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Pyrgi - The Beautiful 'Painted Village' of Chios Island

This beautiful, picturesque village is one of the most beautiful spots in all of Chios. Known for its unique architecture which is painted with a distinct, geometric design, Pyrgi (Πυργί) is a must-see attraction when visiting the island.

Often referred to as "the painted village," Pyrgi is a charming destination for a leisurely stroll through town. Pyrgi's most striking feature is the black and white geometric designs that cover the exterior walls of its buildings. These patterns are created using a technique known as "xysta," which involves etching geometric shapes into the surface of the buildings and then applying a black wash to create a stunning visual effect. Each building's design is different, making Pyrgi a truly unique destination. Its narrow streets are decorated with arches and there are plenty of cute shops and artisan workshops where you can purchase local crafts, including ceramics, textiles, and artwork. I absolutely loved seeing artists' renditions of the village in the form of paintings and small, hangable sculptures that looked like miniature versions of the village. What a unique souvenir!

The village is one of the biggest on the island and is in the part of the island where mastiha production is concentrated. It stands out from the other mastic villages (μαστιχοχώρια) due to the xysta pattern visible throughout the village. I cannot think of Pyrgi without thinking of the incredible philoxenia of the local villagers. When my family visited in 2019, locals implored us to try their delicious mastiha-infused liquers, browse their art and ceramics studios, and even invited us into their homes for a cup of coffee. I have wonderful memories of sitting with a group of elderly women who invited us to join them, chatting, and just taking in the moment. Their kindness was infectious!

I certainly recommend visiting this village when you go to Chios and, if you can, also check out the other mastic villages. Chios' tourism bureau put out this wonderful page which can serve as a helpful guide when on the island. As always, let me know what you think. I'd love to hear your impressions of Pyrgi!


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