The main port and capital, Chios town, or Chora (which refers to the main "town" of Chios), is a busy commercial settlement on the east coast, across from Turkey. This is the best base from which to explore the island, and you don't need to venture far from the port to discover the beautiful mansions of Kambos or the captivating orange groves just south of town. The daytime charm of the port area is limited, in part because no buildings predate the 1881 earthquake but also because it badly needs a face-lift. But in the evening when the lights twinkle on the water and the scene is softened by a mingling of blue hues, the cafés begin to overflow with ouzo and good cheer and locals proudly promenade along the bayside.