Enjoy the Village of Mesta on Chios Island
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Even though Chios is the fifth largest island in Greece, it still retains its homey charm. Although there are plenty of people who travel here during peak season, the crowds are nowhere near as overwhelming as they are in some of the other places in Greece. This means that you can enjoy all the beauty of a Greek island without being overwhelmed by the crowds. While on the island, Mesta is a place that you won’t want to miss. Here’s more information about the village and what you can do while you’re here:
Get to Know the Village
With less than five hundred inhabitants, Mesta is a small village, and yet its structure seems monumental. The connected houses, built in the Byzantine era more than 800 years ago, together form the protective walls of castle-like fortifications. The best-preserved medieval village on the island, Mesta is truly a sight to behold. Here are some ideas of what to do while you’re there.
Walk the Streets
This might seem obvious, but it is truly the most exciting part of visiting Mesta. the village was built to be defensive, with the houses doubling as walls to protect against pirate attacks. Keep this history in mind as you meander along the cobblestone pathways leading you up to the central square.
Sample the Local Drinks
Mesta is known for a pair of unique local drinks, each of which is worth giving a try. Mestousiko is one of the best wines to be found in Chios, and is perhaps best enjoyed at the restaurant of the same name. Souma, meanwhile, is made from distilled figs as well as grapes. Its distinct flavor can take some getting used to, but it is sure to give your palate a proper sense of Mesta’s unique character.
Visit for the Carnival Festivities
If you can work it into your calendar, Carnival, which takes places before Lent, is an excellent time to visit Mesta. The local festivities include a satirical rehashing of the infamous “Agas” trials of the Turkish Occupation. Even if you can’t make it for this special time, be sure to learn a little about the history of Turkish Occupation in Mesta and across the island. Much of the village’s population was killed during the Chios Massacre of 1822 at the hands of Ottoman imperialists.
Stay in a Castle
If you really want the full Mesta experience, there is no better way than by spending a night within the walls of the castle. Something about falling asleep and waking up surrounded by those ancient stones adds a whole other dimension to the trip. After such a night, you’ll depart from Mesta with the village’s unique smell in your nostrils and the sight of the castle’s interior engraved upon your vision.
For centuries, Mesta has been famous for its production of mastic. Now, it’s acquiring additional fame for its beautiful architecture and unique medieval feel. If you find yourself on Chios, be sure to check out this truly remarkable place. It is definitely worth a visit!
This post was written by GreekBoston.com