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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 Greek island of Syros is one of the Cyclades group of islands and is unusual in that the island's architecture is more medieval rather than the more typical Cycladic. The island's capital is Ermoupolis and has some fine examples of Venetian mansions to see. In the Vaporia quarter of the capital visitors will find some lovely large churches and impressive neoclassical buildings, such as the Town Hall and Apollo Theatre in the central square. Also popular with visitors are the island's beaches which are well equipped for tourists and have a good range of facilities.
The island can trace its history back to the 3rd millennium BC where signs of inhabitation have been found in the Halandriani and Kastri parts of the island. Artefacts found indicate that there was some kind of metal workshop on the island which possibly had a trading relationship with Asia Minor. The Samians occupied the island in the 6th century BC and is when many of the island's inhabitants moved to the island. At that time, the important physician and philosopher Pherecydis was born in Syros and some years later he went to Samos and became the teacher of Pythagoras.