Chorio is the main town on Kimolos, and apart from the port of Psathi, is where most visitor will spend time. It is located on the southwestern side of the island, in the shadow of Mount Xaplovouni. You will find that other Cycladic island towns are called Chora; Chorio is slightly smaller and more traditional village that these other towns. While many Greek towns have one main square, Chorio has quite a few, and you may find yourself wandering the warren of narrow lanes, stumbling on the various town squares. Chorio’s homes are covered with the typical Greek island whitewash, domed roofs, and bright blue doors.
Churches of Chorio
There are over 80 small churches in Chorio to explore. Many are simple family chapels, dedicated to various saints. These churches are maintained by the families and passed down the generations. On each saint’s feast day, the churches host festivals in Chorio’s many squares. A lot of the churches date back as far as the 16th century. The largest church is the Metropolitan Church of Panagia Odigitria, in the town centre. It was erected between 1867 and 1874 and has a collection of impressive icons inside. Eight of the churches, including the Birth of Christ inside the castle, are protected by the Ministry of Culture.
In the centre of Chorio is the Archaeological Museum, which showcases the history of Kimolos. The clear glass floor allows visitors to see a reconstruction of an ancient burial below while the rest of the two-storey building has artefacts and relics related to the thousands of years of history in Kimolos. It is a very informative museum, with plenty of photographs and diagrams related to the items on display. Some of the highlights are the statues and resolutions dating back to prehistoric times. The museum is located in the town centre, across from the Metropolitan Church of Panagia Odigitria.
Folk and Maritime Museum
Another museum in Chorio you must visit is the Folk and Maritime Museum, which is located in the kastro, or castle, in a small house. The museum has a wide array of cultural artefacts related to the heritage and history of the people of Kimolos. The aim of the museum is to preserve the Kimolos way of life. Some of the exhibits include textile looms and embroidery machines used by the women, carpentry tools, pottery, and household wares. The maritime element of the museum is seen upstairs in a corner with various drawings, memorials, and naval instruments.
Like many other small Greek towns, Chorio has a medieval castle, called the kastro. The kastro is located on the foothills of the mountain and consists of two different sections. The inner section, which is the oldest, dates to the 15th century and has some small houses, an inner courtyard, and the Church of the Birth of Christ. Chorio’s Inner Castle is in ruins, but visitors can still visit. The outer section dates to the 17th century and has numerous houses and a very narrow alleyway. This part of the castle was still designed for defense, and in fact following a pirate attack and fire in 1638, more towers were added to strengthen the defense of the outer castle. As a general rule, the closer to the castle the house is, the older it is. People still live here; the Folk and Maritime Museum is located adjacent to the eastern gate of the outer castle.
Psathi is Kimolos’ port town. It is where the ferries from Piraeus and Milos come in, and it also has a very small beach to the right of the port. Psathi is a very popular beach because of the number of ferries that arrive here. You can swim and relax in the sun, visit the small souvenir shops near the port, or have coffee and drinks at the little tavernas. The tavernas are also open for lunch and dinner and offer wonderful fresh fish dishes.