Like its neighbours, Schinousa has an easygoing pace and a rare sense of timelessness, although high season can be relatively lively. With a total area of only 8.5 sq km, the island has a gentle landscape and is known for its beaches.

The major settlement Hora (Panagia) has a long, narrow main street lying along the breezy crest of the island. Ferries dock at the fishing harbour of Mersini. Hora is a 1km walk uphill from there.