Mastic of Chios
An island with unique beauty, flavored with mastic, adorns the Eastern Aegean and awaits the visitor to discover the picturesque charm. On the south side of the island we meet the mastic trees which are the island mark, lined in dozens of large areas and famous not only in Greece but also abroad.
Harvesting the mastic is quite difficult and time consuming.
Mastic is made of the body of mastic-tree. A "good" tree can produce from 200gram to 500 max, but of course the outcome is based on the age of the tree. The harvesting process is difficult and exhausting, because the trees are extremely sensitive and need care all periods of the year. The process begins in the autumn and during winter time they clean the land from the bushes in order to maintain until spring time. In May they start cleaning the bodies of the mastic trees, this process stops for all trees around the beginning of July, with the use of an object called "amnia".
In the beggining of July they clean perimetrically the trees from small twigs in order the area under the tree to be clean. Afterwards the area called "table", is sweeping with a rig broom from wild greens. Later, the "table" is covered with white dirt, which is found in the caves of around the area, in order the mastic that will run from the body of the trees stays clean and not contact with stones, leafs or other elements that will destroy the cleaness of the mastic-tree.
Right after the first "needleworks" begin. The needlework, i.e the nick of the bodies from where the mastic will run, is a difficult procedure, as the cuts will have to follow the routes of the "living veins", that "raise the juice of mastic on the top", while the mastic-producers work in a very low position as the bodies of the trees are very low. The needlework continues every three-four days on the same trees. The needlework processes are based on the size of the tree. They begin with four-five needlework lower and five-six higher on the next needlework, six-seven even more higher reaching the twigs. The process is going from generation to generation. The tool that they were using is named "kentitiri", "timitiri".
The juice of mastic is at first viscous and looks like a melted cheese, but gets when it comes on the "table" and shape small white crystals. The best parts are the "pies". The needlework stops on August but the collection begins after fifteen more days, to wait for te mastic to get dry up. In September, they start gathering pies, the big parts and continuing the smallest parts with a tool named as "komotiri". Later on they put some special baskets named as mastic-baskets or "kafkia". Continuing the process of cleaning is starting. In the old days women used to gather in companies and put on a baking dish a quantity of mastic, they put big stones and on continuing they paned the mastic, in order to make big stones to leave soil or every other stone. Lastly they were washing the mastic at the sea or later on inside boats with green natural soap.
The mastic of Chios we meet in sweets, drinks, caramels, donuts, local traditional products of Chios.
For your entertainment in Chios, you will find many restaurants, taverns, cafeterias with excellent service and variety of products and services.
Chios consists of many traditional, simple but also luxurious places where you can have any type of food you want.
For your stay in Chios, you can book a room in one of the hotels and Bed & Breakfast inns.
In Volissos, as well as in many other areas of the island, there are hotels and accommodations of various categories and types (rooms to let, residences, Bed & Breakfast inns, studios, hostels, guesthouses and furnished apartments) that can satisfy every visitor's demands and needs for a pleasant and enjoyable stay.
You will find wonderful hotels, rooms and apartments to let of all categories and price ranges.
There are high speed and conventional ship routes to Piraeus while the trip is ranging from 4.5 to 9 hours respectively.
Chios is connected to the neighboring islands of Mytilini (daily) and Limnos while there are daily routes for destination to Inousses and three times a week to Psara.
There is alsoa connection to Thessaloniki, Alexandroupolis and Kavala through all year round.
During the summer season there are connections to other islands, too.
There are daily flights to and from Turkey, in particular the port of Cesme, which is one hour drive from Izmir.
Daily flights connect the island to Athens. Also, some days of the week there are routes from and to Thessaloniki, Rhodes, Limnos and Lesvos.
During the summer season, there are many charter flights and international airlines connecting the island to other European cities.
For your convenience, you can use the route map on the field “Routes” with information about the mileage, the time you need and the route you will follow, selecting the points of interest.