A small clump of islands lies between Chios and the Turkish coast a stone’s throw away. The largest of these is Inousses, taking its name most probably from its vineyards (“inos” is old Greek for wine).
The village of Inoussa is built in a semicircle on a steep hill on the south side of the island. It has prosperous-looking traditional mansions and narrow stone-flagged alleys that reflect the revenues of the early shipowning families who came from the island. Inoussa, in fact, is the cradle of the Modern Greek shipowning fortunes. The island is attractive and quiet, with plenty of places for bathing. It’s reachable by boat from Chios daily.
In Inousses, with its great marine tradition, there is a remarkable Marine Museum, which houses the precious miniature collection of Antonis Laimos, with ship models from the Napoleon Wars, as well as works by the popular painter, Aristeides Glykas, pictures, lithographies portraying ships from the beginning of the century, books and local costumes.
In the centre of the town, there is the church of Agios Nikolaos, who is the patron saint of the island, while in the quiet small tavernas all kinds of seafood delicacies are served, as well as the famous “boureklikia”, made of dough stuffed with various vegetables. A 10 minute distance from the village lies the notable Monastery of Evangelismos (Annunciation).
There is a small hotel, a few rooms to let, cafes, taverns, and many pleasant beaches. There is a boat with frequent service from the city of Chios to Inousses and during the summer many travel agencies organize various excursions to the islands.
These excursions often include visiting some small coastal villages (such as Langada with its famous taverns), making the trips an excellent combination of sea, sun, and greek food.
The five islands, two miles off the northeast coast of Chios are known by the name of the largest island, Inoussa. In antiquity the island was famous for its wine (Oinos) and it is believed that this is also the origin of the name “Inousses”. During the Greek revolution of 1821, the inhabitants fled from the islands; they came back after 1827. When they returned to the island, the people had to withstand the many difficulties caused by the Turkish occupation.
Because of the heavy taxes, most of the men became seafarers. Many of these managed to become ship-owners, and today some of the richest and most famous ship owners worldwide come from this small island. Inousses has also one of Greece’s major maritime schools.
One can reach Inousses by sea via Chios.
Chios Port Authorities Tel. 0030 22710 44433
Inousses Port Authorities Tel. 0030 22710 55394
Sources: www.oinousses.com, www.holiday-in-athens.com