Schinoussa is just off the coast of Naxos and together with Donoussa, the two Koufonissia, Keros and Iraklia is part of the constellation of islands and islets known as the Little or Small Cyclades. Its idyllic beaches, relaxed overall atmosphere and the distance from the seasonal pandemonium at some of the larger Cycladic isles make it a perfect destination for couples, families and lone travellers craving quality time. There are few distractions at the island’s two main communities, Chora (or Panagia), and Messaria, which means that swimming, hiking and unwinding become the day’s main events. This is just one of the reasons why Schinoussa is among the top off the beaten track destinations for nature-loving vacationers or anyone desperate for a break from dawn to dusk planning.
Almost every inch of this small island’s toothed coastline of lonely and busier coves is a potential swimming spot for anyone willing to go the extra mile. This explains why it boasts no fewer than 15 beaches, some with friendly rock formations and tamarisk trees that, depending on the time of day, provide much needed shade for reading, napping or sea-gazing reveries. Of these, Tsigouri, Lioliou, Livadi and family-oriented Almyros are slightly on the larger side and some feature beach bars and waterfront accommodation. Pori, Bazeou, Gerolimionas, Psili Ammos have a more private feel. The island of Fidou has that exotic white sand turquoise waters look and is accessible by boat. Nevertheless, none of this means much during peak season when no cove is too far from the crowds and the occasional eyesore yacht. The island’s inland region of barren rock and patchy foliage is home to an agreeable blend of traditional and modern architecture. Schinoussa’s main town, near the port of Mersini, one of the region’s best for small vessels, is built on higher ground as a measure against pirate raids and offers stunning views of the surrounding region.
Folk Museum at the Chora.
The island’s architectural and archaeological sites include windmills, the remains of a medieval castle and a basilica.