Schinoussa

NOW 17 °C

Next 5 days

  • WED 18 °C
  • THURS 19 °C
  • FRI 19 °C
  • SAT 18 °C
  • SUN 17 °C

Source: National Observatory of Athens /meteo.gr

Summertime: the epitome of easy living

Schinoussa Island is a popular destination, located at the heart of the Lesser (or Small) Eastern Cyclades, south of Naxos and northeast of Iraklia Island. Discover the lovely sunset views it offers, its sheltered coves, the picture-perfect hamlets, the golden-coloured sands, and the carefree sleepy style of life, which gets shaken only during its boisterous feasts and festivals. You don’t need a car here, as the island covers a mere 9 sq.km. area and you can explore it on foot within one and a half hour tops.
   
If you're looking for a destination where you can enjoy a laid-back holiday, a serene place where you can relax, then this is the one for you. Drink in the views of picturesque landscapes - so typical of the Cyclades islands, and swim in crystal-clear waters. There are many easily accessible and beautiful beaches on the island, which you can also reach by sailing boat or yacht. Schinoussa is a small island, and everything is within a walkable distance; follow the paths (low difficulty level) and discover the remote, lesser-known beaches which offer breathtaking views over the Aegean Sea.
There is also an attractive rock climbing area on the island, called Charakas gorge, where many climbing trips take place. Two impressive caves (looking very much like a pirates’ lair) will catch your eye by the harbour: the Fishermen’s Cave and Maniatis Cave.
Legend has it that Schinoussa was named after Schinos, an evergreen shrub which thrives on the island.

Touring the Island

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!

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