Small Cyclades TOWNS


Photo The island of Donoussa consists of four settlements: Donoussa, or Stavros, which is the island's harbour, Mersini, Messaria, or Haravgi, and Kalotaritissa. The most important one is Donoussa which is built on the south-west end of the island, near a leeward bay. Its small snow-white houses belong to fishermen and it has taken its second name from the chapel of "Timios Stavros" (Holy Cross) on its eastern side.


Photo Iraklia consists of two settlements, Panagia, or Pano Meria, and Agios Georgios which lies on the waterfront. The two settlements constitute a community of about 250 inhabitants and are divided from each other by the lovely Livadi beach. The most significant sight of Iraklia is the Cave of St John with its spectacular stalactites, which has not been developed touristically yet. Another sight is the islet of Venetiko (Venetian), the castle of which is a reminder of the Venetian rule.


Photo Kato Koufonissi lies between Pano Koufonissi, Schinoussa, and Keros. It is almost abandoned with just a few houses which are summer residences of fishermen from Amorgos. At its pier, caiques and small boats bring tourists to its wonderful beaches ideal for nude sunbathing. The islet's only significant sight is the chapel of Panagia, built at the pier's edge on the site of ancient ruins.


Photo Pano Koufonissi consists of a small settlement on its south-east side of about 260 inhabitants. Excavations have brought to light another construction on the island's southern end with Hellenistic and Roman ruins. In recent years, the settlement has attracted many tourists because of its golden, sandy beaches.


Photo The islet of Schinoussa virtually consists of one settlement, Hora, or Panagia. The few families which live in its port, Mersini, or Mesinia, own tavernas and rooms to let. The most significant sight of the settlement is the church of Panagia Akathi, which has taken its name from the "Akathistos Ymnos" (Standing Humn). It is dedicated to the Presentation of the Virgin and many local girls take the name Akathi in her honour.