This village has a rather unusual name, which traces its origins to the words “lepta pedia” (Greek for narrow fields) that describe the limited and shallow surrounding farmlands. It’s an alpine settlement with both striking views and gorgeous architecture. At 57 kilometres from the island’s capital, it’s one of Chios’ northernmost settlements. Leptopoda is built at an altitude of 260 metres between the northeastern flanks of Amani and the northern slope of the tallest mountain on Chios, Pelinaion.
Its history, like that of the other villages of Chios, is readily evident in both its architecture and the dialect spoken by the locals. Galleries and arches combine with the ruins of medieval buildings to form the basic architectural backdrop here.

But what sets this village apart especially is how the houses have been erected. They’re built so close to one another that their outer walls essentially form a single protective barrier. Narrow alleyways wind underneath the galleries, the latter often accessed through arched entryways. Some streets in this village are even covered, with houses -complete with small windows- built atop. Houses located further inside the settlement have no windows, and instead have an opening in the ceiling to let a bit of light in.
The recently renovated central church of the village is dedicated to the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, which it celebrates on 8 September. The localised feast that’s held on this day attracts visitors and pilgrims from throughout Chios. Residents of the village call it the feast “tis Despoinis” (of the Madonna).
A modern-day sculpture by the sculptor G. Kanellos, the “tree of knowledge”, inscribed with local toponyms, decorates the entrance to the church. Visitors can encounter the ruins of an old structure at the area known as “tou Patriarchi” (the Patriarch’s place). Another prominent local ruin, the so-called “Palaiopyrgos” (old tower), is said to have once been an old skete. Visitors to the village can take in both the local heritage and unparalleled natural beauty: a dense pine forest clings to the slopes above the settlement, while every May the crops in the nearby fields flower, giving the surroundings a bright yellow colour.
A folklore museum, inaugurated in the village in 2006, allows visitors to experience first-hand the rich folk heritage of this place. It’s a stone-built structure, divided into two chambers, each of which hosts exhibits such as everyday items used by the villagers in times past.

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