Aepos, the great plateau of Chios

On the island of Chios, there is an expansive, mountainous mass with predominantly rocky vegetation, untouched by modern activities and enriched by long human presence with a rich history, myths, legends, traditions, and countless age-old stone constructions. This is the “Aipos Plateau,” which, in reality, is not a plateau in the scientific sense of the term; it has just become customary to call it that. It is located just a few kilometers from the city of Chios and remains unknown even to the locals, thus maintaining its authenticity.

From ancient times until today, humans, in their effort to survive in the rugged mountain, have created a multitude of stone-built structures, masterpieces of the UNESCO-recognized art of dry stone: stone-paved roads, wells, threshing floors, huts, endless stone walls, shepherd’s pens, and “girismata,” as the stone-enclosed fields are called in the local dialect of Chios. And while all these are more or less known elements of folk architecture, the colossal “Piles of the old woman” in Astifidolakos, that is, the massive, conical stone heaps, are unique in the Aegean region and will impress you.

In Aepos, therefore, you can walk the “Hellenic Path”, the “Path of Homer”, or other beautiful but less known paths, wander around the ruins of ancient settlements, admire its rare cultural landscape, and also witness traditional agricultural activities since, in this otherwise deserted plateau, a few shepherds and even fewer farmers are still active.

In Homeric dialect, “aepys” means steep, high. The “Aepos Plateau” is rugged, it’s Doric, and it’s not for everyone. It is for those who seek authenticity, who stand with respect in front of the monuments of human toil, and who have the disposition to “get lost” in order to discover its hidden charm.