Oinousses Islands – Picturesque with a Rich Maritime Culture

You will find Oinousses, a group of nine small islands east of Chios and west of the Turkish shores. Oinoussa is the main island of the complex, where the main settlement and harbor are located. The islands’ population is less than a thousand souls, and most of them are occupied with fishing, stockbreeding, and seafaring.

Inousses island, fishing boat, North Aegean Sea Greece

Oinousses has a long history of successful ship-owning families and a rich maritime culture. The families of Lemos, Pateras, Hadjipateras, Kollakis, and Lyras make a cluster of ship-owning families, most of which are now living elsewhere most of the year. The islands and the town of Oinoussa are well maintained with a solid naval connection. The shipowner families have contributed to the island’s development with donations to the municipality and important constructions, such as a stadium and a cultural center.

Where are the Oinouses islands?

Bow of a cruise ship with view to Inousses Island Harbour. Inousses is a small island in the Aegean Sea of Greece
Bow of a cruise ship with a view to Inousses Island harbor. Inousses is a small island in the Aegean Sea of Greece

Oinousses is a barren cluster of one larger and eight smaller islands, some two km off the northeast coast of the Greek island of Chios and eight km west of Turkey. The islands form a municipality within the Chios peripheral unit, which is part of the North Aegean Periphery.

Map of the East Aegean Sea

Map of Eastern Aegean Sea, Greece
Coordinates of Inousses: 38°31′N 26°13′E – Click to enlarge the map

Traditional architecture on Oinousses

Inouses, Greece - November 10, 2017: Early morning view of the harbour on Inouses island in Greece
Inouses, Greece – November 10, 2017: Early morning view of the harbor on Inouses island in Greece.

The island of Oinousses is characterized by red-tiled houses and paved paths around a picturesque square with a sculpture dedicated to the Unknown Sailorman. In the harbor of Oinousses, you will find it hosting many yachts and fishing boats despite the small size. Especially during the summer months, the pier is full of life.

Facts about Oinoussa

At the entrance of Oinoussa port the statue of Oinoussiotissa, a bronze mermaid with a crown and a sailboat in her left hand will welcome you. The statue is a reference to the naval tradition of the island, as the minimal resources of the islands turned the inhabitants towards shipping and it is no coincidence that many shipowners come from here. The island is home to the Naval High School, the Naval Museum, the Merchant Navy Academy, the Cultural Center, the historic church of Agios Nikolaos, and the Monastery of the Annunciation.

Things to see on Oinousses island

The most famous sight on the island is the Monastery of Evangelismos of the Virgin Mary. Founded in 1964, it has some amazing frescoes illustrated by the renowned artist Fotis Kontoglou. There is also a Naval Museum, founded in 1991, including many interesting ship models, old naval equipment, photographs, and old pieces of weapons.

How to reach Oinousses?

Oinousses island has a daily ferry connection with Chios town. Staying in Chios Oinousses is a great excursion destination to spend a few days of tranquility in the most picturesque, tiny harbor.

History of Oinousses

Oinousses, main settlement
The main settlement of Oinousses is named Oinoussa

In ancient times the island was famous for its good wine and it is believed that from the root of the word wine (oínos) comes to the name Oinousses. The name Egnousa, used by the inhabitants of the island comes from the ancient name of the wicker plant, “agnos”, which exists everywhere on the island.

Where to stay on Oinousses?

Being an island of the maritime and shipowners, Inousses is a very traditional and family-oriented island and one whose accommodation consists mainly of small traditional hotels and cozy rooms to let. The locals are amicable and welcoming, and this genuine hospitality is something that visitors to Inousses genuinely appreciate. During the summer months, many travelers visit Inousses, and many others take a day trip here from the nearby island of Chios.

Weather and climate in the Oinousses islands

Average temperatures in Oinousses in Celsius for both air and sea