SightSeeing

Volissos Castle

 

Volissos Castle is located at the northwest side of Chios. The castle was probably built in the 11th century, though tradition places it in the 6th century, as a construction built by Byzantine General Velissarios.

The fortress was built to protect the entire northwest region of the island. That explains why it was built in an advantageous position, at an altitude of 230 meters. The castle was rebuilt by the Genoese, acquiring its final form in the 15th century.

The castle, with trapezoidal shape, was constructed with local dark–coloured stones. It had six circumferential towers, while in the inside there were founts, churches and many other buildings. It is said that the castle was connected through a tunnel to the neighborhood of Pithonas, so as to cover the need for water in case of a siege.

 

 

The Monastery of Agia Markella

 

The greatest pilgrimage which takes place in Chios is on 22 July every year, Agia Markella’s saint’s day. For many years, the night before Agia Markella’s saint’s day, believers from all around the Chios (and not only), begin a travel on foot to her church, approximately 7 km northwest of Volissos and 48 km from Chios city. In this way people intend to show their faith and ask for help. Testevuide in his book “The island of Chios” reports: “Small english, greek and ottoman steamships transport pilgrims from the coasts of Europe and Asia… About 6000 pilgrims camps out in the wilderness”. Today almost all of the Chios people make the pilgrimage to Agia Markella’s saint’s day.

Agia Markella was born in Volissos about 1500 BC. We don’t know the names of her parents. She was a simple and very beautiful girl. Unfortunately she had lost her mother. According to the tradition she did not want to obey to the immoral desires of her pagan father. So he pursued her through the wild mountains and finally located her in a beach hiding in a bush. Her father set fire to the bush enforcing her to reveal herself. She came out and started running praying to the God to tear the ground and shallow her. And so it happened but as it was too late her father beheaded her and threw the head into the sea. At the place of her torment there is a holy water spring and near to it is built a church dedicated to her memory.

 

 

The Cave of Agio Galas

 

The cave of Agio Galas is located in the homonymous village. It was first searched and studied in 1938 by Edith Eccles, of the British Archaeological School. Since then, it has been an object of interest to speleologists and archaeologists. The archaeological excavations give evidence that the cave was once dwelled in, as far back as 6000 B.C.

At the bottom, one can see that there are mazy galleries with amazing creations to which archaeologists have given names. “The Gallery of the Waterfall”, “The Chamber of the Bed”, “The Beautiful Gate” are awaiting the visitor.

 

 

Moundon Monastery

Moundon Monastery lies between Diefkha and Volissos, at an altitude of 300 meters. It constituted an ideal place of concentration and devotion. It thrived from the 17th century on and helped develop the spiritual and economic life of the place. .

The Main Church, the Guest House, the Bell-Tower, the Tower and the Cells are enclosed within its precincts. Its Main Church, which is dedicated to St John the Baptist, is decorated with frescos of a popular style, which had been done in the years 1620, 1730 and 1849.

 

Malagiotis Valley

Location: Northwest region of Chios

Trail type: Clement walking tour of the Volissos plain.

Distance: 3.009 m.

Time: Approximately 1 hr. and 20 min.

Scenery: A plain with olive trees and wooded vegetation along the riverside.

Wild vegetation in the valley and at the banks of the River Malagiotis, which flows into Managros beach, enables visitors to walk and explore. Passing the Malagioti valley, you can enjoy its rare flora, rich in colours and aromas.



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