"The Richest Island in the World" Nisos Oinoussa by grkboiler
Nisos Oinoussa Travel Guide: 9 reviews and 26 photos
Located just northeast of Chios and west of Turkey, the tiny islands of Oinousses (ee-NOO-ses) are home to some of the richest shipping magnates in the world, making it the richest island in the world per capita (this even spawned an article in the Wall Street Journal). When books and magazines refer to Chios as the ship owners island, they really mean Oinoussa.
There are currently about 400-500 permanent residents. In addition to the small houses in the village, there are some very beautiful mansions. Not everyone is a rich ship owner or sailor. Many of the inhabitants make their living from farming or fishing.
There are plenty of uninhabited beaches to roam, and many things to explore. The monastery on the west side of the island is nice to visit. You also can't miss the mermaid when you are pulling into the port. The only negative for tourists is that there are no tourist facilities.
This is a very important island in my life. Oinoussa is the ancestral home of most of my dad's side of the family. I am related to pretty much half of the island some way or another.
Tourists who get to visit are very lucky. The boat from Chios doesn't always make the trip (I was turned away 3 times in 1 week because of rough waters), and there is only 1 hotel on the island - 12 rooms.
Oinousses are actually a group of small islands, with the largest and only inhabited one being Egnoussa. It is 14 square kilometers. Other islands are Pasas, Pontikoniso, Vatos, Prasonisia, Avloni, Archontoniso, and Panagia.
The name Oinousses comes from many sources. The islands were known in ancient times to produce fine wines (oinos), were settled by goatherders from Kardamyla in Chios in the 17th century (aega = goat), and are know for the osier plant that grows there (agnos).
Many natives left the island to go fight in the revolution in 1821. When they returned home after 1827, the islands were still under Turkish rule. Due to the heavy taxes imposed on them, many became sailors, and many of these sailors went on to become some of the wealthiest, well-respected, and well-recognized ship owners in the world. In 1912, Oinoussa was reunited with Greece.
Since 1965, one of Greece's most important Naval academies has been based on Egnoussa. This is due to the rich seafaring history of the islands.
The people of Oinoussa have spread to many parts of the world, including Athens, London, New York, Pittsburgh, Ohio, and Gary, Indiana.
- Pros:Hard to get to, very authentic, rarely any tourists
- Cons:Hard to get to, no tourist facilities
- In a nutshell:Untouched by tourists - an authentic Greek Island
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