The group of nine tiny islands just off the northeast coast of Chios, very close to the Turkish shore, are collectively known by the name of the largest - Oinoussa, which is renowned for its long and often heroic seafaring tradition. The islands can be reached by regular boat service from the town of Chios as well as by local fishing boats during the summer.
During the Greek War of Independence which began in 1821, the inhabitants sought refuge in the Peloponnese, Andros and Euboea but began to return after 1827, only to suffer great hardship under the continuing Turkish occupation. Many of the islanders turned to the sea, some eventually becoming shipowners. In fact, Oinousses is the birthplace of some of the most prominent shipowners worldwide. The main town of the island group, Oinousses, is a small coastal settlement built on the site of an ancient, once powerful town on the south coast of Oinoussa. The main attractions of Oinoussa are its small natural harbours with beautiful beaches, elegant mansions, several churches and the local Maritime Museum. With very few tourist facilities, the island is ideal for those seeking peace and quiet in an idyllic environment.