There are three villages: Mersini (the island’s port), Chora, and Messaria. Chora lies on a hill, just 1km off the harbour. Its position offers amazing views over the sea and the island. Its picturesque Cycladic little houses are smothered in bougainvillaea and basil pots perfume the air. Make sure you visit the Folk Art Museum of Schinoussa and Panagia I Akathi Church, where you’ll see an impressive icon of the Virgin Mary (Panagia tou Akathistou Imnou). See also the little castle in Fountana area.
Mersini is on the lee side of the island and used to be a pirate hideout. It is today a sheltered area, and one of the safest for small craft in the entire Aegean Sea.
Little Messaria village is surrounded by vegetable gardens and small vineyards; it’s located 3km NE of the harbour and very close to Psili Ammos and Fykio beaches. Visit also Evangelismos [Annunciation] Church and the island’s beautiful windmills.
Try the local dishes and enjoy your coffee or drink in the traditional coffee houses and tavernas in Mersini and in Messaria.
Across the years, Schinoussa has held onto its cultural traditions, and you will enjoy the festivals held to honour them. The Feast of Panagia I Akathi takes place on the Friday of the Akathist Hymn [Salutations] to the Virgin (before Easter), the Feast of the Dormition of Panagia [Assumption of the Virgin] on August 15th, the Feast of Agios Nikolaos [St. Nicholas] on December 6th, and the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary [Evangelismos] on March 25th: join the religious festivals on those dates, taste the delicious local dishes on offer, and dance to the sound of traditional musical instruments that play all evening and until the wee hours. In late June, a culinary festival takes place on Schinoussa, called the Fava Feast (split yellow peas); it’s a two-day event with lots of food tasting, a display of local traditions and lots of fun!