Walking around the few streets of Schinousa’s main settlement can be relaxing and stimulating at the same time. With a unique allure to Greece’s past and how once things were in smaller communities, the Chorio is the centre of this island’s action and a great spectacle to witness… especially so during the morning hours when life starts to pick up.
When you first reach the island you immediately take note of Nikolas restaurant, an establishment that has been religiously famed for their lobster pasta from those visiting from nearby islands. Schinoussa is a must destination for the avid sailors around the island complex of Little Cyclades as it’s called.
As we go up the hill and reach Chorio, we walk along its main alley to be greeted by the locals. A small and relatively quiet place where you see the local hairdresser in their house-cum-salon, a couple of pantry shops (newspapers are only delivered on request) and a handful coffee shops and restaurants.
We finally arrive at Chara, one of the cutest coffee shops in the Aegean, dressed in striking white plastered walls and turquoise window frames. The place has a wooden-top veranda perched next to the main pantry, which makes for the perfect start of the day. A full-on Greek breakfast is served – fried eggs, Naxos aged cheese (insane!), freshly basked country bread, butter and jams- we dig in!
The island is pretty tiny so you can literally walk around on foot if you can bear the heat. As we go down to Livadi beach, we spot a series of tamarisk trees that will keep us shaded for our quick dive. The beach is very peaceful, reminiscent of how once Greek summer was (before it became a major destination for travellers).
Tsigouri beach on the neighbouring bay is also ok for a day under the sun. The beach bar also offers some nice but basic snacks and drinks if you’re looking to spend more time.
Walking back to the hotel can be challenging for those not fit as you go up the hill. Luckily there’s a prompt taxi service that runs on the islands.
On the early evening, we visit Kira Pothiti for a nice dinner before everyone flocks in. Although the balcony offers some sea view, we opt for the side alley which is more private and mildly-lit. The service is great and the food even better. Although ceviche is not a thing in typical Greek cuisine, they do it relatively well. But some more traditional dishes like the beef stew orzo (giouvetsi in Greek) is insane!
On a different day we try Bizeli for dinner at the infamous Koveos family. They source local produce and offer a basic yet delicious menu, mostly based on meat. Koveos son is tending to the grill at the one edge of the colorful piazza with some traditional Greek music playing in the background – a real treat! Rumor has it, their specialty is a shoulder lamb tagiliatta so keep that in mind when you next visit.
On our last day, we also visit Nikolas for the must-try lobster pasta. They generally offer a great seafood menu and their service is impeccable. One of the best seaside moments one could wish for!
- Ailouros Suites – brand new studio apartments with great sunset views to the port and the sea. Definitely worth the price given the space and comfort they off
- Schinoza Luxury Suites – lovely suites equipped with either a jacuzzi or a private pool, also offering a nice view
- Theasis Luxury Suites – modern style suites
- Psili Ammos – hard to reach on foot but definitely worth the trek. Easier to access by boat – the waters are magical around this bay!
- Gerolimnionas – very remote and isolated; need to access this by boat
- Tsigouri – the closest beach to Chorio, just 400m down the road from the main settlement. Beach bar also available offering some nice snacks
- Livadi – another beach you can reach on foot, although it is a bit further away. No umbrellas but with a simple taverna at the back of the bay
- Bizeli Greek Restaurant – delicious meat variety of local produce in a wonderful and colorful piazza at the back of an alley
- Kira Pothiti – the best food around; delicious creative cuisine and a nice ambience too. Read our full review here
- Nikolas of Schinoussa – located at the port and very famous for their lobster pasta; many tend to visit by boat
- Kafeneio Chara – the best place to hang during the morning hours. Great Greek breakfast options.
- 8 Adelfia Restaurant – nice taverna at the balcony of one of the low rise buildings of Chorio