Chios, the island of fragrances. Its fertile land gives the mastic that scents the whole island. Its villages are stone-built towns with narrow cobblestone pavements. Its history is long-suffering. The endless seas, the mountains, the fecund plains, the churches, the imposing castles compose the magic of the island. The geographical location of Chios (a focal point on the route from the Aegean Sea to the Black Sea), its naval force, the benefactory mastic, which flourishes only in its south part throughout the world, have designated the island as one of the most significant places on the worldwide commercial map. The past has blend in with the present, the tradition meets the human evolution making each corner of this place special. According to Thucydides, Chios is the birthplace of Homer, while the Pelasgians, Venetians, Genoans, Franks and the Ottomans, who inhabited the fifth largest island in Greece, molded the structure and the culture of the Chian population. Without doubt, the island is characterized by the long-term stay of the Pelasgians, whose influence is quite evident in the architecture of the island even today, and especially in the towns of its south section. This enviable prosperity was followed by troubled years during the Ottoman occupation, culminating with the great catastrophe of the island in 1822. Chios, once a gorgeous island, was left a black skerry. However, it managed to heal its wounds thanks to the salt waters of the Aegean Sea, the bright sun and the goodwill and sedulity of its inhabitants-without forgetting the sufferings of the yore. The Chians, who are known for their cheerfulness, wit and sedulity, mind their island, which has started to flourish again. This prosperous island of fragrances, with its 66 villages, has not only remained unalloyed by the passing of time, but it also captivates the visitors with its authenticity and quaintness.
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