Greece is abundant in history, culture, cuisine and natural beauty which is sure to keep you busy exploring during your free time! Here are some of the popular things to see and do places while on the IVHQ Greece program.
In and Around Chios
A Variety of Villages
Chios is home to 62 diverse and interesting little villages, many dating back centuries. No trip to Chios is complete without taking the time to explore the charming alleys in the medieval village of Mesta, the southern village of Pyrgi with its unique etched architecture and designs, and the historical villages of Anavatos and Sidirounta set on hilltops and offering majestic views of the island.
Museums and Monasteries
If you are intrigued by history and get inspired while visiting historical monasteries and museums then Chios is the perfect place! From ancient churches and monasteries of grand design to the only Mastic museum in the world, you will not be disappointed with the wealth of history that Chios holds. Make sure to spend some free time taking in the religious and cultural history that this little island has to share.
Beaches and Sailing
Awe inspiring with wild undiscovered beauty just barely describes the 140 beaches that cover the Chios coastline. As a volunteer in Greece you will no doubt spend much of your free time enjoying the variety of beaches on offer, all with their own unique appeal. We also encourage you to sign up, along with other volunteers, for a 1 day or 2 day sailing trip offered through our local team to experience the coastline from a different point of view.
The Olympic Cave
There are no excuses for volunteers to miss a visit to The Olympic Cave. Located just 8km south of the medieval village of Olympi, it is an astounding 57m deep cave with impressive stalactite and stalagmite formations. Its formation began in the upper Jurassic period over 150 million years ago and it was completed 50 millions years ago – a spectacular truly worth seeing!
Further afield, but not too far at all! The Turkish city of Izmir is just 45 minutes by ferry from Chios, making a visit to Turkey an excursion that all volunteers must do. Izmir is a city with a long history and home to some of the most impressive Roman ruins outside of Pompeii. You can spend a weekend exploring the heritage sites and ancient monuments, meandering along the waterfront, browsing the bazaars, tucking in to a Turkish feast and so much more!
Nearby Greek Islands
While all of the Greek Islands are spectacular to visit, the closest to Chios are the islands of Lesvos and Samos. Hop on a ferry for 2 to 3 hours and you’ll be on the shore ready to explore!
Lesvos boasts outdoor pursuits such as horse riding, rock climbing, mountain biking and ancient hot springs as well as impressive architecture and many cultural activities. Take time to visit one of the largest petrified forests in the world, the Museum of Industrial Olive-Oil Production to see how oil is produced from olives or even take a local pottery workshop to create your own souvenir.
On Samos, the birthplace of Pythagoras, you’ll find beautiful beaches, quant cafes and traditional tavernas. Once you’re filled up on local delicacies you can head off to explore the Archaeological Museums, visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Heraion and head up to the unique grotto monastery of Panagia Spiliani where you’ll find a church inside a cave and take in incredible views across to Turkey.
A short 45 minute flight from Chios Island will get you to Athens which provides plenty to see and do, while also being a hub to connect to other parts of Greece or Europe. While in Athens ensure to soak up its rich history by visiting The Parthenon, The Acropolis (and its museum), the theaters of Herod Atticus and Dionysious, the Ancient Agora (as well as the new one) and finish it all by watching the sun go down at The Temple of Poseidon.
If you would like more details on any of these locations or activities, our local team in Greece can assist you once you are registered onto the IVHQ Greece program.
To apply for the program or explore the volunteering opportunities available in Greece, visit our Volunteer in Greece page.