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en:Oinousses main settlement.

A ferry leaves Chios every afternoon for Inoússes (or Oinoússes), ‘the wine islands’, an archipelago of nine islets to the northeast; if you don’t want to spend the night, you’ll have to one of the pricey weekly excursion boats or hydrofoils. Only the largest, all of 30 square kilometres, is inhabited by about 800 people year round, but per capita it’s the richest island in Greece: the Inoussians comprise some 60 of the 180 Greek shipowning families, including the Lemnos clan.

It’s not for nothing that the Inoussians have a reputation for being tough cookies; most families began as goatherds or wine makers who spent centuries in Kardámyla, Chíos, until it was safe to return. After losing everything again in the Second World War they cannily parlayed a handful of Liberty ships into a fleet of ships and tankers. Some of the fanciest yachts in Greece congregate in its sheltered little harbour every summer. The rest of the year their owners divide between Geneva, London and Athens.

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North Aegean Islands

Text © Dana Facaros

Image by NikoSilver at English Wikipedia