Schinoussa and Iraklia Travel Guide
This is the first travel guide to Schinoussa and Iraklia, two tiny islands in the Cyclades, published by Real Greek Experiences.
As far as we know there have been no previous travel guides to the islands of Schinoussa and Iraklia, because who's going to go to the effort of writing and publishing a guidebook to two tiny islands which get very few visitors? In the massive 1300-page Rough Guide to Greece, Schinoussa isn't mentioned at all. The Schinoussa entry on Wikipedia is a little over 200 words. Even The Rough Guide to the Cyclades doesn't include them in its list of contents.
Sample Photo from the Guide
Schinoussa and Iraklia Online Search
If you search online for travel information about the two islands, one of the few useful pages that comes up is this one, on a website called Dave's Travel Pages. Now Dave is Dave Briggs, who just happens to be the co-author of this book with his Greek partner Vanessa Foudouli. Together they also run the excellent website, Real Greek Experiences.
Schinoussa and Iraklia Travel Guide
This travel guide to Schinoussa and Iraklia is only available as an ebook on the Kindle, so it's hard to give an exact page count but Amazon says it's the equivalent of 91 printed pages. That doesn't sound a lot but when you consider how tiny these two islands are, it's actually more like an encyclopedia!
Sample Map from the Guide
At a Glance
The book begins with an 'At a Glance' section which tells you some basics, like where they are (near Naxos and Amorgos), why you should go, when you should go, ATMs, mobile phone reception, that kind of thing. One inclusion I liked was called 'What Aren't You Telling Me?' In the case of these two islands, it's the meltemi winds, but the 'When to Go' section tells you when these blow and how best to avoid them.
How to Get There
Sample Photo from the Schinoussa and Iraklia Travel Guide
There's a useful section on how to get to the islands. They're not exactly that hard to get to, but it needs a little planning. There's a ferry service most days which links Naxos, Amorgos and the other Small Cyclades islands, including Schinoussa and Iraklia, but it's enough to put a lot of people off and they prefer to stay on the larger islands. In summer you'll also need to be sure you have your accommodation sorted, as although there are a number of places to stay, they do get booked ahead by those in-the-know about the islands' charms.
Ferries in Greece
Ferries in Greece has an excellent and very thorough website where, in addition to checking ferry schedules and times, you can also book tickets and get lots of useful information about travelling by ferry in Greece.
Contents of the Schinoussa and Iraklia Travel Guide
Around the Islands
There are then several sections about each island individually. These include things like villages and places of interest, beaches, outdoor activities, local festivals, accommodation, and eating and nightlife. The beaches section, for example, is incredibly detailed and there can't be a beach that the authors didn't visit. They're able to advise on how to get there, how busy it's likely to be, and vital information like is there any shade, and will you be able to buy food and drink there. The hiking trails are likewise given with great attention to detail.
If you're going to Schinoussa you might want to time your visit for the first weekend in July, when they hold the annual Fava Festival, which sounds a lot of fun but you will need to book accommodation well in advance. Then again, at the start of August there's a Donkey Festival, which sounds like a hoot.
Sample Photo from the Schinoussa and Iraklia Travel Guide
There are very few criticisms of the book. One was that the author's refer to a 'famous Pirate's cave' on Schinoussa, but never say what it's famous for. The only other criticism is with the entries for eating and drinking. The accommodation entries are very thorough, and the authors do say that they visited every place that's included.
That's not the case with dining, though. Each island gets just a few paragraphs of overview, with a handful of places mentioned by name, but no detailed description of atmosphere or dishes. You get the impression that they have eaten at the places they mention, but each one should get a separate entry like the accommodation does, not simply 'Go to "Nikolas of Schinoussa" at Mersini port for fish'.
However, that is a small complaint and it shouldn't stop you from buying this otherwise comprehensive guide, just as the meltemi wind shouldn't put you off visiting two islands which are definitely now on our own Greek bucket list.
Buying this Schinoussa and Iraklia Travel Guide
Andros and Tinos Guide
The same authors have published another Greek travel guide, also for the Cyclades, and this one to the better-known islands of Andros and Tinos.
Other Cyclades pages
You can get from Mykonos to Santorini, and of course from Santorini to Mykonos, by ferry, by plane (sort-of) or even by helicopter.
The island of Paros in the Cyclades is famous for its marble, and on this page you can also see information about flights and ferries to Paros.
The island of Tinos in the Cyclades has several daily ferry connections from Rafina on the Greek mainland and is most famous for the Feast of the Assumption.
There are plenty of things to do on Mykonos, one of the most popular Greek islands, such as nightlife, beaches, churches and visiting the ancient site of Delos.
Syros is in the Cyclades islands, with Ermoupoli as its main town and some good beaches, described here on the Greece Travel Secrets website.
Surrounded by bigger and better-known Cyclades islands such as Ios, Naxos and Santorini, Sikinos is a delightfully untouristy island.
Sifnos is one of the smaller islands in the Cyclades group in the Aegean Sea.
Serifos is one of the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea, a rugged and mountainous island with a small population.
The island of Naxos is the largest of the Cyclades and on this page you can see information about flights and ferries to Naxos.
Mykonos in the Cyclades islands in Greece has cheap and luxury hotel accommodation, car rental, ferries from Athens, Santorini, Crete and other Greek islands.
The island of Milos in the Cyclades in Greece is noted for its museums and beaches, and read about flights and ferries to Milos.
Kimolos is in the Cyclades islands of Greece, close to Milos.
Kythnos is a small island in the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea, with easy access from Athens and popular with Athenians on summer weekends.
Kea is in the Cyclades group of Greek islands and this page from Greece Travel Secrets shows how to get there by ferry and what to do when you've arrived.
The island of Ios in the Cyclades group of islands in Greece is noted for its nightlife in summer, as well as its beaches, churches and the grave of Homer.
Travel information from Greece Travel Secrets about Folegandros in the southern Cyclades, close to Sikinos, with flight and ferry information.
The island of Delos in the Cyclades islands is a unique archaeological site, taking up the whole island, and a popular day trip from nearby Mykonos.
Travel information about the Cyclades group of Greek islands including Mykonos, Santorini (Thira), Naxos, Paros, Delos, Tinos, Siros, Milos, Amorgos.
The best time to visit Mykonos depends on if you want crowds or quiet, heat or cooler temperatures, all of which affect when is the best time to visit Mykonos.
Travel information about Antiparos near Paros in the Cyclades Islands of Greece from the Greece Travel Secrets website.
The island of Andros in the Cyclades has fast ferries from Rafina. There are some good beaches and the main town has two interesting museums.
Travel advice and information on Anafi in the Greek Cyclades islands with good beaches, walking, accommodation, tavernas.
Travel advice and information on Amorgos in the Cyclades, a dramatic and growing holiday destination with ferries from Athens and other Greek islands
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