The Oinousses are a cluster of islands in the Northeastern Aegean, consisting of one inhabited island, Oinoussa, as well as eight smaller islets. Oinoussa has a population of 842 residents. These islets are located just 2 kilometers northeast of Chios and 8 kilometers from Turkey.


History of Oinousses

Since ancient times, the Oinousses have been inhabited, and their inhabitants were primarily engaged in vine cultivation. There are references from various writers to these islands by the name "Oinoessa," which means rich in wine.

From 1315 onwards, there are few mentions of the islands in documents. During the following two centuries, there are no references to any settlement. Their geographical location, along with the presence of small and sheltered coves, contributed to the Oinousses becoming a meeting place for pirates.

In 1566, the Oinousses fell under Turkish occupation. After the destruction of Chios in 1822, many inhabitants of Oinousses abandoned their island and sought refuge in liberated areas, where they engaged in maritime professions. When they returned to their homeland in 1829, the Oinoussiotes worked on Chian sailing ships. During the years of the Crimean War (1853-1856), Oinoussian shipping flourished and experienced a peak, as most residents were involved in sailing navigation.

In 1912, the Oinousses were liberated from Turkish rule. During the First World War in 1914, many refugees from Asia Minor settled in Oinousses.

In 1941, the Oinousses were occupied by the Germans during the Second World War, causing serious problems on the island. Despite the destruction it suffered during the war, Oinoussian shipping was quickly reconstructed. Additionally, public works carried out with the sponsorship of Oinoussians from England and the United States, as well as the assistance provided by organizations from Athens and London to needy Oinoussians, contributed to the inhabitants remaining in their homeland.

Beaches in Oinousses

Don't miss the opportunity to visit these stunning beaches in Oinousses. Each one offers a unique experience and has its own distinct character.

  • Bilali Beach is beautiful with sand and scattered pebbles. A kiosk and a few trees provide shade, while the calm shallow sea with its azure waters makes it ideal for families with young children.
  • In Agios Giannis, you will discover a small picturesque village with a green hill in the background and a beach with sand and pebbles. On the right side of the beach, there is a diving platform. The white chapel of Agios Giannis on the side and the emerald waters create an idyllic atmosphere.
  • Apiganos Beach is considered one of the most beautiful on the island, with a large sandy beach and crystalline waters. It is located southwest of the harbor and features a small marina.
  • At Fourkerou Beach, you will find a tranquil enclosed cove with a large sandy beach and calm turquoise waters. In the eastern part of Chora, the beach offers straw umbrellas that provide shade and coolness.
  • Finally, Hatzalis Beach is a peaceful beach with sand and pebbles, a few trees, and calm turquoise waters. A cement pier at one end of the beach welcomes small excursion boats and sailboats.

Make the most of your time in Oinousses. Escape to the beaches of Oinousses and enjoy their heavenly landscape.

Sights in Oinousses

Organize a day trip to the city of Chios, as the two islands are only 19 nautical miles or a 60-minute ferry ride away.

One option is to take a tour around the deserted islets of the complex with a tourist boat or a sea kayak. This experience will allow you to enjoy the natural beauty of the secluded islets and immerse yourself in the blue of the sea.

Another destination worth visiting is the Marmaro and Kambi bay, where you can engage in spearfishing and enjoy the underwater beauty of the area.

To enjoy a breathtaking sunset, you can visit the beautiful chapel of Prophet Elias, located on the western side of the island.

Also, make sure to cross over to Lagada, the famous fishing village of Chios, where you can enjoy renowned taverns and taste delicious seafood flavors.

Finally, don't miss the opportunity to visit the Monastery of Evangelismos of Theotokos, where you can purchase unique handcrafted textiles. These textiles are a local tradition and make ideal souvenirs from your trip.

Activities in Oinousses

Explore the majestic village of Oinousses, the unique settlement of the island that is built in an amphitheater style on a hill around the harbor. Enjoy a stroll through the beautiful cobblestone alleys with impressive mansions owned by the island's shipowners and traditional stone houses with tiled roofs, nestled among green tree lines.

It is also worth visiting the grand Cathedral of Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of seafarers, where you can admire the rich decoration and intricate frescoes.

Do not miss the opportunity to marvel at the iconic bronze sculpture of the Oinoussiotissa, dominating a rock at the entrance of the harbor. This artwork, in the form of a mermaid holding a crown and a sailboat in her left hand, was created by sculptor Maria Papakonstantinou.

Another significant place to visit is the fantastic Naval Museum, where you can discover the island's rich maritime heritage through intricate ship models, paintings, old photographs, maritime artifacts, books, and rare documents.

Finally, I recommend visiting the women's monastery of Evangelismos of Theotokos, an architectural gem of Byzantine style built in 1962 in a lush area in the western part of the island, near Mount Athos. You will be enthralled by the exceptional frescoes by renowned iconographers like Fotis Kontoglou, as well as the significant treasures preserved there.