Schinoussa

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The Island of the Incrediblue

Harmonic Sceneries Blessed with the Hospitality and the Kindness of the Locals
The feeling of calmness is definitely one of a kind. Schinoussa possesses a special energy that will make you appreciate the simple moments in life. The harmonic sceneries of the island will undoubtedly fulfill your every day. Schinoussa is a place you will find peace of mind while the simplicity and kindness of the local people will make you feel like you become part of their lives. The beauty of Schinoussa is a mysterious puzzle. Are you eager to discover? All you need is time and patience. The tops of the higher hills offer panoramic views of the surrounding areas. Just with a single glimpse, you will enjoy an astonishing picture of the islands of Amorgos, Ios, Iraklia, Keros, Koufonisia, Naxos, Santorini and Serifos. Just lying there in the incrediblue. The indented coastline of Schinoussa is blessed with the magic of the deep blue. Staring at the endless horizon of the sea elicits an indescribable feeling of freedom. Although this is one of the smallest island of the Cyclades, it is also the place you will always find a place to isolate yourself to feel peace and tranquility. Whatever Schinoussa lacks in size, it replenish in landscapes and colors; besides they say less is more. Fresh air, hospitable people, beautiful sceneries and the feeling of serenity; what else you might need?

Discover Schinoussa

Best of Schinoussa

The Capital of Schinoussa

The Settlement of Panagia, else known as Hora, is the capital of Schinoussa located on the central part of the island. The traditional settlement has the typical architecture of the Cyclades with whitewashed houses and narrow alleys. Hora is hard to be seen from the sea, as it was built on this area out of fear for pirate invasions in ancient times. The most important monument of the village is the imposing church of Panagia Akathi. The village offers spectacular views to the surrounding islands. Numerous trails and donkey paths can be used in order to walk to every beach of Schinoussa.

The Beach of Psili Ammos

The Beach of Psili Ammos is considered to be the most beautiful beach of Schinoussa. It is a sandy beach with turquoise waters located on the northeast side of the island. It is a secluded beach ideal for those looking for tranquility. The trees of Psili Ammos provide natural shade.

The Cave of Maniatis

The Cave of Maniatis, else known as Pirate Cave, is located close to the harbour of Mersini. According to tradition, a pirate hailing from the district of Mani in Peloponnese once landed on the island and decided to rob the Church of Panagia Akathi. While he was in the church, he felt like Virgin Mary was watching him constantly from the holy icon. The angry pirate fired a shot on the icon and opened a hole through it. When he was running away from the church, the pirate slipped and fell into a cave where he was killed.

The Church of Panagia Akathi

The Church of Panagia Akathi is the most important religious center of Schinoussa located in the village of Panagia. Panagia Akathi is the saint protector of the island. The temple was costructed with the typical architecture of the Cyclades with an impressive blue dome and a bell tower. The church hosts the valuable icon of Virgin Mary Akathi. On August 15, the largest religious celebration of Schinoussa takes place in the church.

The Festival of the Protector of Seamen

Every 6th of December, the traditional festival in honor of Agios Nikolaos, the protector of seamen, takes place in the chapel of Agios Nikolaos in Faros. The locals offer codfish with garlic dip to visitors while transportation is handled with boats from the harbor of Mersini.

Sailing and Yachting in Schinoussa

Schinoussa is an ideal starting point for excursion to the cluster of the Small Cyclades. You can with you boat the island of Donousa, Heraklia and Koufonisia along with the small islands of Schinoussa including Aspronisi, Argilos and Ofidousa. The indented coastline offers many anchorages. The harbor of Mersini is considered as one of the best shelters for small boats in the entire Aegean Sea. The coves of Livadi and Tsigouri are also ideal for anchorage along with the islet of Argilos and the beach of Alargia.

Archaeological Sites

The Archaeological Site of Schinoussa is located close to the beach of Tsigouri. Archaeological excavations have brought to light the remnants of an ancient settlemenet dating back to the Hellenistic and Roman period. Here, one will have the opportunity to aldo admire the remains of an early christian basilica.

Castles

The Castle of Schinoussa is located in the area of Fountana on the southwest side of the island. Remnants of the surrounding wall of the medieval castle are the sole significant remains. The castle offers panoramic views of the Aegean.

Chapels and Churches

The Chapel of Evangelismos is one of the most charming chapels of Schinousa located close to the village of Messaria. On March 25,  the traditional celebration in honour of Virgin Mary takes place in the church accompanied from traditional music, food and wine.

The Church of Panagia Akathi is the most important religious center of Schinoussa located in the village of Panagia. Panagia Akathi is the saint protector of the island. The temple was costructed with the typical architecture of the Cyclades with an impressive blue dome and a bell tower. The church hosts the valuable icon of Virgin Mary Akathi. On August 15, the largest religious celebration of Schinoussa takes place in the church.

Museums and Monuments

The Folklore Museum of Schinoussa is located in the village Panagia. Exhibits include objects from the folklore history of the island such as embroideries, agricultural tools, utensils and traditional customes.

The Windmills of Schinoussa are the landmark of the island. In the old days, the windmills operated by wind as Schinoussa is renowned for its gusty winds. Although the windmills are no longer operational, they continue to be a symbol of the long history of the island. . One will have the opportunity to discover them in the areas of Messaria, Tsigouri and Vargies.

Natural Beauties

The Cave of Maniatis, else known as Pirate Cave, is located close to the harbour of Mersini. According to tradition, a pirate hailing from the district of Mani in Peloponnese once landed on the island and decided to rob the Church of Panagia Akathi. While he was in the church, he felt like Virgin Mary was watching him constantly from the holy icon. The angry pirate fired a shot on the icon and opened a hole through it. When he was running away from the church, the pirate slipped and fell into a cave where he was killed.

The Gorge of Harakas is an interesting climbing field located in the area of Halepes. It is an impressive limestone formation that starts from the village of Panagia and leads to the foreshore between the harbor of Mersini and the beach of Tsigouri. Numerous paths and climbing routes have been formed in the area.

Promenades & Villages

Mersini, else known as Messaria, is the natural harbor of Schinoussa located on the west side of the island. The houses of the settlement retain their traditional style. Mersini is known for its delicious fish taverns. On December 6th, the traditional festival in honor of Agios Nikolaos, the protector of seamen, takes place in the village. Mersini is considered to be one of the best shelter for small boats in the Aegean.

Panagia, else known as Hora, is the capital of Schinoussa located on the central part of the island. The traditional settlement has the typical architecture of the Cyclades with whitewashed houses and narrow alleys. Hora is hard to be seen from the sea, as it was built on this area out of fear for pirate invasions in ancient times. The most important monument of the village is the imposing church of Panagia Akathi. The village offers spectacular views to the surrounding islands. Numerous trails and donkey paths can be used in order to walk to every beach of Schinoussa.

Sunset Spots

Spot: Beach of Sifneikos, Northwest Schinoussa

Spot: Beach of Tsigouri, South Schinoussa

Spot: Church of Panagia Akathi, Central Schinoussa

Excursions

Boat Trip: The Island of Donousa is a beautiful island of the small Cyclades. A handful of whitewashed houses reflect under the blinding light of the Cycladic sun and emerald and azure waters run in the golden beaches without a trace of shadow with the permanent sound of cicadas and the scent of watermelon from sunscreens. This is Donousa, a mysterious island of just thirteen square kilometers that, as the locals say, you can walk around it on foot. The natural terrain of the island boasts steep cliffs plunging into the sea while interesting hiking paths of the inland are passing through old farmhouses and rural churches. The island exhales a serene landscape of an indented coastline on the northeastern part and wonderful sandy beaches with emerald waters on the southern part. Stavros is the charming capital and harbour of Donousa. Whatever Donousa lacks in size, it replenish in colours; besides they say less is more. Some of the most beautiful seashores of the Cycladic coastline spread on this island that will make you want to spend there the rest of your journey. Donousa is home to the spectacular cave of Fokospilia; one of the last refuges of the Mediterranean monk seal Monachus Monachus, and the Cave of Tihos with impressive stalactites in the bay of Xylobatis. So if you are from those travellers who want to escape and experience something different, Donousa is the island for you.

Boat Trip: The Island of Heraklia is a beautiful island of the small Cyclades. What is there to say for this mysterious island of eighteen square kilometers? Heraklia is a diamond shaped island of the Small Cyclades lying between the islands of Ios and Naxos. In an island of a hundred fifty inhabitants, the permanent peace of Heraklia is swinging in the air. When you arrive at the charming harbor of Agios Georgios, you feel like you have disembarked from a time machine boat travelling to the past. .Heraklia is a tranquil island embellished from pristine mysterious beauty with scenic bays and crystalline waters with shipwrecks surrounded from smooth hills on a simple Cycladic architectural landscape of whitewashed houses and charming chapels. Maybe it’s the time for you to be charmed from the simplicity of virgin nature and the magic of tardiness liberating the freedom of living.

Boat Trip: The Islands of Koufonisia are two mysterious dots sail carefree in the the Aegean Sea. Ano Koufonisi is a charming island embellished with whitewashed houses of Cycladic architecture surrounded from golden beaches and crystal emerald and turquoise waters.  Whatever Koufonisia lacks in size, it replenish in landscapes and colors; besides they say less is more. The peacefulness of Ano Koufonisi emits an astonishingly mystic atmosphere spreading over an area of just four square kilometers while the wilderness of Kato Koufonisi releases a relaxing Cycladic aura surrounded from the sapphire waters of the sea with the shadow of the Cycladic silhouette of the island of Keros hiding in the deep sea. The boundless blue of the Aegean is matching with the white and blue houses of Koufonisia creating a magical atmosphere. Koufonisia are a paradise of natural beauty boasting a unique geomorphology with steep rocky shores and coves surrounded from beaches of tropical beauty with golden sand and emerald waters. An island blessed with strips of golden sand interchanging with wave carved rocks and the wild sight of caves, a beautiful escape to the unknown.

Activities

Beach Volley: Lovers of beach sports can practice beach volley on the beach of Tsigouri.

Diving: The surrounding islands of Argilos, Ofidousa and Klidoura have been declared as areas of great natural beauty. Diving explorations is a must. Keep in mind that there is no diving facilities on Schinoussa.

Hiking: The hinterland of Schinoussa hides millions of surprises. The opportunity to discover these beauties on foot is a beautiful experience. (1) With Mersini as your starting point, you can follow the beautiful hiking trail around the island that lasts only two hours. There, you will enjoy unspoiled natural landscapes with beautiful beaches. (2) The Gorge of Harakas is an alternative route for hiking. The gorge is located in the area of Halepes. It is an impressive limestone formation that starts from the village of Panagia leading to the foreshore between the harbor of Mersini and the beach of Tsigouri. Numerous paths and climbing routes have been formed in the area.

Sailing and Yachting: Schinoussa is an ideal starting point for excursion to the cluster of the Small Cyclades. You can with you boat the island of Donousa, Heraklia and Koufonisia along with the small islands of Schinoussa including Aspronisi, Argilos and Ofidousa. The indented coastline offers many anchorages. The harbor of Mersini is considered as one of the best shelters for small boats in the entire Aegean Sea. The coves of Livadi and Tsigouri are also ideal for anchorage along with the islet of Argilos and the beach of Alargia.

Spearfishing: The crystal clear waters and the rich marine life of Schinoussa is an ideal destination for enthusiasts of spearfishing. The most suitable areas include the beaches of Avlaki tou Papa, Fikio, Gerolimnionas, Kambos and Sifneikos.

Windsurfing: The continuous beaches of Almyros are blessed with northeastern winds with waves ideal for windsurfing lovers.

Beaches

Almyros is a long sandy beach with turquoise waters located on the east side of the island. The beach is accessible from a short walking trail. Almyros is popular among windsurfers as it is blessed with northeastern winds. On the north side of Almyros, you will find the beach of Foudana.

Fikio is a sandy beach with emerald waters located on the north side of the island. The beach is ideal for lovers of spearfishing. Keep in mind that the beach is totally isolated.

Gerolimnionas is a sandy and pebbled beach located on the north side of the island. The rich seabed is ideal for lovers of spearfishing.

Lioliou is a long sandy beach with turquoise waters located on the south side of the island. The trees of Lioliou provide natural shade. It is a secluded beach ideal for those looking for tranquility. You will find a tavern on the beach.

Livadi is a golden sandy beach with azure waters and tamarisk tress located on the southwest side of the island. The trees of Livadi provide natural shade. The beach is ideal for those looking for tranquility and seclusion. There is also a restaurant on the beach.

Psili Ammos is a sandy beach with turquoise waters located on the northeast side of the island. It is a secluded beach ideal for those looking for tranquility. The trees of Psili Ammos provide natural shade. The beach is considered to be the most beautiful beach of Schinoussa.

Tsigouri is a long sandy beach with turquoise waters located on the west side of the island. It is one of the most beautiful beaches of Schinoussa. The beach offers panoramic views towards the islands of Heraklia and Venetiko. There is a beach bar on the beach.

Vazeou is a sandy beach with emerald waters located on the southeast side of the island. It is actually separated from the beach of Lioliou from a rocky shore. The beach is ideal for those looking for tranquility and seclusion.

Coffee Corners, Gastronomic Delights and Cocktails Inspirations

Coffee Corners

Deli: Coffee, Hora

Hara: Coffee, Hora

Peri Kafe: Coffee and Pastries, Hora

Tsigouri Beach Bar: Coffee, Tsigouri Beach

Gastronomic Delights

Bizeli: Greek Cuisine, Hora

Grispos: Seafood, Tsigouri Beach

Harama: Greek Cuisine, Messaria

Kira Pothiti: Greek Cuisine, Hora

Loza: Greek Cuisine, Hora

O Nikolas Tis Schinoussas: Seafood, Mersini

Sweet Bar Deli: Ouzo and Meze, Hora

Tis Akathis: Seafood, Lioliou

To Petrino Tis Messarias: Greek Cuisine, Hora

8 Aderfia: Greek Cuisine, Hora

Cocktails Inspirations

Hara: Cocktails and Drinks, Hora

Sweet Bar Deli: Cocktails and Drinks, Hora

Tsigouri Beach Bar: Cocktails and Drinks, Tsigouri Beach

Vrahos: Cocktails and Drinks, Schinoussa

Local Products & Specialties

The local products of the island include numerous cheeses such as ladotiri, kopanisti and xinomizithra. Also, the traditional beverage of Schinoussa is rakomelo, an alcoholic drink made of wine and raki.

The local specialties of the island include meletinia, the traditional cheese pie,  fava beans made from chick peas, xerotigana sweet pastries with honey and lobster pasta.

Events & Festivals

Every 6th of December, the traditional festival in honor of Agios Nikolaos, the protector of seamen, takes place in the chapel of Agios Nikolaos in Faros. The locals offer codfish with garlic dip to visitors while transportation is handled with boats from the harbor of Mersini.

Every 25th of March,  the traditional celebration in honour of Virgin Mary takes place in the Church of Evangelismos accompanied from traditional music, food and wine.

Every 15th of August, the traditional celebration in honour of Virgin Mary takes place in the Church of Panagia Akathi accompanied from traditional music, food and wine.

Every 18th of August, the Donkey Race of Schinoussa takes place on the island. Donkeys were the only means of transportation on the island until 1980. As a tribute to the contribution on the island, Schinoussa holds donkey races in August on an annual basis.

History & Mythology

Mythology

According to mythology, the creation of the Cyclades is attributed to God Poseidon. It is said that the god of the sea transformed the Cyclades nymphs into islands, when they angered him.

History

Archaeological excavations show that the island has been inhabited since ancient times. A large collection of small statues, pottery pieces and various tools witness a great activity in the 10th century BC. During the byzantine years, Schinoussa flourished in trade. From the 13th to the 16th century, the island was ruled from the Venetians reaching the peak period of its history. Schinoussa was first mentioned in old documents kept in the Monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa in Amorgos. During the Ottoman Empire, the island was used as a pirate shelter. In the 19th century, the pirates were confronted from the Navy of Greece and the residents of Amorgos moved to Schinoussa. Although the island flourished in fishing and trade, it started to decline. In the 1950s, numerous inhabitants immigrated to Athens and abroad.

Travel & Transport

By Air: Schinoussa has a public heliport.

By Boat (144 and 121 Nautical Miles): Schinoussa is accessible by boat from the harbors of Piraeus and Rafina. The journey usually lasts from four to eight hours. Schinoussa is also connected with the islands of Donousa, Heraklia, Koufonisia and Naxos amongst others. Book your tickets with FerriesinGreece.com !

Mysterious Greece Tips

Bird Watching at Its Best: Schinoussa Island

Schinoussa has been characterized as an Important Area for Migratory Birds from the European Network of Natura 2000. Spring and autumn are the best periods to visit the island if you aim to observe the migratory bird species that visit Schinoussa on their journey to Africa and Europe!

Climbing at Its Best: The Climbing Park of Schinoussa

One of the most interesting climbing parks in Greece opened in the area of the Halepes.  It is an impressive limestone formation that starts from the village of Panagia leading to the foreshore between the harbor of Mersini and the beach of Tsigouri. Numerous paths and climbing routes have been formed in the area.  The Climbing Center is located on the beach of Tsigouri.

Cruising around Schinoussa

Schinoussa is an ideal starting point for excursion to the cluster of the Small Cyclades. You can with you boat the island of Donousa, Heraklia and Koufonisia along with the small islands of Schinoussa including Aspronisi, Argilos and Ofidousa. The indented coastline offers many anchorages. The harbor of Mersini is considered as one of the best shelters for small boats in the entire Aegean Sea. The coves of Livadi and Tsigouri are also ideal for anchorage along with the islet of Argilos and the beach of Alargia.

Donkey Races in Schinoussa

Every 18th of August, the Donkey Race of Schinoussa takes place on the island. Donkeys were the only means of transportation on the island until 1980. As a tribute to the contribution on the island, Schinoussa holds donkey races in August on an annual basis.

Enjoying a Cocktail at Sweet Bar Deli in Hora

Schinoussa offers some of the most astonishing views in the Cyclades! Hiding in the alleys of Hora, Sweet Bar Deli is one of the best spots to enjoy your cocktail with panoramic views over the surrounding islands!

Events and Festivals: The Traditional Festivals of the Cultural Association of Schinoussa

The Cultural Association of Schinoussa organizes numerous traditional festivals on 12th to 14th of August. Also, numerous cultural and musical events take place in the Theatre of Marika Polemi.

Fava Festival: One of the Most Delicious Local Specialties of Schinoussa

Every July, the Fava Festival is organized from the producers of the fava in Schinoussa. Fava is one of the most delicious local specialties of Schinoussa made of chickpeas.

Festival in Honor of the Protector of Seamen

Every 6th of December, the traditional festival in honor of Agios Nikolaos, the protector of seamen, takes place in the chapel of Agios Nikolaos in Faros. The locals offer codfish with garlic dip to visitors while transportation is handled with boats from the harbor of Mersini.

Hop On the Aeolia Boat

Hop on the Aeolia boat of Captain Manolis to visit the deserted beaches of Schinoussa. The family atmosphere accompanied from a fabulous choice of music and local delicacies creates a beautiful experience. You might even get the chance to visit the island of Keros.

Hospitality at Its Best: The Local People of Schinoussa

Wandering around the village, the warm hospitable people will offer you drink rakomelo, the local traditional alcoholic drink, and dance with them at the many events they organize.

Observing like an Olympian God

On the Church of Evangelismos, you will witness one of the best views in the Cyclades. There, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the views of the islands of Amorgos, Ios, Heraklia, Keros and Santorini.

Raki & Honey: Taste The Best at Margarita’s

At Margaritas’, you will have the opportunity to taste one of the finest rakomelo in the Cyclades!

Photo Credits

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Note: All the images are copyrighted from their owners. Please see Terms & Conditions. You can find the original images at the following links:

Argilos Isle: Mysterious Greece

Church Bell: Kostas Hatzis by Flickr

Hora: Stan Morgan by Flickr

Horse: Luco by Flickr

Landscape: Swimtrekgreece by Flickr

Mersini Bay: Charles Haynes by Flickr

View from Panagia Akathi:

Windmill: Visit Greece by Flickr

Windmill by the church: Pinguido by Flickr