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The Island of the Seafarers

Deserted Isles, Captain Houses and Pristine Sceneries in a Place Full of Wine
On the east side of the Aegean, you will encounter the mysterious islands of Oinousses. Rocky reefs and deserted islets that have been declared as an area of special beauty from the European Network of Natura 2000 await you to explore them! Oinousses first appeared in the historical texts of Thucydides as …a place full of wine… as the name derives from the word …οίνος… meaning wine! Oinousses have a distinctive place in the naval history of Greece and will definitely earn a distinctive place in your heart. Oinousses challenges you to discover the mysterious beauties of hers and experience simple moments of happiness. At the intersection of the East and the West, Oinousses completes the image of the mosaic of Aegean! Blessed with naval history and natural beauty, Oinoussa is a tiny beautiful island characterized from the imposing captains’ mansion and the impressive stone houses that give an aristocratic finesse to the island. Two storey houses in shades of ochre and pale with red tiled roofs, green and purple windows with white frames and violet bellflowers. What counts most, however, is the love of the all the inhabitants for their homeland. An island cluster of the unexplored Aegean is an ideal destination for those looking for just a few days of relaxation! Are you ready to unveil the mysteries of Oinousses? Just a breath away from Chios, this lovely island awaits for you!

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Best of Oinousses

The Capital of Oinousses

The Settlement of Oinoussa is the sole inhabited village of Oinousses located on the south side of the island. The settlement has an authentic character with traditional houses with red tiled roofs, imposing captain mansions with colourful doors and fine public buildings that compose the genuine architectural design of the Aegean. Imposing captains’ mansion and the impressive stone houses that give an aristocratic finesse to the island. Two storey houses in shades of ochre and pale with red tiled roofs, green and purple windows with white frames and violet bellflowers spread along the harbour and give an aristocratic finesse to the entire island.

The Church of Agios Nikolaos

The Church of Agios Nikolaos dominates the center of the village. Agios Nikolaos is the patron saint of the sailors. The church is ornamented with impressive wall paintings and thousands of offerings from sailors along with relics of the saint. On August 15, the religious custom of the burial of Virgin Mary is celebrated in the church of Agios Nikolaos.

The Maritime Museum of Oinousses

The Maritime Museum of Oinousses is housed within the imposing mansion of the Laimos family. The museum was founded in 1965 with the intention of presenting the rich naval history of Oinousses. Exhibits include model ships, paintings, nautical instruments, documents and books related to the maritime tradition of the island. The items have been donated from families of Oinousses.

Churches and Monasteries

The Church of Agios Georgios was the first church of Oinousses. It was a small church with wall paintings built in 1750. The church was destroyed from an earthquake in 1949. However, the children of the naval family of Pateras restored it.

The Church of Agios Nikolaos dominates the center of the village. Agios Nikolaos is the patron saint of the sailors. The church is ornamented with impressive wall paintings and thousands of offerings from sailors along with relics of the saint. On August 15, the religious custom of the burial of Virgin Mary is celebrated in the church of Agios Nikolaos.

The Monastery of Evangelismos is one of the most important pilgrimage centres of Oinousses located on the west side of the island. It was inaugurated on August of 1965. The monastery distinguishes for its byzantine architecture and its impressive wall painting painted from famous hagiographer, Fotis Kondoglou. The nuns of the monastery are engaged with hagiography and knitting of gold sacred icons. On June 29, the traditional celebration in honour of the saint is held in the small harbour of the monastery.

Monuments and Museums

The Maritime Museum of Oinousses is housed within the imposing mansion of the Laimos family. The museum was founded in 1965 with the intention of presenting the rich naval history of Oinousses. Exhibits include model ships, paintings, nautical instruments, documents and books related to the maritime tradition of the island. The items have been donated from families of Oinousses.

The Mermaid Statue is an iconic bronze sculptor made from Maria Papakonstantinou. The statue welcomes the visitors at the entrance of the harbour. The Statue of Oinoussian Mother also dominates the entrance of the harbour. The Statue of the Unknown Sailor stands proudly at the square of Naftosini. This was the first statue of the country dedicated to foregone sailors. The names of the Oinoussian foregone sailors are written all around the statue.

Promenades & Villages

Oinoussa is the sole inhabited village of Oinousses located on the south side of the island. The settlement has an authentic character with traditional houses with red tiled roofs, imposing captain mansions with colourful doors and fine public buildings that compose the genuine architectural design of the Aegean.

Sunset Spots

Spot: Chapel of Prophet Elias, West Oinoussa

Spot: Church of Agios Nikolaos, South Oinoussa

Excursions

Boat Trip: The Island of Chios unfolds in front of your eyes ready to be explored. Atmospheric medieval mastic villages and beaches of wild beauty with volcanic pebbles. Mansion houses with flowery gardens and citrus orchards and dense forests with miraculous tears of mastic. Impressive mosaics and geometric shapes with floral motifs. A different world is unfolding in front of your eyes ready to be explored. Hanging in a corner of the Aegean, the value of Chios is timeless blessed from the fragrant scents of mastic and the majestic diversities of the landscapes. Do you want to discover the unrevealed mysterious beauties of the island? Wander around the scenic meadows of tulips of Kambos and explore the beautiful geometric shapes of floral motifs of Pyrgi. Visit the impressive New Byzantine Monastery with its wonderful mosaics and be amazed from the evocative deserted settlement of Anavatos. Every corner of the island is hiding an unexpected surprise.

Activities

Kayaking: The opportunity to practice kayak in Oinousses is definitely an unforgettable experience. You will have the chance to admire spectacular rocky formations and the beautiful beaches while admiring the sunset.

Snorkelling: The crystal clear waters of Oinoussa are ideal for snorkelling lovers. So, don’t forget to bring your mask with you!

Spearfishing: Oinoussa is known for its rich marine life making it an ideal destination for spearfishing enthusiasts. The most favourite spots include the bays of Marmaro and Kambi on the east side of Oinoussa. Oinoussa is also known for its octopuses!

Walking: The size of Oinoussa makes it an ideal destination for walking. The perimeter of the island is traversed from an asphalt road that allows easy access to the majority of the beaches on foot. Its length does not exceed 18 kilometres. Walking enthusiasts can discover the island only by walking!

Beaches

Agios Giannis is a sandy and pebbled beach located on the southwest side of the island. It is a small scenic cove ideal for those looking for tranquility.

Apiganos is a long sandy beach with crystal clear waters located on the northwest side of the island. It is  the most beautiful beach of Oinoussa ideal for those looking for seclusion.

Bilali is a sandy and pebbled beach with crystal clear waters located on the northwest side of the island. It is an isolated beach ideal for those looking for seclusion.

Hatzalis is a sandy beach with crystal clear waters located on the north side of the island. It is a secluded beach ideal for those looking for seclusion.

Fokia is a secluded sandy beach with crystal clear waters located on the southwest side of the island. It is an isolated beach ideal for those looking for seclusion.

Fourkerou is a sandy beach with blue waters located on the southwest side of the island. It is a secluded beach ideal for those looking for seclusion.

Hohlakas and Katsika are two conseutive closed bays located on the northwest side of the island. It is an isolated beach ideal for those looking for seclusion.

Kastro is a peebled beach with blue waters located on the southwest side of the island. It is a secluded beach ideal for those looking for seclusion.

Zepagas is a peebled beach with crystal clear waters located on the southwest side of the island. It is one of the most popular beaches of Oinoussa due to its close proximity to the village.

Coffee Corners, Gastronomic Delights and Cocktails Inspirations

Coffee Corners

Kylikio: Coffee, Oinoussa
Naftikos Omilos: Coffee, Oinoussa
Petrino: Coffee, Oinoussa

Gastronomic Delights

Glaros: Greek Cuisine, Zepaga Beach
Palio Telonio: Greek Cuisine, Oinoussa
Pateronisi: Greek Cuisine, Oinoussa
Tsoubari: Greek Cuisine, Oinoussa

Cocktails Inspirations

Bilali: Cocktails and Drinks, Bilali Beach
Petrino: Cocktails and Drinks, Oinoussa

Local Products & Specialties

The local products of the island include the excellent honey of Oinoussa along with the octopuses of Oinousses.

The local specialties of the island include burekia, a filled pastry, herisia, a form of handmade pasta, cartilage, frumety, the grilled octopus, stuffed calamari, zucchini, meatballs and taburokeftedes.

Events & Festivals

Every summer, the Oinousses Cultural Festival is held in the island. The festival hosts a series of cultural special events including musical concerts, conferences, dance performances and excursions.

Every 15th of August, the religious custom of the burial of Virgin Mary is celebrated in the church of Agios Nikolaos.

Every 29th of August, the traditional celebration in honor of the Dormition of Virgin Mary is held in the monastery of Evangelistria.

History & Mythology

Mythology

The islands of Oinousses are not associated with any myths.

History

The historical texts of Herodotus show that the island of Oinousses served as an anchorage of the Athenians against the apostates of Chios during the Peloponnesian War. Historical evidence also show that the first residents of Oinousses were shepherds and farmers who brought grape vines from the Chios and transformed in a powerful naval family from their need to professionally engage in trade and transport during the Turkish occupation. To this extend, the first Greek commercial steamboats were constructed in Oinousses. These commercial steamboats wrote the first chapter of the history of Modern Greek shipping.

Travel & Transport

By Boat (10 Nautical Miles): Oinousses is accessible by boat from the island of Chios. The journey usually lasts one hour.

Mysterious Greece Tips

About Oinousses

Oinousses, else known as Aignoussa, is an island cluster located ten nautical miles away from the island of Chios. The island cluster comprises from the islets of Oinoussa, Panagia, Vatos, Gaidouronissi, Pontikonisso, Archontonisso, Pontikoudiko, Laimoudiko and Prassonisia. The sole inhabited area of the island is Oinoussa. The majority of the inhabitants are engaged is fishing and seafaring. Oinousses is an ideal destination for those looking for isolation and seclusion; just do not choose the month of August!

Blue, Cobald and Sapphire Waters

The asphalt road runs on the perimeter of the island. However, there is a dirt road on a small part of the east side. Therefore, it is relatively easy to reach the majority of the beaches, as the total road network does not exceed twenty five kilometers. Almost all the beaches are suitable for swimming.  The northern beaches are rocky and rugged ideal for snorkelling and swimming while the southern beaches are well shelted from the summer winds.

Discover Isles of Exquisite Natural Beauty

The real mystery of Oinousses is its deserted isles and rocky reefs. Whether you decide to make the circumnavigation of Oinousses or rent a kayak and spent overnight at a deserted beach, you will definitely find your own corner of the unexplored Aegean!

Enjoying your Coffee at the Square of Naftosini

The life of Oinoussa is centred on the square of Naftosini making it an ideal spot to enjoy your coffee!

Pay your Respects to the Monastery of Evangelismos

The Monastery of Evangelismos is one of the most important pilgrimage centres of Oinousses located on the west side of the island. It was inaugurated on August of 1965. The monastery distinguishes for its byzantine architecture and its impressive wall painting painted from famous hagiographer, Fotis Kondoglou. The nuns of the monastery are engaged with hagiography and knitting of gold sacred icons. On June 29, the traditional celebration in honour of the saint is held in the small harbour of the monastery.

Spearfishing in Oinousses

Oinoussa are known for its rich marine life making it an ideal destination for spearfishing enthusiasts. The most favourite spots include the bays of Marmaro and Kambi on the east side of Oinoussa. Oinoussa is also known for its octopuses!

Observing like an Olympian God

Head towards the churches of Apostle Paul and Prophet Elias that dominate the  hills of the monastery of Evangelistria to admire the astonishing views of the surrounding areas!

Taste Fresh Fish in Oinousses

Oinousses is well known for its delicious fresh fish delicacies!

Photo Credits

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Note: All the images are copyrighted from their owners. Please see Terms & Conditions. You can find the original images at the following links:

Church of Analipsi: Giannis Misertzis by Panoramio

Church of Agios Nikolaos: Robs Silvestone by Flickr

Crystal Waters: Robs Silvestone by Flickr 

Landscape: Giannis Misertzis by Panoramio

Oinoussa: Giannis Misertzis by Panoramio

Oinousses: Shutterstock 

Rural Roads: Ploigos by Flickr

View of the harbour: Valeria_ by Panoramio