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A Tiny Aquatic Idyll

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Discover Schinoussa

Situated between Naxos and Iraklia, Schinoussa is one of the loveliest of the Small Cyclades. One possible origin of its name is the schinos or mastic tree, a bushy shrub that abounds throughout the island.

This tiny aquatic idyll, protected by the Natura 2000 ecological network, is distinguished by its rare natural beauty. It is a unique holiday destination offering exotic beaches with crystal-clear waters, warm hospitality, and excellent food.  The island is an ideal setting for anyone wanting to explore the natural world or seeking freedom in the great outdoors.

In 2012, Schinoussa was featured by Forbes Magazine as one of six places to visit in Greece.

3 memorable experiences on Schinoussa
  1. Impromptu summer festivities with violin or lute performances accompanied by shots of rakomelo in the traditional cafes of Schinoussa Town.
  2. A boat trip around the island to discover fabulous hidden beaches and enchanting sea caves. On the nearby islets of Aspronisi, Argilos and Ofidousa you can enjoy diving and snorkelling.
  3. The island’s delightful footpaths and splendid hiking trails. The routes from the town to the beaches of Gerolimionas (crossing the highest part of Schinoussa at Vargies) and Psili Ammos (via Messaria and Kambos) are two of the best.


Beaches of Schinoussa

The island has a mixture of attractive tourist beaches and others off the beaten track where you can relax and enjoy a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters of the sea. Don’t miss:

  • Tsingouri, with a view of Iraklia and the islet of Venetiko, which is full of life thanks to its beach bars and tavernas. Its long stretch of golden sand is sheltered by trees that offer natural shade, while swimming in its turquoise waters is a special experience.
  • Livadi, the island’s most touristy beach, a stone’s throw from Schinoussa Town. With its wide expanse of pale golden sand, tamarisk trees for natural shade, and shallow waters that are sheltered from the wind, it is ideal for families with children, and there are tavernas here, too.
  • The exotic Psili Ammos with its blue-green sea and fine sand surrounded by dunes and tamarisk trees. Located near the village of Messaria, it has no amenities, so make sure you have everything you need before you go.
  • Almyros, a favourite of windsurfers, as it is exposed to strong breezes. The golden shore and turquoise sea are a magical combination.
  • Lioliou, a quiet and secluded paradise of sand, crystalline waters, and natural shade from the trees.
Postcards from Schinoussa: 7 things not to miss

Schinoussa Town (Panagia)
The tiny atmospheric capital of the island stands out for its romantic scenery of narrow stone-paved streets with whitewashed houses and bougainvillea. It has outstanding views of the Aegean.

The Folklore Museum
The museum’s collection of traditional costumes and everyday objects provides a fascinating glimpse of the island’s history and the lives of the local people.

The windmills
Schinoussa’s stone windmills, concentrated in Messaria, Tsingouri and Vargies, are fine examples of folk architecture.

Harakas Gorge
The island’s most stunning natural attraction, part of a majestic limestone formation that operates as a climbing park, is located in the area of Halepes. Starting in Schinoussa Town and ending at the port of Mersini, the route has magnificent views of the beaches of Tsingouri and Fidou. Choose one of the itineraries to Schinoussa and enjoy these exceptional views.

The Church of the Virgin Mary Akathi
The most famous church on the island, thanks to the unusual icon of Christ standing on Mary’s lap.

The Church of the Annunciation
Built on a rock in the village of Messaria, this pretty little church has amazing views of Ios, Santorini, Keros, Iraklia and Amorgos.

Maniatis Cave
Near the port of Mersini, this impressive cave takes its name from the legend of a pirate from Mani who died falling onto the rocks here while making off with the stolen icon of the Virgin Mary Akathi.

Tastes of Schinoussa

Schinoussa is a uniquely exciting culinary experience for lovers of fish and seafood, while the delicious speciality of snails with garlic and tomato sauce is well worth trying, too.

You will also enjoy the island’s award-winning fava (split-pea mash), string beans, goat, and excellent cheeses (ladotiri “oil cheese”, sour xinomizithra and spicy kopanisti).  

The best-known local treats are meletinia (mizithra cheese pies with honey, mastic and cinnamon) and xerotigana (strips of dough rolled or folded while being deep fried), as well as rakomelo (a honey and raki drink).

Choose one of the ferry tickets to Schinoussa and sample the island’s most famous and mouth-watering dishes.

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