General Information on Oinousses
The eight isles of Oinousses are located in the Aegean Sea, between the northeast end of Chios and the west of the Turkish Peninsula of Erithrea. The largest island, Egnoussa or Oinoussa, stretches over 14km² and is the only inhabited one, having circa 700 residents.
The island is ideal for relaxing vacation and hiking. Small ports, pebble beaches, a traditional settlement and an interesting landscape are key features of this small group of islands in the Aegean Sea.
History of Oinousses
In antiquity, the islands of Oinousses were famous for their excellent grapes and wines and this is believed to be the origin of the name “Oinousses” (oinos is the Greek word for wine). However, the most commonly used term by the residents is “Egnoussa”, deriving from “agnos”, the ancient name of the osier plant that grows abundantly on the islands.
Little is known of the islands’ history but they are considered to have had the same fate as the neighbouring island of Chios. During the Greek revolution of 1821, many islanders fled to different parts of Greece to fight against foreign invasion. Returning to the islands after 1827, they had to cope with the many difficulties caused by Turkish occupation. Because of the heavy taxation imposed by the Ottomans, most men became sailors; many of them eventually became ship owners, and even today, some of the most well-recognised ship owners worldwide come from Oinousses. The islands were annexed to the New Greek state in 1912, along with Chios.
Towns & Villages in Oinousses
The village Egnoussa, which lies on the jagged coasts of the largest island of the Oinousses group, is a traditional and beautiful settlement and port. White-washed stone houses and mansions, typical examples of the traditional Aegean architecture, are found throughout the village. Most public buildings and embellishment works in the town carry a commemorative plaque in honour of their donors. In front of the harbor stands the bronze statue of a mermaid, whichthe locals call “Metaira Oinoussiotissa” (Mother of Oinoussa) and which is believed to protect ships approaching the harbor. Most inhabitants are fishermen or are involved in the production of the famous local wine. Tourism is fairly low, not due to a lack of ferry connections, but because it’s against the will of many of their inhabitants.
Top Things to Do in Oinousses
1. Marine Museum: Considering the great marine tradition of the island, Oinousses has a remarkable Marine Museum, which houses the priceless collection of Antonis Laimos, consisting of miniature ship models from the Napoleonic Wars, as well as works of the popular painter Aristeidis Glykas, pictures, lithographs portraying ships of the beginning of the century, books and local costumes.
How to Reach Oinousses
Oinousses may only be reached by ferry, which connects the island to the town of Chios on a daily basis. The trip lasts one hour.
Getting Around in Oinousses
The main island is small and everything is within walking distance. There is no bus service here, and there is only one taxi.
Weather in Oinousses
The island of Oinousses has a typical Mediterranean climate, with strong north and north-west winds and mild temperatures which don’t exceed 29 degrees Celsius. There is moderate precipitation during the short winter, and the summer is hot.
Top 10 Destinations in Oinousses
All Destinations in Oinousses
Map of Oinousses