Schinoussa Travel Guide
In this Schinoussa Travel Guide, we will inform you on the best places to stay in Schinoussa, the best beaches of the island, the best restaurants in Schinoussa and best things to do.
Schinoussa is a very small island in Cyclades. During the winter it has 150 inhabitants. It is part of the “Small Cyclades”, together with Donoussa island and a few others.
How to Get to Schinoussa
You can get to Schinoussa by boat from Piraeus port in Athens, which is around 8 hours travel time. Schinoussa doesn’t have an airport so you cannot fly there. The boat travelling from Piraeus to Schinoussa is Blue Star Naxos, which is a pretty big boat and stable when the strong winds blow in Aegean sea. It has cabins, if you want to travel during the evening and sleep and it can also carry cars.
You can also reach Schinoussa from Naxos island (which has an airport), through the boat of Skopelitis. Skopelitis is a small boat (it can carry aroun 200 people and 10 cars) and although the travel time from Naxos to Schinoussa is a couple of hours, if there are winds you might get dizzy.
Where to stay in Schinoussa
Schinoussa doesn’t have big hotels or all-inclusive hotels. It’s only rooms to let. Here are the best studios/rooms to rent in Schinoussa:
– Iliovasilema Studios
Iliovasilema means sunset in Greek. This complex of studios is built in the main town of Schinousa, Chora, and some of its rooms offer a view to the sea and the sunset. The rooms are very clean and they are cleaned every day during your stay. Iliovasilema offers free breakfast, whichbyou can enjoy at an area with amazing sea view. The breakfast is pretty good, with eggs, greek yogurt with honey and fruits, cakes, greek pies such as spinach pie and cheese pie.
The location is very convenient as it is one minute walk from the main street of Schinousa where all the restaurants and bars are. Yet it is very quiet. Another plus is that it has an area with free parking for your car.
Moreover they offer free pick up from the port and they have a small shuttle bus that each day travels at a different beach of the island.
Expect to pay around seventy euros for a double room.
⁃ Grispos villas have the plus that they are next to tsigrado beach. It also offers parking, which is rare at Tsigouri beach. The downside is that you will have to walk 700 meters up the road to the main chora, during the evening if you dont own a car. Moreover, Grispos villas own the Captain Cook restaurant at the same area with the villas, which has excellent food and views.
The best beaches in Schinousa
1. Tsigouri beach
This is a beach 1km from the main town of schoinoussa, Chora. However you have to walk down the hill in the hot sun. If you have a car, bear in mind that there is no parking close to the beach. The only area to park is at the tavern of Grispos rooms, which has an area for less than ten cars.
Tsigouri beach is around 700 meters long. It has around 30 trees, armyrikia in greek, which offer shadow. Yoy have to be here early at 09:30 in august to find shadow.http://guidora.com/wp-content/uploads/edd/2019/08/img_3009.mov
In the middle of the beach there is Tsigouri beach bar. It is also a restaurant. A nice place to chill out, drink coffee, or eat.
Here is the menu of the beach bar at Tsigouri beach.
At the right side of Tsigouri beach as you are looking towards the sea, there is a tavern where you can also eat. The tavern is called Captain Cook and it is inside the Grispos villas rooms. The tavern offers great view and it has a friendly service..
The sea is shallow in the first ten meters and it is ok for children. The water is not cold but still not too warm. They are crystal clear.
Tsigouri is a nice beach for families, chilling out and swimming. It has no water sports. It doesn’t get too crowded. Maybe there are 150 people at prak time on the beach. Moreover, you might see the helicopters from the rich ship owners arriving to schoinoussa. And there are also many nice yachts here. Tsigouri also offers protection from the strong north winds.
The sea is sandy and there is a beautiful rock after a hundred meters.
2. Livadi beach
Livadi is 1.3 kms from chora. The road to go thereiswith soil and not with asphalt. You dont need to gave a four wheeled car to go. Some people walk from chora to Livadi but we dint think it is a good idea as the road is downhill and you will have to walk under the hot sun.
There is an easy parking outside the beach but the car will be under the sun.
The sea is around one tjousand meters long and it is sandy. There are around twent five trees on the beach which offer shadow. The beach is not organised. No umbrellas or sunbeds. No beach bars.
The waters are crystal clear and a little colder than the waters in Tsigouri beach. Also this beach is protected from the winds but not as well as Tsigouri beach.
There is a small tavern in the middle of the beach, actually it is twenty meters behind the beach. You can eat breakfast or lunch there, sweets, coffee and water. The tavern offers a great view to the sea. They accept credit card. A freddo costs 2.5 euros.
3. Psili Ammos
Psili ammos is on the north east part of Schoinoussa, around five minutes drive from chora.
Psili ammos is one tenth of the length of Tsigouri and Livadi. It is a small beach.
The road to reach it has around 800 meters of road without asphalt. However you will not need a jeep to reach it.
There is no canteen or tavern, sunbeds or umbrellas at the beach. Bring your own water and umbrellas.
The beach has five trees that offer shadow..if you come before eleven you will find some space.
There is no nudism on the beach. You might find a couple of free campers here. 4g is available and you will not have an issue accessing the internet.
Lioliou beach is 2.7 kms from Chora which is around 7 minutes drive. It is pretty convenient for families, due to the shallow waters.
The road to reach it doesn’t have asphalt but you dont need a four wheeled car. Parking is easy and free right outside of the beach.
There are eight trees on the beach offering shadow.
The beach is frequented by families with small children. The reason is that the waters are very shallow here. The most shallow in Schoinousa. Even after thirty meters inside the beach a four year old kid can walk.
There are no sunbeds or umbrellas to rent here. There is a tavern fifteen meters behind the beach from where you can get water and coffees, juices or eat your lunch.
The tavern is called “ stis akanthis” and it offers a great view to the beach. It is a relaxed place to enjoy your lunch as well. Lobster spageti is 80 euros per kilo, premium fish (fagri, mpatmpounia) are 55 euros per kilo and we also liked taramas salad, fried potatoes, mussels and gavros marinatos. Prices here are cheaper than in Chora but still not exceptionally cheap. Still the value for money is positive. They accept credit cards.
The waters are crystal clear and have a nice blue color as the beach is sandy. Not as a bright sand as in Psili Ammo beach but still pretty nice. This beach is exposed to the north east winds so it eqsily gets waves.
5. Aligaria beach
Aligaris beach is very close to Lioliou beach. Actually you drive from Chora to Lioliou and at one point towards the end, the road goes left for Lioliou and right for Aligaria beach. Aligaria has a nice view and crystal clear waters. It is more rocky than Lioliou beach.http://guidora.com/wp-content/uploads/edd/2019/08/img_3194.mov
6. Almyros beach
Almyros is close to Lioliou beach and the waters look the same. Like you are in a swimming pool. Almyros is exposed to west winds which are often and it gets waves eadily. It is shallow and appropriate for children. The beach is divided by rocks in two parts. On the left part there are four big trees offering shadow but there are no sunbeds.
On the right side there are no trees but some small umbrellas (4 umbrellas) and around ten sunbeds.
Sunbeds are free and you can call at a number, which corresponds to the Anatoli rooms, located behindvthe beach, and a guy with a motorcycle will come to bring your order (coffee, juices, water etc). This beach has much less people than Lioliou beach and you will feel like being alone.
Where to eat in Schinoussa: The Best Restaurants
The food in Schinoussa is pretty good but it is fairly expensive. 5 euros for Tzatziki is too much by any Greek standard. Expect to pay around 25 to 30 euros per person in most places, for food (with a couple of beers and not wine).
The local delicacy of Schinoussa is “Fava”. It’s indeed pretty good and you have to try it here.
The fish in the taverns comes from Naxos island, as Schinoussa doesn’t have any fishermen. The fish/lobster is pretty fresh and you may have to reserve it at the restaurant from the morning(especially if you want to try lobster). Usually, the boat that sells the fishes to the Schinoussa restaurants arrives at around 10:00-11:00 in the morning, so that’s the time that the restaurants know what they will have to serve during the evening.
You will eat well in all the restaurants in Schinoussa. We didn’t find even one that is below the Greek food standards.
Tip: two of the famous local dishes are “kakavia” which is a fish soup and lobster spaghetti. Actually there are no lobsters in the small Cyclades and there is something similar called “kolohtypa” in greek, which tastes the same. For both dishes you will need to make a reservation one or two days before. Eg, we went to Captain Cook for lobster spaghetti and the fishing boat had brought only one lobster (actually kolohtypa) which was reserved by another family.
1. Okto adelfia
This means eight siblings in Greek. Indeed, it is a tavern owned by eight brothers and sisters. Their mother owns the supermarket at the ground floor and the tavern is on the first floor.
The tavern has around 12 tables on the terrace and they have a partial open view. It is located in the main street of Chora.
The tavern is mostly for meat and local cooked food. The good thing is that the pork meat, the lamb meat and many vegetables come from the familys farms and are local and very tasty.
Tzatziki costs five euros, ampelofasoula cost five euros, lamb with potatoes in the oven is 9 euros, a pork chop is eight euros. A glass of tsipouro costs 2.5 euros. The portions are decent and the total value for money is fair. At the end of your meal you get treated with watermelon, produced at the farm of the family.
The family cultivates around 30 tons of Fava and you can buy it from the store market at the ground floor of the tavern. There you can also buy local honey.
This is a grill house and a tavern which is located in the main square of the Chora. Platia means Square in Greek (or plazza).
The plus of Platia is that it is located a place which is very good for people watching and for kids to play with other kids. Bear in mind that the cars are not allowed in the main street of Chora during the evening, which makes it very safe for kids to play around.
At Platia restaurant you can get souvlaki with pork meat which is pretty good. The cooked food (gemista, imam etc) are also nice. The service is slow and with many mistakes in what you order. Be patient as it is part of the fun in the island.
A souvlaki with pork costs 2.5 euros, a beer is at 3 euros and plates with pork souvlaki (three souvlaki with pork, potatoes and tzatziki) cost 8 euros.
This is not an elegant restaurant and you dont have to make a reservation. You might have to wait to find a table, after nine o clock in the evening.
You need a reservation here. This restaurant is pretty small with less than ten tables. It is inside a beautiful yard and it is next to Kuria Pothiti restaurant which is also very popular.
Bizeli has fish and meat. Fish is around 55 euros per kilo. The meat is local. If you like lamb, you should try the local grilled lambs in Schinousa, as the lambs from the greek islands dont have the heavy smell of lambs, due the thymar that they eat.
From beers they only have Mamos and Alpha. There is no menu as it changes every day and the waiter will let you know what is available.
Meat: lamb chop, pork chop (10 euros), veal.
Fish: calamari, octapus, different fishes.
The portions are not big but the food is tasty.
Try abelofasoula (6 euros) and fava (6euros). The pork chop is also a good choice if you like meat.
One of the dishes we liked here is the lamb cit as tagliata (22 euros for one and a half portion).! Have a look.
4. Kuria pothiti
You need a reservation here.
– Rofos steamed with potatoes, tomatoes.
– squid fried
– the salad with the olive marmelade
Fava could be better. The mous of taramas is very light. Fish soup from head of rofos is tasty but nothing exceptional.
We didn’t like the fact that they don’t treat you anything at the end.
5. Captain Cook
Xarama is 1.5 kms outside of Chora in the middle of nowhere. It has a beautiful yard with a mice view around to the hills of Schinousa and you can see the sea at the very far. It is quiet and folkor. The service is very friendly, the food very tasty and many of the ingredients are local, eg the meat, the watermelon at the end, etc.
Prices are a little bit lower than in the restaurants in Chora and the portions are bigger. It is better value for money than the other restaurants we described.
Xarama has a parking area, and you will easily find a spot if you are reaching it with your car. Walking to Xarama is doable but not advisable as you will have to walk uphill after your dinner.
You dont need a reservation here if you are a couple or a small family.
We liked the “soutzoukakia”, the pork chop, the “armyra” vegetable salad, tge “abelofasoula”, and the zucchini fried balls.
We liked that we could see two donkeys at the field opposite of Xarama, the fact that we could eat without listening to a single noise except from the other people eating, and the friendly people on the service.
They accept credit cards.
This is the only tavern that exists at Lioliou beach. Very clean, great view to the sea and fast service. They serve fish and meat, go for the fish. Prices are better than in Chora (15 percent cheaper) and the quality is great. Portions are fair. We loved barbounia fish, mussels, gavro marinato and tarama salad (strong taste with a lot of garlic).
8. Deli Restaurant
As you can see in the photo above, Deli is located on the first floor of a building and offers a great view to the sea.
This is the most romantic and maybe elegant restaurant on the island. Make a resrvation and ask for a table with a view of the sea and the windmill. Try the lobster spaghetti here (95 euros per kilo) and the fava balls. Service and food are great. Prices are expensive. Not extremely but still more expensive than in other restaurants in Chora.
9.Tsigouri beach bar and restaurant
Here the portions are decent and the food is tasty. We liked the linguini with crab (20 euros), the linguini with seafood (16 euros) and the salad with the local herb “almira”.They accept credit cards.
This is the best place for tasting sweets in Schinousa. All sweets, except the icecream, are hand made with local ingredients. They have cheesecake, galaktoboureko, orange pie, banoffi
Tours from Schinousa to Keros, Koufonisi, Iraklis and around Schinousa.
There is a boat called Aeolia which offers toors from Schinousa to different islands close to it. The tours cost from twenty to forty euros per person and children under six dont pay.
On Aeolia boat,they will give you free water and orange juice, however you should plan to bring your own water and some snacks too.
Below you can see photos of the boat and beaches in Irakleia island.http://guidora.com/wp-content/uploads/edd/2019/08/img_3245.mov
Here are the tours:
Things to know before you go to Schinoussa
- There is no hospital on the island. And there is no drug store. Bring the medicine you might need in case of emergency with you. There is a container box which is the “doctors office” of the island which provides only basic treatment in non serious cases. If you need a medicine you will have to call the Okto Aderfia and inform them. They will give you the telephone number of the deug store in Naxos which you will have to call to order your medicine. The medicine will arive with Skopelitis boat at Schoinoussa the same or the next day. You will pick it up from Okto Aderfia tavern.
2. There is no bus on the island to take you to the beaches. There are four ways to move around in the island: on foot, rent a bike or moto, bring your own car or use the shuttle buses of some room complexes.
3. If there are strong winds ask before you go to a beach if it will be exposed to the winds. Usually the beaches on the west side are better protected from the winds. If you want to go to Armyros beach, Psili Ammos, Lioliou beach make sure there is no wind.
4. It is a fairly safe destination for families and kids. The people visiting Schoinoussa are usually middle class and upper middle class.
5. Some famous ship owners (Papadimitriou, Martinos, Polemis, and others) own some of the best parts of the island and have built their houses there. You will see helicopters flying to their houses. Rumors have it that they are part of the reason that the island is mot progressed touristically and that the roads are still dirty roads without asphalt.
6. At the restaurants the owners are often using local ingredients, meats and vegetables. Try the local cucumber which is big like a zucchini and very sweet, try the local watermelon, which is small with big seeds and very sweet. Try the local lamb meat as lambs eat rosemary and dont have the heavy smell of the lamb meat.
7. Prices at the restaurants are fairly expensive for Greek standards. Yet, you will eat excellent food almost everywhere.
8. If you like snorkeling bring your own equipment as there is no place to rent. Most beaches have nice rocks and some fishes but don’t expect anything spectacular.
9. This is not a party island. There is an “after” bar called “Vrachos” which opens at 01:00 and is open until early in the morning. Sometimes the bar “beeraki” in Chora, turns into a party place until 03:00.
10. One of the famous dishes is lobster spaghetti. However, it is not actually a lobster, it is a “kolochtypa” which tastes even better. Here is a photo of Kolochtypa. It looks like a version of lobster with smaller tale.
11. You will have to book a room at least six months in advance. On February and March, if you want to travel on July or August. There are a few rooms and everyone books them early enough.
12. There is an ATM from Piraeus bank from which you can get some cash.