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Aug 11
Ultima actualizare în 02 Noiembrie 2012

Kambochora

Location

On the southeast part of the island, on the right side along the main road of Kambos and 4 kilometres from Hora, spread the central Mastic villages in the so-called Kambochora region.  The formation of the Municipality of Kampochora took place in 1990 after the uniting of six different colonizings of the area, which were functioning as autonomous communities. So, Halkios, Vavili, Vassileoniko, Ververato, Dafnonas and Zifias compose one Municipality, that is an organized, powerful and energetic one that represents them strongly, and expands their development within modern society. The size of the municipality is 15 square kilometers and its population, according to the census of 1991, is 2.939 citizens. All the colonizings were located near the center of the island and the transportation is served by two main roads. The center of the municipality is Halkios, which has the largest population and a geographical position almost in the middle of all the other colonizings. The services of the Municipality are housed in a beautiful building of the Argendion School. It is a big building, built of stone, with the characteristic architecture of the first years of the century, since it was built in the 1917 by the Chian donators Pantelis Argentis and his wife Fani Skilitsi. initially it was used as a school. Nowadays, since it has been renewed and formed appropriately, with expenses paid by the European Community, it house besides the services of the Municipality, the Model Nursery School of Campochora, which was founded by the Municipality for the children of its citizens.

One of the first villages we encounter is Vasilioniko and after it the views change, finding a more hilly ground and a more scarce vegetation. Next village is Vavili, 8 kilometers from Hora and one of the newest villages in the entire island. Soon we find a place where it is really worth to stop for a walk. It is in the way to Sklavia, along a short path surrounded by olive trees that starts just 1 kilometer off from Vavili. At the end of the path stands the Byzantine church of Panagia Krina, a well conserved beautiful church settled in an even more beautiful surrounding. The church, from 1197, is said to be one of the most characteristic copies of the Katholikon of Nea Moni in Chios, although its importance lies in the artistic, architectonical and sociological information it still offers, specially about the Byzantine painting at the turn of the century. Some of its works have been removed and placed at the Byzantine Museum (the Mosque) at Vounaki Square.

The area where Sklavia stands is also very nice, with lots of springs and a nice view to Kambos. Some other villages that we find on the way around Kambochora are Kalkio, that gets its name from the craft of copper article its villagers worked in (halkos, copper), Zifias, the beloved home village of the Academy Professor Kon Amantos, and Ververato, a small village with the remains of a medieval tower and of ancient houses called "ellinospita". Behind these villages we find Korakaris mountain, a bare mountain with a little forest that the sea must had covered thousands of years ago, because some seashells were found right in the forest.

Next village is Dafnonas, around which there used to be some fields owned by Nea Moni with towers in them, such as Vestarhato, Stratigato and Kanavoutsato. There you can also see Pafyllida, a green valley with plenty of springs, whose water is tanked to water the fields of the area. It is surprising how many legends tell about fairies and nymphs living there. One, for instance, refers to the bridge called "Koris Gefiri" over Parthenis with the marble "breast" of a young lady on top of it, who is said to have been built in the bridge to safeguard it against destruction. A similar legend exists for the famous bridge at Arta and both claim that the sacrifice of a maiden would help against evil.

Right after Tholopotami, the road forks out to Kalamoti on the left and Armolia on the right. If we take the way to Kalamoti, we come to Myrmigi, a small village, and then to Exo Didima and Messa Didima, on the left of which there is the monastery of Agia Matrona at Halandra.

From Kalimasia, a town a little bit to the north, the road goes down to Kataraktis and Nenita. If we keep going south, then we find Voukaria beach, the nearest point of Chios to the coast of Asia Minor, and the beach of Agios Ioannis Gridia, an excellent beach for swimming and fishing.

From Nenita you can go to Vouno, a town with narrow lanes and tall stone houses connected to each other in the traditional defensive way with vaults called "skepasta". Worth seeing is the huge gate of the village and the observation tower from which the view is unique. Finally, to the south of Voune we come to three little small villages spread along a small valley: Flatsia, Kini, and Pagida.