and the church of St. Luke in the cemetery of the monastery, outside the wall, are preserved today.
Close to the monastery is the village of Anavatos, a medieval village, often called the "Mystras of the Aegean". The village is built on a rocky hill with steep slopes, perpendicular to the south and west and a unique access to the north. The natural fortification and location suggest that it was originally built for defensive purposes to control the west coast at a time when pirates were sailing across the Aegean. Today, the settlement has no more than 10 inhabitants. Its houses (narrow fronted, always floor, made of gray limestone and with a wooden horizontal roof) are still preserved and give the image of a dead state.
Passing through the village, Avgonima, a medieval village in the heart of Chios, 16 km away. from the city of Chios on a route that will enchant you. The village is built at a height of about 500 meters. It was founded and inhabited by the workers of the New Monastery in the 11th century AD. It is one of the medieval villages of the island with its peculiar fortress architectural style. The houses are built of stone and with small windows used to protect them from pirate raids during the Middle Ages. Even today they retain the architecture of the past. The village overlooks the pine forest and the endless blue Aegean Sea. Most houses are renovated and inhabited by the few remaining permanent residents of the village but also by many lovers of privacy and idyllic landscapes who enjoy their vacations.
Then we head to Volissos. It is a village with a long history. Volissos, according to Thucydides, claims Homer’s birthplace. At the top of the hill a castle was built in medieval times. The Byzantine castle had a trapezoidal shape with six circular towers. Inside the castle there were several buildings, tanks and churches.
We conclude our pilgrimage to the Monastery of Agia Marcella, the largest pilgrimage on the island, the Holy Temple and the place of martyrdom of Agia Marcella of Chios, next to the sea. At the site of the pilgrimage is the homonymous Holy Pilgrimage Church of Agia and after about two kilometers of hiking we reach Agiasma, where the place of its martyrdom is.
Bath time for anyone who wants it.
Return to the city.
Our excursion starts from our office, 12. Aegean Avenue 12. There is a possibility to pick up the hotels upon request.