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Olympoi - Mesta

From Olympus, following the signage, we pass the place Anesomata, and cross the plain, where the cultivations of mastic, olive and fig dominate.We go up the slope and in a few minutes we have reached the highest point of the route.


Information

Location: Southern Chios

Type: Walking on a footpath in the plain.

Degree of Difficulty: Easy

Route Length: 2.615 m.

Time: About an hour

Drinking water along the way: Yes

Maximum / Minimum altitude: 230 m / 100 m

Altitude Difference: 130 m.

Starting Point: Olympoi

Here we find the church of Agios Antonios, where there is a plateau with several cypress trees and a place for outdoor dining and relaxation, with amazing views. North on the opposite hill, we see the four windmills and west Mesta and the sea.


Continuing, the path descends. Walking next to the stream, among pines, oaks, arbutus, oaks and spruces, having a panoramic view of the village of Mesta in front of us, we pass fields with old dry stones, which create terraces. Going down we meet the old aqueduct with the stone wells and the spring. The old cobblestone that is preserved until today leads us to Mesta.





Olympoi: This is a medieval village retaining strong elements from that era. The unified outer walls of the outer houses, which functioned as a defense wall, give the whole village the appearance of a fortress. Here, too, there is a central gate and a defense tower, which is half in ruins. The narrow lanes are covered by vaulted arches that connected the houses to each other. In the village square, next to the central Church of Agios Georgios, stands the small Church of Agia Paraskevi with a carved wooden altar screen, an important example of the art of the 18th century, and also the central tower. Another important building is the Trapeza of Olympoi, a two-storey building with long, narrow halls, which has survived in very good condition from early medieval times and is still used by the villagers for social events.


Mesta: One of the island’s most beautiful villages, Mesta is located 35 km. southwest of Chios Town. It is a medieval village listed as a protected landmark. Its elaborate architecture has its origins in the Byzantine period and the whole village is built in the form of a five-sided fortress/castle. The fortifications were improved by the Genoese. The small buildings, built of stone one next to the other, form a strong protective wall without windows on the outside enclosure of the settlement. Small round towers strengthened the outer corners, and the streets are in many places vault covered, making it possible to escape over the rooftops to the central tower. The central Church of the Taxiarchi was built in 1868 on the site of the castle’s old round tower.

There are a good many small churches in the village, and the carved wooden altar screen in the Mikros Taxiarchis is considered to be an ornate example of Chian woodcarving.




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