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Located in the Cyclades group of islands, in the Aegean Sea, is the Greek island of Schoinousa, or Schinoussa, is located to the south of the island of Naxos, between the islands of Irakleia and Koufonisia. The town of Mersini is home to the island's harbour which is known as one of the best shelters for small ships in the Aegean region. The island's capital is called Chora and has pretty authentic Cycladic architecture, with white washed houses adorned with beautiful Bougainvillea, cobbled streets, churches and lovely views of the Aegean Sea. There is a rich cultural history on the island with a number of monuments bearing testimony to its history. Popular attractions on the island include the Church of Eisodia Theotokou in Hora, the Church of Evangelismos at Messaria, the Archaeological Museum, the Folklore Museum and the Cave of Peiratis which is located along the road that leads to the port.
The island is also popular with hikers who enjoy exploring the island by hiking along the island's mule paths, some dating back to Classical times. The paths criss-cross the island and provide wonderful views. Some lead to secluded beaches, remote mountain scenery, secret valleys and some unspoilt villages.
The small Greek island of Iraklia is located at the western edge of the Small Eastern Cyclades group of islands and only has around 100 inhabitants. The island is characterised by hills, thick vegetation, clear waters with the od shipwreck on the sea floor, and scenic bays which all combine to make it one of the most unspoilt islands of the Cyclades. For nature lovers the island is home to the Mediterranean seal and the marine turtle, Caretta Caretta. The island only has two villages. Ayios Georgios, which is home to the island's harbour, and Panayia.
Perhaps because the island is so small its history remains largely unknown with speculation that is may have been a Minoan settlement in the 2nd century BC, as there is an similar city in Crete. Under Venetian and Ottoman rule, the island paid taxes but it seems that it was the only obligation the Iraklians had.
From the island's port there are ferries available that depart to the Port of Piraeus with a crossing time of between 8 and 10 hours, depending on itinerary. There are also ferry services to the other islands of the Small Cyclades and to Naxos and Amorgos.