Besides olive groves, southern Híos’s gently rolling countryside is home to the mastic bush, and the twenty or so mastihohoriá, or mastic villages. Since the decline of the mastic trade, the mastihohoriá live mainly off their tangerines, apricots and olives, though the villages, the only settlements on Híos spared by the Ottomans in 1822, retain their architectural uniqueness, designed by the Genoese but with a distinctly Middle Eastern feel. The basic plan involves a rectangular warren of tall houses, with the outer row doubling as perimeter fortification, and breached by a limited number of gateways. More recent additions, whether in traditional architectural style or not, straggle outside the original defences. Of the surviving villages, three stand out: Pyrgí, Olýmbi and Mestá.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Greece features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

A divided island: a journey through time in Cyprus

A divided island: a journey through time in Cyprus

Cyprus has been a divided nation for over 40 years, but fresh reunification talks have offered hope of a united future. As Cyprus prepares to make history aga…

26 Apr 2017 • Darren Loucaides local_activity Special feature
24 breaks for bookworms

24 breaks for bookworms

1. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas In 1971, fuelled by a cornucopia of drugs, Hunter S. Thompson set off for Las Vegas on his “savage journey to the heart of …

02 Mar 2017 • Eleanor Aldridge camera_alt Gallery
Go solo: the 20 best places to travel alone

Go solo: the 20 best places to travel alone

Solo travel can be one of the most rewarding ways to explore the world. Whether you'd rather spend it on a desert island or in a frenetic new city, here are th…

21 Dec 2016 • Rachel Mills camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month