January on Chios Island: 17 degrees, almost no rain according to the weather forecast and a few volunteers who wanted to explore the island. So we left home in the morning to visit the famous monastery of Nea Moni (lit.: New Monastery). Nea Moni is part of the UNESCO world cultural heritage and located in the center of Chios Island.
Our first stop was supposed to be in Karies, which is the last village before Nea Moni in the mountains of central Chios. After crossing some forests to reach the correct path to our destination, we finally arrived in small village surrounded by the mountains of Chios Island. Meanwhile we had a bag of herbs tide to our backpack, which will be used to improve our daily food the next days.
By having a stroll through Karies we realized how versatile Chios Island is. Starting at the seaside turning to the hilly areas right next to the cost, crossing forests, which turn into the rocky mountains and finally the view at all the landscapes we passed by looking back.
After taking some picture we moved on, facing our destination: Nea Moni. Walking the series of hairpin bends up to the top of the mountain was exhausting on the one hand but compensated by the beatiful view one the other. Reaching the top after almost four hours of walking was a great feeling, but unfortunately not the end of our trip.
We figured out that the monastery we were looking for, was at least four more kilometers down the valley. The last of them we could see the result of the fire from last summer, which destroyed huge parts of Chios Island’s forests. The environment looked like typical representative of its kind in central Europe during autumn, but the leaves and the trunks were burned and not colored by the seasons.
By following the road guided by the burned trees we finally, after hours of walking, arrived at Nea Moni. The huge building surrounded by walls in the center of Chios was impressive and even though we did not have the possibility to see all of the monastery, we got an impression of how isolated the life in Nea Moni has to be.
On our way back we chose another way, which was definitely a good idea. After taking pictures of donkeys, natural honey farms and the famous tulips of Chios, we were back home. Very tired, yet happy we watched the pictures of this Sunday, which showed us the beauty and versatility of the Island of Chios.
To see all the pictures go into our gallery!