Satelite Map
press for larger image Tsigouri press for larger image PANAGIA CHURCH press for larger image Sunset press for larger image SAINT VASILIS press for larger image LOCAL FIESTA press for larger image PORT press for larger image SUNSET press for larger image TSIGOURI BEACH press for larger image SAINT NIKOLAOS

Schinousa, a small island with an area of 9.5 square kilometers, is one of the islands in the Small Cyclades group. It lies south of Naxos and northeast of Irakleia. The island has a population of 206.

Schoinoussa offers connections to Piraeus, with the sea journey lasting between seven and nine hours. Through an intra-Cyclades boat network, there are weekly connections (Mondays) to Syros, about nine hours, and daily connections to Naxos.

There are two settlements on Schoinoussa, Hora and Messaria. Hora is built on a slight elevation in the island's interior and is 1.2 kilometers from the port at Mersini, one of the Aegean's best natural harbors for small boats. Messaria is three kilometers from Hora.

Schoinoussa's inhabitants make a living from farming, livestock keeping, fishing, and tourism. The island recommends itself for a relaxing, laid-back holiday. The island's serenity, the vast blue expanse of sea surrounding it, and locals' warm hospitality soothe body and soul so visitors can enjoy the land and its people. Schoinoussa has sufficient tourism infrastructure to meet visitors' needs and provide modern comforts.

Schoinousa has been inhabited since antiquity. In local lore, it takes its name from the junipers (in Greek, Schoinos) shrubs covering the island. By another account, it's named after the Venetian noble Schinoza.  

Archaeological finds suggests involvement in the creation of the First-Cycladic Civilization that developed around neighboring Keros.

Large quantities of ceramics found in ruins of Byzantine temples suggest extensive trade activity on the island during this period. Throughout history, the island was abandoned as its inhabitants fled to escape pirate raids.  

The island has been continuously inhabited since the mid-19th century when it was settled by families from Amorgos.

Schoinousa's main sights are:

The Eisodia Theotokou Church (Presentation of the Virgin) in Hora and the icon of the Panayia Akathis, which is believed to have miraculous powers.

The Church of Evangelismos at Messaria.

The Peiratis (Pirate) Cave along the road leading to the port.

On the Southern Shore:
Mersini Bay
Tsiggouri Bay
Livadi Bay
On the Eastern Shore:
Ayios Vassilis
On the Northern Shore:
Psili Ammos
On the Western Shore:

The feast of Evangelismos tis Theotokou (Assumption of the Virgin) on March 25 is observed at Messaria with a parade, school theater performance, and the offering of food in the church courtyard.

The feast of the Panayia Akathis, a moveable feast, is observed on the day after the least Friday of Salutations of the Virgin. After services, food is offered in the church courtyard, where musicians perform traditional island music.

The Schoinoussa Association organizes cultural events each year on August 12-14, featuring traditional dance performances, traditional music, and a photography exhibit.

The feast of the Koimissis tis Theotokou (Dormition of the Virgin) is observed on August 15 with the offering of food in the church hall, followed by traditional dancing in the town's taverns that evening.

The feast of Ayios Nikolaos is observed on December 6 at the chapel located by the lighthouse (faros). Pilgrims arrive by fishing boats from the harbor and are welcomed with fried cod and a thick garlic sauce, served in the chapel courtyard.

On Easter Sunday, islanders gather in the main square to play "bilious", a traditional game similar to bowling or the French boules.