Σχοινούσα – Smaller Cyclades

A small and blissfully quiet gem of an island just east of Naxos. An island that is really alive, with nicely cultivated landscape and a great amount of domestic animals (far outnumbering the few people that live here). Yes, this is a really unspoilt island, a real get-away-from-it-all sort of place. For how long this will remain is uncertain, as accommodation is surprisingly plentiful and more is being built, even a kind of entertainment park is being built, called “Valley of Muses”, with many kinds of activities, including tennis! I have nothing against tennis, quite the opposite, but why HERE??? Sigh…

Not a lot is open here out of high season, but you may have a taverna or two to choose from. The rumor that eating is so horrible on the island is just bullshit. I have never tasted more decent and real Greek home cooking than here, so totally uninfluenced by any “tourist menus”. Try the restaurant “Panorama”. Little English is spoken, though, and this might lead to some amusing culinary surprises!

You may have to buy ferry tickets on the ferry, not even a ticket salesman in the harbour before arrival of boats on my visit. In high season the ticket agency may be open. Get a ride with people offering rooms to/from the port.

A few rather dirty beaches around, one good sandy bay just below town. There is NO bank or telebank, but at least one cardphone.

Selected walks: For walks on Schinoussa take a look in Walking the Aegean Islands by Dieter Graf (referred to below as “/Graf/”), Naxos and the Small Cyclades by Dieter Graf and Christian Ucke and the newer Amorgos, Naxos, Paros and the Eastern & Northern Cyclades by Dieter Graf, which should be more up-to-date.

•1 Hora – Psilli Ammos – Fikio – Gerolimionas – Hora: (2h31 walking time, add time for swimming at the beaches etc.) This is walk 39 in /Graf/. The bakery is about 200m out of town, to the north, which means that the start/end of the walk is indicated wrongly on the map on page 168. To get to the first stony bay without trespassing on “Private” ground (it is here the “Valley of Muses” is being built, see above) you will have to curve around to the right, then follow a easily visible track leading down to it from the far right. As a better alternative I would suggest that you just follow the road from the bakery straight to the tiny settlement at Messeria, a very pretty and peaceful place. Most houses are in excellent condition, but most are only used as summer residences. Only two families live there all year now. From Messaria a signposted track leads to Psilli Ammos, the first target of the walk.

From Psilli Ammos find your best goat track, and do cross over to the next bay via the small saddle, avoiding a headland with only steep cliffs. After the saddle farm animals might be encountered. On my visit first a small herd of bulls (!!!), young(ish), but do take some care, later a big herd of cows gracing further up the hill.

Otherwise, nothing much can go wrong, but do take care to read the text carefully, and examine the map so you are sure about directions. On such a small island you cannot go very wrong, but take extra care so you don’t miss the correct way to Gerolimionas, because that would be a real shame…

• Good starting points: • Hora – just about the only place to stay

• How to get there: • Almost daily ferry from Naxos and the other Smaller Cyclades (depending on season) • Some ferries from other islands • Some ferries from the mainland

• More info: Sorry, none yet

This page was last modified at April 22, 2007.

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