This sleepy island threads an impressive tally of scenic stretches, from romantic coves to quiet bays and family-friendly beaches. And unlike islands such as Folegandros or Iraklia, where reaching a hidden paradise requires a sweaty hike – or a boat taxi, all beaches in Schinoussa are within easy reach.
After a fair amount of beach hopping, we’ve gathered up all the island’s beaches that are really worth a visit. Or two!
The Coastal Trail
What if I told you that there is a coastal trail that winds around the east coast of the island, taking you to more than half of the island’s beaches? And that this hike is easy, breathtaking, and allows you to visit a private natural pool in the shape of a heart?
Now head to Fikio beach in the northeast of the island, open the wooden fence gate, and linger on the beaches found on your way. Tons of scenic outlooks are dotted along the route, offering plenty of places to stop and take in the unsurpassed coastal views. You can hike as far as Michalis’ Cape, but of course, you can turn around anytime.
This map is great for getting an idea about the hike, but it won’t be hard to stay on track even without it. To be sure you don’t miss the heart pool, however, have google maps open in satellite view as you hike from Fikio to Psili Ammos.
Beaches around Messaria
Secluded and quiet, Gerolimnionas is a gorgeous beach with coarse sand and turquoise waters.
It is ideal for nature lovers and has a beautiful underwater world worth exploring with a mask. There is no natural shade, as there is just one tamarisk tree standing lonely in the middle of the beach.
We visited in the afternoon to avoid the sun, and it treated us to the best sunset on the island!
Shortly before arriving at the village of Messaria, right after Harama Hotel, turn left onto the dirt road. After about 300m, turn left again onto a narrower dirt road, and when this one ends, take the downhill path to the beach. A makeshift door marks the entrance to Gerolimnionas. The hike is easy and takes less than 15 minutes.
Unspoiled Fikio is a 30m long stretch of sand dotted by low tamarisk trees that provide some shade. The rich seabed gives the water its azure colour and makes it ideal for spearfishing. For the same reason, however, there is a lot of seaweed (“fikia” in Greek), after which the beach was named.
As with Gerolimnionas, the path starts about 200m before the entrance to the village of Messaria. After Harama Hotel, take a left to the dirt road and then keep on the right side all the way to the beach (1km). The road is well-signed, and you will be at Fikio in about 10 minutes.
Psili Ammos ♥
With turquoise waters, fine golden sand, and dunes all around, it is no wonder why this was our favourite piece of shoreline!
The beach is one of the most popular on the island, so try to find your place under a tamarisk tree before the crowd arrives. One more thing to keep in mind when planning your visit is that Psili Ammos is exposed to the northerly winds.
From the tavern “To Petrino” in Messaria, head east and follow the 600m dirt road towards the beach. On your way there, you will pass by quaint vineyards and the large, almost flat plain of Kampos. Alternatively, you can hike there from Fikio beach, following the coastal path.
Avlaki tou Papa
This beach is an open secret among locals, who were glad to share it with us. We wouldn’t have found it otherwise, since it’s not even on google maps!
Sandy and approximately 15m long, Avlaki tou Papa is ideal for those seeking seclusion. There are no trees for shade and no amenities around, so bring all the essentials.
Once at Psili Ammos, head to the south end of the beach and follow the coastal path towards the south for 350m. Alternatively, it’s a 7-minute-drive or a 20-minute-walk from Chora.
Beaches in the Southeast
We came across Fountana as we were working our way down the southwest of the island. It is a small secluded beach with golden sand and rocky coast, offering great views of the nearby islands. The ruins of a Venetian fort are also visible from the beach, though not directly accessible from it.
We didn’t stay, however, as during our visit it was littered, probably due to the strong winds.
It can be accessed either by following the dust road that leads to Almiros and taking a left at the small pier or by hiking the seaside trail from Fikio.
Almiros is a 350m long beach divided in two by a rock formation. Exposed to northeasterly winds, it is especially popular with windsurfers, but the golden sand, shallow waters, and tamarisk trees make it ideal for families as well.
If you follow the coastal path from Fikio, Almiros will be one of your stops. Alternatively, you can get there on foot (20min) or by car (5min) from Chora.
First, head to the church of Saint Filaretos, at the east end of Chora, from where the 1.7km dirt road starts. Continue south, and after you pass the old settlement of Stavros and the hill of Prophet Ilias, take the left-hand path. If you drive there, you can park near the shore.
Pori is a small strip of sand tucked between rock formations. Looking more like a half-open cave, it is sheltered from the winds and offers shade throughout the day.
To get there, follow the 200m path that starts from the east end of Almiros beach.
Lioliou & Bazeou
The wide beach of Lioliou features crystal-clear, shallow waters and many tamarisk trees for shade. Even though there is a tavern close by, the location is ideal for those seeking seclusion.
Be aware that it gets pretty windy, and often seaweed is washed up.
About 300m north of Lioliou, there is the small beach of Bazeou. Filled with lentisk shrubs that reach down to the sea, it is virtually a continuation of Lioliou, separated from it by low headlands.
To reach Lioliou, take the same route as for Almiros beach, but once you get to Vrachos Bar, continue straight and then turn slightly left. It’s 2.4km from Chora, and you can either drive there (7min) or walk (30min).
And as is the case with all the beaches on the east side of the island, you can also get there by following the coastal path.
Michali’s Cape beaches
Hidden away at Schinoussa’s easternmost point, there are three tiny beaches located right next to each other. And with white pebbles and turquoise waters, whichever you choose, you truly can’t go wrong!
Follow the trail at the eastern end of Lioliou beach for about 300m and then take a left towards the footpath that descends to the sea.
Beaches in the Southwest
If there is a single beach that has all of the bells and whistles, this is Tsigouri.
The island’s most popular beach features a wide stretch of golden sand and tall tamarisk trees that provide plenty of shade. You can easily spend the entire day here, renting a sunbed and sipping cocktails or grabbing lunch in the beach restaurant.
From the restaurant “Okto Adelphia” in Chora, take the short downhill road to your left, towards Grispos Villas. From there, a few steps lead down to the beach. It’s a ten-minute walk in total or 450 meters.
Livadi is a long beach with golden sand, plenty of natural shade, and shallow waters. Add a handful of accommodation facilities and the tavern found here, and you have your answer to why this beach is packed with families.
Luckily, there are a couple of options for those looking for seclusion.
Tiny Ammoudaki tou Garbi is reached by following the footpath below the dovecote at the end of Livadi. And the small and picturesque beach of Tholari is just a 5min walk to the west. None of them, however, offers shade.
From “Loza Pizza Restaurant” in Chora, head southeast for about 800m and then turn left for Livadi beach, or turn right for the charming beach of Tholari (12min).
Aligaria Bay Beaches ♥
In the bay of Aligaria, you will find three beaches. They are known as Aligaria 1, Aligaria 2 (or Gagavi), and Aligaria 3 (or Kampos). Some are sandy, others are pebbly, but all of them are gorgeous and protected from the northern winds since they are surrounded by rocks.
Natural shade is nowhere to be found, but some have small caves to explore or seek shelter from the sun. They are also endowed with an interesting seabed and extra clear waters that make them ideal for snorkelling.
Be sure to bring plenty of water along with anything else you might need for the day.
Aligaria 1 is the first of the beaches in the bay and can be accessed via a 1.7km dirt road from Chora. Gagavi and Kampos are further south and relatively close to each other, with signposts indicating the path to each of them. A dust road reaches Kampos, but Gagavi requires a bit of a hike.
On the promontory of Agios Vasilios, there are some gorgeous beaches as well, such as Santorineiko, Moli, and the pebbly beach of Agios Vasilios itself. However, since the promontory is privately owned, the beaches can only be reached by sea.
Inspired to visit this gorgeous island? Read our Ultimate Travel Guide to Schinoussa, Greece!