Schinousa Greece

Here's a Cyclades island that is greener than the rest and calmer than most. The people of Schinousa make their bread more from farming and fishing than into tourism, which gives the island a different, more authentic flavour. The islanders breed their own cattle and produce their own wine. The main town or Hora has a museum, decent tavernas and idyllic cafes.

Schinousa's beauty lies in its 17 or so unspoilt beaches and an island without cars. But rest assured, you can walk to almost anywhere with a hat and a large bottle of water. While the island was run by the Venetians between the 13th and 16th centuries, and then by the Ottomans until the 19th century, it was better known as a pirates' lair. This is why the capital Panagia was built on a hill, 1,200 meters away from the harbour. This would give them greater visibility of the sea and anticipate pirate attacks. The windless port of Mersini on the south-west coust is one of the safest shileters for small ships in the Cyclades. It is home to several houses, a couple of fish taverns and the church of Agios Nikolaos. The settlement of inland is Messaria, which also is an unspoilt hamlet without too much development.

Today, the island has about 220 residents in the main town and in Messaria. It boasts a temperate, cool climate with many bays and the port protected from the wind. Lastly, enjoy the local food and ask for the specialty of stuffed kid.


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