There's a geometric town in Chios, Greece

There’s a geometric town in Chios, Greece

I spent a few nights on Chios island out of necessity. I was hopping back from Turkey to Athens, and Chios was my link. I figured it couldn’t hurt to spend a bit of time there, right? Plus I was craving olives swimming in a sea of oil.

Being located in the northern Aegean Sea, Chios is not a huge tourist destination. Like Lesvos, getting there is a bit out of the way. But like all good things that are hard to reach (the stars, my dreams, etc.), Chios is worth it.

It helped that I ended up staying with the most wonderful Airbnb host I’ve ever had, named Maria. The apartment wasn’t super close to the main town, so she offered to take me out and show me around the island. I’m so glad she did. I admit I didn’t really research the island, since I was quickly passing through. Bad travel writer, Candice. BAD.

Maria, my Airbnb host

Maria, my Greek mother. And the world’s biggest frappe.Pyrgi is known for its famous “xysta” design – the black/grey and white geometrical facades featured on all the buildings. This is created by hand-engraving the design onto plaster. Even the 13th century Byzantine church is covered in it. The town makes a fine effort in keeping the designs fresh and fun.
Geometric window

Pyrgi 2

It’s also one of the few Chios towns that weren’t completely destroyed by pirates or Turkish forces.

I haven’t been able to find much info on the town’s background, but apparently the xysta style is based on the Italian “Sgratffito” and originates from Genoa. And then that’s all there is. Grab a frappe in the town square and take it all in.

Colours! Drink frappes here. In these orange chairs. This exact spot. You can’t miss it, literally.If you go, get a rental car. It’s worth it.


  • July 15 2014

    Geeze, that is awesome! I feel like I wouldn’t be able to stop staring at the building. Those designs are so intricate and pretty – they definitely add a splash of fun to the buildings (even though that probably wasn’t the intention!)

    Also, I think there’s something really cool about staying in and exploring a lesser-known town/city and immersing yourself in it, even for a short while. I love that you did this!

    • July 22 2014

      Thanks, and yeah! I had no idea it’d be so cool there. Always a pleasant surprise in a well-discovered world.

  • July 15 2014
    The Wondernuts

    Geez, this is pretty. I feel like I’d get a little dizzy, though. Or stare for a really long time wondering where the pattern starts and ends.

  • July 15 2014

    Those designs are pretty freaking cool. I can imagine they would be disorientating at first, but I suppose you get used to it the longer you’re there. How awesome that they’ve been doing it centuries.

    And I need a gigantic frappe in my life like nobody’s business.

    • July 22 2014

      Oh man, I love how obsessed the Greeks are with frappes. And they’re delicious.

  • July 16 2014

    So cool! I’m in Israel now and was toying with the idea of going to Greece after Turkey… this is making it awfully tempting.

    • July 22 2014

      You should! I LOVE Greece! I have so much more to write about on it.

  • August 04 2014
    Erica Summers

    I can honestly say, on my days off reading your blog while drinking my coffee and eating breakfast is such a treat!

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