The small picturesque town of Inousses, or Egnousa, with its 500 inhabitants, has been distinctively declared a municipality and is built on the southern side of the island. Its inhabitants, who are mostly fishermen or occupy themselves in the production of the famous local wine, are people with free spirits, gentle manners and cheerful characters.
The snow white houses of the village are made of stone, like its mansions, which are majestic and typical examples of traditional architecture. Most of the public buildings and the works of embellishment of the town carry the stamp of their donors. In front of the harbour stands the bronze statue of the mermaid that the locals call “Metaira Inoussiotissa” (Mother of Inoussa) and is believed to protect the ships approaching the harbour. In Inoussa, 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).
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.
Oinousses has also one of Greece’s major maritime schools. There is a small hotel, a few rooms to let, cafes, taverns, and many pleasant beaches. There a boat with frequent service from the city of Chios to Oinousses 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.