Though it's not one of the most popular islands, Chios, located 158 mi/254 km east of Athens, will interest those making a return visit to explore the Greek isles, as well as those with a particular interest in the Byzantine period. A stone's throw from Turkey, the island's villages are a subtle mixture of Ottoman and Venetian styles. Enjoy strolling through Pyrgi, where many of the houses are decorated in gray-and-white geometric patterns.
A few minutes to the west is the medieval village of Mesta, which was built like a fortress. Farther north is the impressive ghost town of Anavatos.
The island has excellent beaches, such as the black-pebble beach of Mavra Volia to the south. Back in Chios Town, learn about the island's centuries-old tradition of making ouzo and sweets, especially those made from mastic (a rare resin harvested from the mastic tree).
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