Northwest of Chios lies an island cluster encompassing seven islets, the largest of which is called Psará. With its rocky terrain reaching out to the sea, Psará looks like a castle in the middle of the open sea. The island’s serene landscape is an ideal environment for the visitor who seeks inner peace and tranquility.
Psará’s history goes back to ancient times. Homer refers to the island in Odyssey (with the name “Psirii”), whereas archaeological excavations revealed the existence of a Mycenaean civilization in the settlement of “Arhontiki”. The island boasts a glorious past since its powerful fleet played a highly important role in the 1821 Greek War of Independence.
Psará used to be the third naval power in Greece, after Hydra and Spetses, and it is also the homeland of many brave war heroes, such as Kanaris, Nikodimos and Vratsanos. Psará however suffered the rage of the Turks who completely destroyed the island by slaughtering its whole population in June 24, 1824.
This tragedy inspired many artists, like the Greek painter Nikolaos Gyzis, who drew the famous painting “After the destruction of Psara”, and the national poet of Greece Dionyssios Solomos, who composed the legendary poem “The destruction of Psará”.
If you are a passionate beachgoer, embark on a day-tour across the neighbouring island of Antipsara with its beautiful sandy beaches.