North Aegean islands
Chios ( Greek: , Turkish: alternative transliterations Khios and Hios) is the fifth largest of the Greek islands, situated in the Aegean Sea, 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) off the Anatolian coast. The island is separated from Turkey by the Chios Strait. Chios is notable for its exports of mastic gum and its nickname is The mastic island. Tourist attractions include its medieval villages and the 11th-century monastery of Nea Moni, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Administratively, the island forms a separate municipality within the Chios regional unit, which is part of the North Aegean region. The principal town of the island and seat of the municipality is Chios town. Locals refer to Chios town as "Chora" ("????" literally means land or country, but usually refers to the capital or a settlement at the highest point of a Greek island).
Chios island is crescent or kidney shaped, 50 kilometres (31 mi) long from north to south, 29 kilometres (18 mi) at its widest, and covers an area of 842 square kilometres (325 sq mi). The terrain is mountainous and arid, with a ridge of mountains running the length of the island. The two largest of these mountains, "Pelineon" (1,297 metres (4,255 ft)) and "Epos" (1,188 metres (3,898 ft)), are situated in the north of the island. The center of the island is divided between east and west by a range of smaller peaks, known as "Provatas".
Known as "Ophioussa" (????????, "snake island") and "Pityoussa" (?????????, "pine-tree island") in Antiquity, during the later Middle Ages the island was ruled by a number of non-Greek powers and was known as Scio (Genoese), Chio (Italian) and Sakiz (????? —Ottoman Turkish). The capital during that time was "Kastron" (???????, "castle").
The local merchant shipping community transports several locally grown products including mastic, olives, figs, wine, mandarins, and cherries.Nea Moni is a monastery with fine mosaics from Constantine IXs reign and a World Heritage Site.There is reportedly a "small country church" on Chios that has a family memorial which lists 14 generations of a family, starting at the fifth century BC and going back to the tenth century BC, before there were any written records in Greece.
Local specialities of the island include:KordeliaMalathropitaSfougatoMamoulia (dessert)Masourakia (dessert)Mastichato (drink)