Hospitable, relaxing and revival

Schinoussa

Schinoussa - Location, Arrival, Accomodation

Nice beaches, walking, Cycladic colors. The island of Schinoussa emerges in the blue-green sea, traditional and hospitable, offering relax, calm and revival.

Location

Schinoussa is located south of Naxos, between Eraklia and Kouphonissia. It has an area of 7, 7 sq km. Its length is 4 km and its width 3 km. The highest peak Mylos is at 134 m.
South of Schinoussa are three islets; too close Ophidoussa and Aspronissi and a little further Agrilos. Near to the northeastern edge is the small Klidoura.
The 220 residents live in the capital Chora or Panagia, the port Merssini and the settlement Messaria.

According to one opinion it took its name from the bush schinos which germinates on its land. Another opinion says that during the Venetian rule in Cyclades (13th – 16th Century) a sovereign named Schinosa had a tower on the island. Several bays were pirate bases.

Getting there

Schinoussa is connected by ferry boat with Piraeus, Syros, Paros, Naxos, the other Small Eastern Cyclades, Amorgos and Astypalaea. Moreover the boat “Skopelitis” connects Schinoussa and the other Small Eastern Cyclades with Naxos and Amorgos.

The main road connects the port with Chora. Earthen roads lead to the other regions and the most beaches. We can go everywhere by foot following nice pathways.
Those coming by a yacht can tie up in the harbor, located in the cove of a leeward bay on the western coast. The bays on the southern coastline offer a good anchorage, as well as the bay Psili Ammos on northeast.

Accommodation

There are hotels and rooms to let; good food in restaurants and taverns. We will often hear traditional music. The island is known for the love of its residents for playing music and singing.

Schinoussa - Tour of the island - The beaches

The capital Chora or Panagia stretches on an interior hill, invisible from the sea. It is a Cycladic settlement with whitewashed streets and small houses. The most shops and café-bars are in the main street.
In the church of Panagia is a famous icon of Panagia of Achathi, considered as protector of the island. There is a small archaeological museum and a folk museum.

West of Chora, at a distance of 1, 2 km, is the port Merssini in the cove of the bay with the same name. It is leeward, one of the best refuges for small boats. There are a few houses and two fish-taverns with good food.
At the entrance of the harbor near the lighting-house the all white chapel of Aghios Nickolaos welcomes the visitors. Above the harbor, going to Chora, beside a well is the Cave of the Pirate. There is a story about it. The years of piracy a pirate from Magne in Peloponnese stole the church of Panagia and shot against its icon, but leaving fell on the rocks and died where the cave is.
West of Merssini bay is formed the Siphnaeiko bay.

A half of km south of Chora is Tsiguri; a golden sandy beach at the inlet of the so called bay. It is the cosmopolitan beach of the island, organized, with a restaurant, a bar and a terrain for volley-ball.
Southeast is opened the Livadi bay with a nice sandy shore and attractive sea. We arrive taking another way, one km from Chora. The bay is enclosed on the south by the peninsula of Aghios Vassilios . At the beginning is the church; on the southern a tiny bay with a lonely beach is formed. Opposite, at one step, is the northern point of the islet Ophidoussa.
On the other side of the peninsula, all along the southern coast stretches the larger bay of Alygaria . At the coves inside of it are two wonderful sandy beaches.

Another way from Chora leads southeast to the old medieval settlement of Stavros and next to the peak of the hill of Prophetes Elias, where a castle was in the past. Going on southeast we arrive in the bay of Bazaeou , on the south of the eastern coast. Inside of it are the beach of Bazaeou with small pebbles and the beach of Lioliou with trees and shallow waters.

If we go east of Stavros, we will arrive in Almyros bay with a nice beach in its cove. At another small bay on the north is the sandy beach Fountana.

Chora is also the starting point for visiting the northern part of the island.
At the one side the road leads after 3, 5 km to Mylos (Mill), the highest peak at 134 m; there is an old windmill and the view on the islands around is magnificent. From here we can go by foot to the Gerolimnionas bay on the northwest edge of the island. The marvellous beach has white sand and all green waters.
At the other side the road leads after 2, 7 km to Messaria, a picturesque settlement with the church of Evangelistria and an old windmill. Above are some old stone houses and another windmill. North of Messaria to the northern coast stretches the flat land of Kambos (Plain).
Northeast is the sandy beach Phykio and east the bay of Psili Ammos (Thin Sand). As the name says there is an amazing sandy beach with dunes.

Events - During the summer the biggest festival is on August 15, the holiday of Panagia, in Chora. The feast lasts two days with music and dance performances and pottery and photo exhibitions. Feasts take place early in spring in Panagia of Chora and in Evangelistria of Messaria.

Local cuisine and products - A well known local dish, as in the other Little Eastern Cyclades, is the patatato, meat in tomato sauce with potatoes; also the chtapodi giouvetsi (octopus cooked with paste), the fresh fishes and the meletinia, cheese-pies with myzitrha cheese, eggs and sugar. From the sweets, the pasteli served in lemon leaves and the xerotigana. Schinoussa is well-known for the meat and the cheeses (xinomyzitrha, ladotyri and kopanisti).

Activities - Natural life, walking and sea! Fishing and diving. Excursions and diving in the neighboring islets Ophidoussa, Agrilos and Klidoura.

The last years those small islands became well known as most of the Cyclades islands. However, they remain little paradises of calm and natural life. In most occasions the car is not necessary. We can go almost everywhere on every island by foot and by sea taking a caique.

On the north east of Naxos, is Donoussa. South-southeast of Naxos, are the islands of Pano Koufonissi, Kato Koufonisssi, Keros, Schinoussa and Eraklia. Donoussa, Pano Koufonissi or just Kouphonissi, Schinoussa and Eraklia are inhabited.


The main feature of the islands is the beautiful beaches with golden sand and clear blue-green waters. The few little settlements keep the folk Cycladic architecture and the residents are hospitable and smiling. The fishing boats bring fresh fishes and sea-food in the taverns; there are also local dishes with meat, pastry and cheese.

The Small Eastern Cyclades are connected by boat with Piraeus and other islands. Moreover Kouphonissi is connected by a sea jet. There is also a local connection between the four islands, Naxos and Amorgos.

Only few details are known about their history except Keros. According to some archaeological findings the islands were inhabited the years of the famous Cycladic Civilization, flourished during the Early Bronze Age (3200 – 2000 BC). One of its centres was Keros, where very important findings were discovered. During the 17th and 18th century, one of the periods of piracy in the Aegean Sea, the bays of the little islands, as well as of other islands, were pirate bases.

Photo gallery

Relaxing view

Crystal waters

Calm waters

Ideal for sailors

The weather now