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Schinoussa or Schoinousa (Greek: Σχοινούσα, pronounced [sçiˈnusa]) is a petite and remote island in the center of the Aegean Sea. Located south of Naxos, Schinoussa island belongs to the complex of Small Cyclades, along with Koufonissia, Donoussa and Iraklia and is ideal for peaceful holidays, away from the hustle and bustle of modern lifestyles. Home to merely 125 inhabitants, it is said that the island was named after the bushy plant schino found all across the island. However, other legends insist that the island took its name after the Venetian archon Schinoza. Whichever you chose to give credit to is far less important that the utter charm you will experience upon docking here.
In olden days, unmerciful pirates have used the island as their base and a refuge, virtually causing it to become deserted. Although a sad feature in the past, its low numbers of inhabitants add to its present charm and tranquil air. Situated uphill from the main port of the island, Chora, also called Panagia, is cleverly hidden from those approaching the island by sea . It often served as an assembly spot for pirates in the ancient times.
This charming petite village has a single street and hosts a bakery, mini markets, taverns, café, a pastry shop and a health center, catering the essential needs of guests. Located in the heart of the island, its small pathways lead to each and every beach. Located within Chora is The Church of Panagia Akathi, an important landmark as it is thought to be the saint protector of the Schoinoussa. The place of worship stands proudly in the centre of the village and is home to a valuable icon of the Virgin Mary (Panagia), whose name it carries. It was built in traditional Cycladic style, enchanting guests with its white walls and blue dome and plays host to the famous Greek Panagia festival, each year on the 15th of August, taking in many pilgrims from close islands.
The main port of the island, Mersini Village, is located about 2 km west of the Chora and receives ferries coming from nearby islands and Piraeus, serving as a true shelter for fishing boats and yachts. Here guests can encounter delightful fish taverns, with carefully prepared delicacies from freshly caught fish, as it is the main activity on the island. Furthermore, each year on December 6th, a big festival takes place here in honor of Saint Nicholas, the protector of seamen.
Schinoussa is blessed with secluded shorelines, providing its lucky tourists with ample opportunity to leave behind their stressful lifestyles and rejuvenate fully, thriving in peace and quietness. Almyros Beach lies to the eastern part of the island, at a short twenty minutes walk away from Chora. Its sandy shorelines, splashed with refreshing waves are ideal for families, but also caters surfing needs, with waves brought by the northeast wind. Lioliou is a wide, sandy beach with big, lush trees offering plentiful shade, tucked away in a small bay to the south eastern side, ideal for unwinding. Furthermore, Tsigouri adds to the palette of splendid, remote beaches.
Although quite difficult to reach, it is a heaven where guests can easily dive into some much needed peace.
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