Schinoussa, measuring a mere nine square kilometres, could be fully covered in just a few hours on wheels. But, generally, visitors refrain from disturbing the location’s serenity through the use of vehicles. Distances are short, the overall pace of things is relaxed, and the setting is humble, making the use of bicycles or walking ideal.

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This island is also a favouritespot for yachts. Its unique beaches, hidden bays, small tavernas serving local delicacies, overall ambience and uncontrived hospitality all make Schinoussa very appealing for visitors on yachts, and not, who typically establish bonds with the island and return over and over again. The lack of attractions on the island enables visitors to do absolutely nothing but enjoy carefree time at the beach, chilled watermelon at the tavernas and raki spirit at night,at lovely little places along the main town Hora’s alleys.

How to get there

By boat from Piraeus, Koufonisia, Iraklia, Naxos

Where to stay

Schinoza Luxury Suites: This complex is comprised of suites with private pools and jacuzzis. Its exterior design, minimal and traditional, blends harmoniously with the natural setting, while its interior is dominated by discreet luxury and comfort. (Schinoussa, +30 2285076609, www.schinoza.gr).

Harama: This unit, offering rooms for rent, offers comfortable, well-attended spaces that look out to an elegant garden, as well as a restaurant. (Messaria, +30 2285076015, www.haramahotel.gr).

Paralos Lodging: Comfortable modern-style rooms filled with natural light and offering fully equipped little kitchens, they offer a lovely sea view. (Schinoussa, +30 2285071957, www.paralostravel.com).

Almyros Beach House: A lovely small facility offering well-kept rooms, it is situated very close to Almyros beach. (Almyros beach, +30 6948700255, www.almyrosbeachhouse.com).

Where to eat

Harama: A well-kept little taverna, Harama’s tables are set at a sheltered veranda space. It serves casserole recipes, meatballs, fava (yellow split pea puree) and various other Greek cuisine dishes. (Harama Hotel, Messaria, +30 2285076015).

Kyra Pothiti: A quality taverna with well-prepared casserole dishes and seafood, it also grills local meat. (Schinoussa, +30 2285076615).

Captain Cook: This spot has tables set on a veranda with a superb sea view. Its menu, primarily focused on fish and seafood dishes, covers Greek and Mediterranean culinary territory. (Close to Tsigouri beach, +30 6930165263)

Local products: Xynotyri cheese, kopanisti (salty, spicy PDO cheese), fava

What to see

Make stops while headed for the beach to enjoy some of the island’s lovely details.

Kastro: A partially preserved Venetian castle at the southwestern side of the island, it is situated above Fountana beach. The castle is believed to have been built in the 15th century to protect locals from pirate raids. The view from this point is exceptional.

Maniatis Cave: According to legend, the history of this small cave, wedged between tall rocks, is associated with a pirate from Mani in the Peloponnese who set foot on Schinoussa to raid the island. The pirate noticed Panagia Tis Akathis church, entered to steal its treasures, and, while doing so, felt the Virgin Mary icon’s persistent stare. Irritated by this, the pirate aimed and shot at the icon. On his way down to the boat, the pirate slipped and fatally wounding himself, close to the cave. Locals burnt his corpse at the location and the cave, on the road headed for the port, was blackened by the smoke.

Folklore Museum: The museum hosts everyday objects once used by locals, from local costumes, farming tools to domestic tools. (Schinoussa)

Where to swim

Alygaria or Kabos: A lovely sandy beach with rocks, it is not serviced, nor does it offer natural shade, so be equipped to ensure shade. 

Fountana: A small rocky beach, it does not have much sand but its turquoise waters are superb. Make sure you have beach umbrellas or other cover and water.

Lioliou: A perfect sandy beach, it offers exceptional waters and tamarisks for shade at the back. A restaurant is located nearby.

Ai Vassilis: A lovely little beach covered with fine pebbles, its seabed is rocky. There is no shade here.

Livadi: A big beach with golden sand,Livadi, endowed with transparent waters and featuring a line of tamarisk trees for natural shade, is ideal for families with young children. A small taverna is situated in the area.

Almyros: The perfect shallow waters here will delight youngsters. The beach has tamarisks for shade.

Psili Ammos: This beach’s superb waters are sided by rocks at one end and a sand dune at the other.

Fykio: A pint-sized beach, it is lovely and ideal for serene swimming in seclusion. Lots of seaweed is often pushed out onto this beach, as indicated by its name in Greek.

Tsigouri: The island’s most renowned beach, Tsigouri, big and sandy, features plenty of tamarisks and a beach bar. A rock islet, Plaka, just 200 metres away, can be swum to or reached by canoe.

Piso Ammos: This is a gorgeous beach with a narrow strip of sand and many tamarisks. A couple or so cafes and restaurants are located in the area.

Gerolimnionas: One of the most impressive beaches on the island, its waters are deep. Make sure you are equipped with beach umbrellas or other cover for shade.

Pori: A tiny beach, it offers just a touch of sand hidden at the mouth of a cave. 

Ofeidousa: A small and uninhabited islet opposite Ai Vassilis beach, it offers a superb beach with white sand and crystal-clear waters. It may be reached by boat. The islet is preferred by many nudists.

What to do

Schinoussa’s small size enables visitors to cover everything on foot and bond with the natural setting. One of the most impressive trekking trails begins from the main town and reaches the top of Vargies hill, the island’s most elevated spot, featuring an old windmill and offering a marvelous view, before descending all the way to Gerolimnionas beach. There are two good reasons to visit Tsigouri beach. Besides the canoeing, diving as well as rock climbing offered at the Plaka rock islet, just opposite Tsigouribeach, another rock-climbing area with many routes is situated next to this beach. The spot is open to all, but climbers must have their own equipment and are fully responsible for their activities.

Must: Don’t skip trying the island’s fava (yellow split pea puree). 

Useful telephone numbers

Schinoussa medical clinic: +30 2285071385

Schinoussa municipal office: +30 2285071170