Masticulture
Cultural Tours • Eco Tours
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9:00 AM - 2:00 PM, 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
About
Masticulture is the only business on the Island of Chios specializing in ecotourism. Since we opened our doors in 2007 we have worked hard to provide our customers with authentic experiences on Chios, experiences that explore the island's culture and nature in the most imaginative and creative ways possible.According to others, we've accomplished this goal: Lonely Planet's guide to Greece lists Masticulture among the top 10 green choices for responsible vacations in Greece.And the Chios Chamber of Commerce awarded us with a special prize for innovation and for our efforts to promote sustainable tourism on the island.Apart from our popular mastic harvest tour, we also offer hiking, scuba diving, sailing yacht trips, cycling, cooking classes and other special tours like star gazing! All activities are organized and hosted by us or by our carefully selected partners-people who share our ethical and business high standards as well as the goal that you experience the best Chios has to offer.
Mesta, Chios, Greece

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

5.0
45 reviews
Excellent
38
Very good
7
Average
0
Poor
0
Terrible
0

toowoomba1
Totnes, UK134 contributions
We recently came back from two weeks in Mesta where Vassilis & Roula at Masticulture were the local agents for the accommodation we rented. What a really helpful couple they are. Their office is at the end of Mesta's village square where they have maps, information & advice on how to get the best out of your visit to Chios. We went on a 2 hour walk with Vassili (a young local guy who gave up Athens life to come back to his roots in Mesta) out of the village to a mastic grove where he demonstrated how the trees were prepared & managed to produce the valuable resin. Then everyone had a chance to try for themselves. A delicious spread of locally baked bread, olives, cheese & local wine followed. You really felt the love for the land & it's tradional methods. We also booked a ferry to Psara, the neighbouring island, through them. It was a really refreshing change to meet such genuine enthusiasm & commitment to showing visitors the delights of Mesta & Chios.
Written July 13, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hello, Very happy to read that you have enjoyed the tour to the mastic grove and even happier to find out that your trip to Chios and Mesta was a memorable one. You may be interested to know that the ferry on which you travelled to Psara was just replaced by one that is slightly newer, a bit faster (just a bit) and more comfortable. We hope we have the opportunity to see you again on Chios in the future. All the best, Roula & Vassilis
Written February 10, 2012
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Katia M
Athens, Greece14 contributions
Aug 2011 • Friends
Chios is a magnificent island which I have been visiting for years and every year I invite friends to come over. This year we discovered over late lunch in Mesta and after seeing an interview on tv this couple who moved from the mainland to Chios island to pursue a career on something unique, to make a difference and i truly believe they made it! Every year I have trouble what to do with my guests, I take them to the most pop beaches and sites but finding a tour for mastic trees, that was a first and albeit 'touristy' I didn't miss the opportunity! Our group gathered a nice afternoon and the tour started slowly...frankly I was a bit worried in the beginning. We walked out of Mesta and up to this spot which was laid with truly beautiful trees! That's where i was relieved and was convinced this is special and felt that the owners (among which our guide) did know what they were doing! We got all this nice information about the cultivation and all, even myself who have my origins from Chios had never heard of but I was deeply glad that my friends had the opportunity to hear all this stuff, it just makes the trip to Chios and the memory even more unique! I enjoyed the fact that the tour and the 'getting to know the tree' was interactive. The finale was really GRAND! A truly beautiful setting of a table amid the trees with delicious traditional produce, wine-cheese-bread-olives and dried figs made on a traditional recipe. It just couldn't be more perfect! Frankly, if our plans did not include a return home to change and back to a 'panigiri' (traditional fiesta not to be missed) we could have stayed there forever! I would suggest to owners to make the spot available for rent for other activities (such as receptions or cocktails), although I fear there's no 'market' for this in Chios, still would be nice to know it's there. All in all, a unique experience and definitely value for money! I bet i ll be back, if not with new friends, maybe with the same group due to popular demand! However, next time don't expect us to leave before sunset! Thanx guys!
Written February 7, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for taking the time to write about your experience. We are glad that you liked the tour to the mastic groves. We also really enjoyed reading it now, in the heart of winter, sitting next to the wood stove. It brings back pleasant and warm memories from the summer. Regarding the time to leave the mastic grove, I challenge you to beat the record held by other guests which is about an hour after sunset. Just let me know in advance to arrange for an extra bottle of wine. We are really looking forward to seeing you and your friends again! With best regards, Roula & Vassilis
Written February 10, 2012
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

MestaChios
London, UK239 contributions
Jul 2011
Even if you are not staying in Mesta, look out for the Masticulture brochures. They offer a great variety of interesting activities – many of them based in other parts of the island.

We took part in one of their unique Mastic Experiences. It was hugely enjoyed by everyone from aged granddad to youngest grandchild. After an interesting and very informative introduction to the production of mastic we all had an opportunity to turn our hands to having a go ourselves. The setting in a small mastic grove was picture perfect. The shade of the trees made it a very comfortable experience in the heat of mid-summer. The experience was rounded off by a lovely picnic of local ingredients – some quite unusual and new to us.

We also went on one of their star gazing evenings. Even though it started quite late our 8 year old son did not tire. The evening was led by knowledgeable astronomers armed with their telescopes. The group was small enough so that you didn’t wait long to see the various sights. Whilst waiting we were entertained by the informal discussion of what we were seeing. The sky is so clear that there was also a bit of a competition to see who could spot the most shooting stars. I had never seen one before; I lost count before the evening was finished.

We will certainly do more of their activities on future visits.
Written November 9, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CarmenAK
Palmer, AK24 contributions
Jul 2015 • Family
The gentleman who did the Mesta town tour was rude to non-Greeks and I understood enough to know that he mocked the foreigners or joked about them in Greek more than once with the Greeks on tour. He spent the entire tour speaking almost exclusively in Greek and then at the end of each very lengthy Greek explanation gave 2 or 3 sentences in English even though a third or more of the group did not understand Greek but knew English. When he was speaking English the bulk of it was to be demeaning to tourists and outsiders which wasn't helpful or even smart he knew some facts but has his Orthodoxy wrong and was at best misguided in some other comments at least while speaking English. He was arrogant beyond belief. The tour was done by volunteers so I'm uncertain why someone with so much clear disdain for outsiders would volunteer to do it unless it was pure pride. The young mastic farmer, whom we met after the town tour, was beyond amazing and was so worth the wait (several times I wanted to walk away from the village tour and some people did). This young mans English was excellent. He spent equal time in English and Greek, he clearly loved his culture, the island and all people. He was wonderful with the children and so informative and as detailed and scientific as you desired. It was EXCELLENT and totally worthy it. My advise, put up with the blowhard arrogant horribly smelly and out of shape village guide for the joy and wonderful Greek kindness of the Mastic expert and cultivating experience.
Written June 18, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear Carmen, I am Vassilis, the "the young mastic farmer" you mentioned that ran the farm tour. Thank you for your flattering words. And thank you for a 5 star review despite the negative experience, it means a lot to me. With my wife Roula we started "Masticulture Ecotourism" in 2007 to share our islands culture in a narrative related to the ancient cultivation of the unique mastic tree. For all these years I have been personally guiding the full tour, both the town part and the farm part. We call this tour "Mastic Mystique" and it is a premium service (for 18 Euros per person). Most of the trip advisor reviews you read here for our business are about the "Mastic Mystique" tour. The tour that you joined last August (2015) was the free version of our mastic harvest tour where the fist part (medieval town tour) was run by a guide and the second part by me as usual. I am sorry that you were disappointed by the performance of the guide. One of the biggest disadvantage of the free tour was that there was no registration, so in average it was run with a group of at least 50 mixed Greeks and foreigners. The free service, the way it was run in 2015 is not offered any more. This year we run only the classic premium version of the tour which, apart of the tour of both the town and the mastic grove, features a lovely pic nic where we offer a spread of local products. Another important characteristic of the premium tour is that we register/pre-book our guest so we ensure that we always go with a small group (in average 6 persons, maximum 12) and we hardly ever have mixed groups with Greek speaking and English speaking. If you ever come back to Chios I will be happy to present you the opportunity to relive the tour and offer the premium tour for free. With best regards, Vassilis
Written July 12, 2016
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Pauline M
Woluwe-St-Pierre, Belgium118 contributions
Jul 2017
Friends had arranged for Vassilis & Roula to give our 10-person group a fantastic day: we started with a tour of a mastic grove and fresh & tasty picnic with local delicacies under the shade of the grove; moved on to a personal tour of the recently-opened Masticha Museum; topped it off with kayaking from Emporios to a small cave and the beach of Mavra Volia. Informative, pleasant, and fun company with their super well-behaved five-year old twins. Highly recommended for families, groups of friends....an insightful view into local history and life from a couple who chose to move back and give back to the island.
Written July 30, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TheofaniaT
Skopelos, Greece16 contributions
Mar 2016 • Friends
A wonderful day on kayak excursion! Vassilis had also brought nice Greek local food and a very tasty local wine to make our lunch break ☺ and be recharged and full of energy to complete our nice tour.
Written March 19, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nanouche
Miami, FL19 contributions
Jun 2014 • Family
Vassilis takes you first through Mesta giving you a brief history of the town, then you head out to the mastic groves. On the way Vassilis will point out all the plants and herbs around and this makes for a lovely educational walk. Once you arrive at the mastic grove, you are given a hands-on all-you-need-to-know about mastica. Then Vassilis unfolds the picnic and you feast on cheese, dried figs, local wine similar to port, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc... I could not stop eating the delicious stuffed dried figs and the cheese! Perfect end of the day experience. Thank you Vassilis.
Written July 8, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

rachel k
london26 contributions
Aug 2012 • Friends
Before I went on this tour, I had never even heard of mastic but after 2 hours in Vassilis' company, I felt like an expert! This tour is definitely the best way of gaining an insight into the work involved in 'farming' mastic and the traditions involved in its production. Vassilis takes you on a brief tour of the town and gives you just enough social history to set the scene before you venture out into the mastic orchard where a surprise banquet awaits you in the shade of the trees. On our way down, we 'harvested' in season goodies for our lunch. We enjoyed our feast but even more so, the general ambience that he created and his easy chat about whatever subject you were interested in. The day after we visited, there was a terrible fire on the island which has destroyed 40% of the isand's mastric trees so it is really important to go and visit to support the work that they are doing to keep the trade alive.
Rachel (London)
Written August 26, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hello Rachel. Thank you for your kind words. I am glad that you enjoyed the tour and that you have appreciated all of its aspects. Also I would like to thank you for your sympathy regarding the terrible forest fire on the island. A large part of the island is affected. I am glad that Mesta (both the village and the region) was not affected at all, but I am really concerned about the consequences of this disaster on the island's ecosystem and economy. Encouraging people to visit Chios after this disaster is the best thing you could do to support the local communities and the island's nature . Much appreciated. Vassilis
Written August 31, 2012
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

spartaroma
Isparta, Türkiye103 contributions
May 2016 • Family
DAILY MASTIK TREE & VILLAGE MESTA EXCURSION
We did a Daily excursion to greece chios island across the famous beach center Çeşme-İzmir.to reach chios takes half an hour by katamarine boat from çeşme turkey. Though the islandis the 4th greatest island of the mediterannean, the population is not crowded less than 50000. The center is Hora, the island is famous for a kind of gum called mastika which is used as food additive. This gum-mastika is produced from mastika tree specifically grown in Chios island. Interestingly, mastika tree is found only in the southern part of chios. We visited a small village called Mesta in the southern part of island. The village is well-preserved historical village which consists of narrow streets covered with stones, the people of the village is hospitable. After 2 hours visit and shopping is Mesta village we departed to Porto Mesta which is horbour of Mesta village. This center is somewhat deserted, we counted only 20 home, there is only 2 restaurant. Island is very windy during our visit but sea has no wave as being in a small bay. After having taken a dinner in this small horbour we departed to center Hora which takes 45 minutes by coach. In Hora we had an hour visit and shopping, especially foods like ;coffee with mastika, mastika additives and fruit and pistachio jam. we departed from chios for Çeşme at midnight. I recommend chios island excursion but one should rent a car as there is no public transport in Chios
Written May 29, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SanFranciscoDahlia
San Francisco4 contributions
Mar 2016 • Family
We had a beautiful day of sea kayaking with Vassilis Ballas, owner of Masticulture Tours. He is a wealth of information about life in Chios and mastic cultivation and history. The kayak equipment was great and it was safe and fun. We had a lovely picnic with local food. We were there during low season so it was a small group and Vassilis was able to personalize the tour.
Written May 14, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Masticulture (Mesta) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go