Volissos Chios, Malagkiotis Valley and Panagia Neromylon at the Amani area – these odd sounding names are your key words to discovering one of the most interesting hiking trails of the north part of Chios island. By the way, there is a castle in Volissos too.
Hiking in Chios is an activity that has gained a lot of popularity over the past few years. Apart from the eight signed paths organized by the Regional Unit of Chios, the island’s landscape offers a variety of natural and historic paths for the fans of hiking. Maps and information for the trails are offered here: www.chioswalking.gr .
The dramatic changes of the landscape of northern Chios are captivating. By walking one or more of the signed trails, not only will you experience Chios nature at its full, especially during the autumn and spring months, but you will also have the chance to discover relics and signs of the area’s cultural heritage, such as old watermills and medieval fortresses.
Hiking Volissos Chios –> Malagkiotis Valley – Panagia Neromylon – Volissos
This 8.826 km. circular trail is accessible even to inexperienced hikers as it has a difficulty degree of “easy”. It is also one of the most interesting paths, as it can be combined with a daily excursion to Volissos, the medieval village and capital of the north-west area of Amani.
The trail starts from the square of Volissos village, the biggest village of the Amani area, and a not to be missed spot, ideal for lunch, coffee and swimming at its excellent sea sides.
From Volissos square, walk through the olive trees of the Malagkiotis river plain. In Chios, we encounter the typical Mediterranean ecosystems. Species include the wild olive, kerm oak, myrtle and laurel. The wildflowers during spring time create a colourful scenery. Many species are rare and therefore protected, such as the orchids. So far, in Chios more 110 species and subspecies of orchids have been identified, making the trails a site of interest for naturalists and fans of orchids.
Hiking through the path, follow the wooden signs in order to find the old watermills, with their infrastructure still visible. Don’t miss the old chapels of Agios Georgios in Vasilika and Panagia Loutron, where you can have a picnic and rest. Agios Georgios of Vasilika has a striking façade with stone columns, arches and an octagonal dome of red and white stone.
Volissos Chios village
The trail will lead you past a fold, to the road that leads you back to the village. Grab this chance to walk around the paved narrow streets of this lovely medieval settlement. Visit the old castle, wander around the lovely squares, meet the locals at the village’s coffee shops (kafeneia) and don’t forget to taste the local souma (spirit made from figs) and the bread that is made following an old, traditional, secret recipe.
All photos are from the Chios Tourism Department archive, Maria Siadima , Michael Tetteris, Giorgos Missetzis.