I took a day and did a scenic drive in northern Chios that took me through about two dozen small villages. You will notice a completely different landscape and vegetation than in the south, and you can see a different natural beauty on this side of the island.
The first half of my drive started and ended in Volissos and covered the northwest part of the island. I went in a clockwise direction covering the villages of Pirama (Πιραμά), Παρπαριά (Parparia), Tripes (Τρύπες), Melanios (Μελανιός), Agio Galas (Άγιο Γάλας), Nenitouria (Νενητούρια), Kourounia (Κουρούνια), Egrigoros (Εγρηγόρος), Afrodisia (Αφροδίσια), Halandra (Χάλανδρα), and Nea Potamia (Νέα Ποταμιά). A turn after Nea Potamia took me to Pispilounta (Πισπιλούντα).
There really aren’t many reasons to stop in any villages unless you are really curious, but for the record, my favorites were Tripes and Pirama. Also, the views of the sea from some villages are amazing. Agio Galas has a cave dating from Neolithic times. It’s also a holy place with a chapel inside. Unfortunately, it was closed for my visit.
The final village on this stretch was Pispilounta, a small picturesque village in the mountains. The sign to turn off to the village is a little hard to see coming from the north.
The second half of my drive took me from Volissos to the northeast part of Chios, and then down to Chios Town. For me, this was much nicer and more scenic than the northwest part. This route took me through Katavasi (Κατάβαση), Diefha (Διευχά), Kipouries (Κηπουριές), Fyta (Φυτά), Spartounta (Σπαρτούντα), Kambia (Καμπιά), Viki (Βίκι), Amades (Αμάδες), Nagos (Ναγός), Kardamyla (Καρδάμυλα), Lagkada (Λαγκάδα), Pantoukios (Παντουκιός), and Sykiada (Συκιάδα).
The first few villages I passed through without stopping. After Spartounta, the road got pretty rough, but coming up on Kambia, seeing the village and the mountains and the sea in the background made it worth the drive. I stopped after Kambia on the turn to the beach to admire the scenery and continued on to Viki.
Before passing through Viki, I found a lonely bench next to the road overlooking the village. I sat there for a while and enjoyed the fresh air.
Next, after passing through Amades I came to a blue and white chapel. I stopped there and did some more admiring before continuing on my way, stopping at Nagos to take a picture of the beach.
I made a lunch stop in Kardamyla and then walked around Lagkada (those villages are covered in their own separate posts). From there, I drove past Pantoukios and took a short detour up into Sykiada. After that, I made my way back to Chios Town.
- Bring water and snacks. Chances are you won’t find much in the way of food along the route. I ate in Volissos and Kardamyla, the biggest villages in the north. If you plan it correctly and leave mid morning, you can finish in Lagkada for a late lunch or an early dinner.
- Fill up your tank! You don’t want to run out of gas out in these parts. I got gas in Chios Town and filled up again in Kardamyla.
- The roads can get very narrow and there are lots of hairpin turns, so watch your speed.
- I stopped and took lots of pictures along the way. Chances are you won’t see too many cars approaching from the other direction or from behind, but make sure you stop in a safe enough place to get out of the car to enjoy the scenery.
- Dogs can chase your car in some villages. Just keep driving, You won’t hit them.
- Look out for goats!