The small island of Oinousses is a perfect destination for a few days vacation. It is connected daily with Chios town by a ferry and its unique natural beauties as well as the impressive historical buildings will enchant you.
The best places to eat in Oinousses are traditional tavernas. You can try great dishes here and learn about the island’s naval tradition.
1. Ama Laxei
The name means ‘courtyard’ in Greek and this small restaurant certainly feels like one. Tucked away down a side street in the gritty district of Psiri, this makeshift eatery was once used as a workshop for blue-collar workers. Now it serves a modern revamp of traditional Greek cuisine that is beloved by locals, with dishes such as gourmet sausages and battered cod (bakalyiaro) served with a garlic sauce. A selection of modern meze platters is also available and they’re all well worth a visit.
A stone’s throw from the Parthenon, this rooftop bar is a great place to watch the sun go down over the city. It’s also a great spot to soak up some music, as the space is a regular home to leftfield artists and bands playing everything from Autechre to the Smiths. Guests can relax on the sand-washed sofas or kick back under the swaying bougainvillea, with drinks served from the stacked wooden wine barrels that line the wall.
This cosy, family-run tavern is an excellent choice for authentic Greek food and a break from the tourist restaurants on the main squares of the city. A great choice for a quick bite, the kitchen produces excellent keftedes (meatballs), spetzofai (sausage, pepper and onion casserole) as well as fresh grilled seafood including octopus and mussels. The dessert menu is impressive with sour cherry semi-freddo and ekmek kataifi, which consists of puff pastry filled with mastiha cream and syrup.
The back of a humdrum shopping arcade may not sound like an obvious gastronomic hotspot but this little tavern has gained a reputation for the best Cretan cuisine in town. Local lawyers frequent the tavern at lunchtime to feast on such dishes as peppery sauteed wild greens and barley rusks topped with tomatoes and mizithra cheese. A superb tsipouro from Tyrnavos, ouzo from Lesvos and a good range of beers is also available, along with house wines by the bottle. The service is friendly and fast, ensuring you can get your meal in time to enjoy at the atmospheric back terrace. The prices are very reasonable too.
Yperion is a restaurant in Oinousses that serves a variety of Greek dishes. Its prices are reasonable and it is popular among locals and tourists alike. Its food is fresh and flavorful, making it a great place to stop for lunch or dinner. It is located in the heart of the city and is easy to find.
On Saturday 16th November, at the Nine Kings Suite at the Royal Lancaster London W2, 350 guests joined us to attend this year’s Oinoussian Ball in support of OBF. The atmosphere was wonderful with both English and Greeks mixing effortlessly. Drinks were served throughout the evening and caricature artists followed the crowd to draw humorous sketches of the attendees.
The Oinoussian Ball was a huge success and we would like to thank everyone who supported it. Your generosity will help to continue OBF’s work and we hope to see you next year!
In the meantime, we wish you a happy and safe Christmas!
Located in Oinousses, Captain Diamantis Mansion is within the vicinity of Panagia Mersinidiou Monastry and Nagos Beach. This 4-star hotel is also close to Daskalopetra Fishing Port and Homer’s Rock. Featuring free WiFi, this hotel also provides a hot tub and a rooftop terrace. Rooms are equipped with a flat-screen TV and a refrigerator.
On Tuesday 20th December, TEO held the annual Christmas event in Aignoussa. The children were invited to come along and were given their gifts from Santa Claus, whilst a bouzouki band played festive music. We would like to thank all who attended and especially the cadets and staff from the two Naval Academies. It was a lovely event and one that we look forward to hosting again next year.
3. Oinoussa Tavern
Oinoussa (pronounced eg-noussa) is the largest and only inhabited island of the small complex of islands in the north eastern Aegean sea close to Chios. It is also known as “shipowner’s island” because it has a long and vibrant maritime tradition that is honored in the local Maritime Museum of Hora located in a lovely old mansion near the port. The island is also home to several churches and a few monasteries and is well served by hotels, rooms to let, cafes and taverns and the beautiful beaches on the coast are sandy or pebbled and have crystal clear water.
There is a ferry service that runs daily from Chios to Oinousses, with a trip that lasts about 10 hours and there are also connections with the other northern Aegean islands including Ikaria, Fournoi, Lemnos, Psara, Samos, and of course Mykonos, Syros and Tinos in the Cyclades. If you want to go island hopping during your stay on Oinousses, it is a good idea to book your tickets in advance and to consult the ferry timetables before planning your trip.
Unlike the rest of Greece, Oinousses is not a popular tourist destination and it is possible to find deserted beaches on this island even in high season. There are a few hotels on the island and most accommodation options are guesthouses and taverns. There is a lot to do on the island, including wandering around the island’s picturesque town and visiting the Maritime Museum. It is also worth hiking to the top of Profitis Ilias for stunning views over the island.
The closest access point to Wines from Chios is the fishing village of Lagada, from where all sea taxis that run the Chios – Oinousses route start. These can be hired for transport or as private cruises to visit the beaches and other islets on Oinousses and the neighboring islands. It is a great idea to rent a car on the mainland before you travel to Oinousses, since the island is quite large and not very convenient to get around on foot.
4. The Olive Tree
Olive trees are sacred to Greeks, and the groves that dot the landscape in Crete are among the most beautiful in the world. They are also an integral part of the culture and economy, with a great deal of wealth being tied to the harvesting and production of olive oil, as well as table olives. In fact, Greece is the third largest olive oil producing country worldwide and is renowned for the quality of its olives and oil.
Located on the northern side of the Acropolis, in front of the Erechtheion, the Monumental Tree of Vouves is one of the oldest and most significant trees in the history of Athens. Legend has it that when the Persians burned down the Acropolis in 480 B.C., the tree sprouted a branch that eventually grew to its current size. Invaders have come and gone since then, but a sprig of the tree was always saved for future planting. During World War II, the occupying German forces badly damaged the tree, but staff from the American School of Archaeology rescued a cutting that was then planted at its original location.
Carbon dating has estimated the age of this olive tree at over 4,000 years, although it could be much older. Regardless of its age, it is considered a national monument and a symbol of the Greek spirit. A wreath made from the branches of the tree is traditionally carried to the opening ceremony of each Olympic Games since the 2004 Athens Olympics.
It is also believed to be the inspiration for the myth that Noah sent a dove carrying an olive branch in his mouth to signal the end of the flood. The mighty tree is also very adaptable to harsh conditions and can tolerate extreme temperatures. In fact, it is often used as a windbreak in Crete, and its leaves can be cut for firewood and a variety of other uses.
The genetic analysis of the Vouves olive tree has shown that it is closely related to other monumental olive trees from the Sotira area in Cyprus. It is distant from Italian and some Greek popular cultivated varieties, however, suggesting early divergence of East/West cultivated populations.