Chios is a Greek island in the northeastern Aegean Sea, a few miles from the Turkish coast. It is about 320 square miles (840 square kilometers) in area.

There are many beaches along the coast, which is more than 120 miles (200 kilometer) long.

Chios is said to have been the birthplace of Homer, the Greek epic poet, although this claim has been disputed. The Greek physician Hippocrates was born in Chios in 470 BC.

Archeological evidence indicates that Chios been inhabited since 6000 BC.

The Ionians built Chios Town, located on Chios' main harbor, around 1000 BC.

By 700 BC Chios had become an important center of trade.

The Persians conquered Chios in 490 BC. Later on, Chios was part of Alexander the Great's Empire and the Roman Empire.

Chios was occupied by the Genoese between 1356 and 1566 and by the Turks between 1566 and 1912.

Because of it strategic location, many medieval castles and fortresses were built on Chios. Tourists can still visit them today.

Nea Moni, an 11th century Byzantine monastery that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located on Chios.

The monastery is dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

Legend says that the exiled Constantine Monomachos, also known as Constantine the Gladiator, was told by three monks that he would become emperor. After Constantine married an empress, he rewarded the monks for their prediction by founding the monastery. Nea Moni monastery is located on a spot where the monks are said to have found an icon of the Virgin Mary hanging on the branch of a myrtle.

At the entrance to the Nea Moni, there is a display of skulls of monks and refugees who were killed by Turks in 1822.

In 1881, an earthquake caused Nea Moni's dome, which was covered in 11th century Byzantine mosaics, to cave in.

Many of the works have been restored.

Chios Town, also known as Chora, has a medieval castle that was built between the 11th and 12th centuries.

Vounaki Square, in the center of Chios Town, has a large public park. The Byzantine Museum, which is housed inside an 19th century mosque from the time of the Turkish occupation, is located within the square.

Chios Town also has an archeological museum and a nautical museum.