Blue waters, rolling hills, crystal clear beaches, winding alleys, cobbled streets, mouthwatering local cuisine, holy monasteries & warm people make the island of Tinos a must visit when in Greece.
Though popularly known as a religious destination for Greeks (For the Sanctuary of Panagia Evaggelistria) the Cycladic island of Tinos has a lot more to offer with its breath-taking landscapes.
Watch the sunset from the spectacular Tinos villages or dig into a traditional meal, take a dip in one of its many spectacular beaches or go cycling on this alluring Greek island.
Here are top things to see & do in Tinos, Greece :
1. Walk along the beautiful village of Pyrgos :
The whitewashed houses and churches, narrow alleyways as well as the bougainvillaeas decorating the houses and balconies make the picturesque village of Pyrgos a must visit. A birthplace of many Greek sculptors, this picture perfect area is rich in Greek culture and full of gorgeous cafes, squares, churches and shops.
Also known as the marble village, you can find marble everywhere around you, in houses, shops, fountains, etc. Visit Giannoulis Chalepas’s house + museum, the ancient cemetery with the marble masterpieces and the museum of Tinian Artists exhibiting works by Giannoulis Chalepas, Filippotis, Sochos, Vitalis etc.
2. Go wine tasting at Vaptisis Winery :
Nestled amongst the Tinian planes this winery where wines are made with indigenous Greek grape varieties nurtured by the Greek sun is a must visit if you love the beverage. Rich, smooth, dry, fruity or strong you will be spoilt for choice with their gorgeous array of Greek wines. The tour of the vineyard also includes a winemaking and wine tasting session to enlighten you on the process.
3. Indulge in traditional sweets at Chalaris Bakery :
An absolutely enrapturing bakery with generations of Greek recipes passed down to modern times, this bakery is a gift to our palettes! Found in every nook and corner of Tinos, the local pastries, cookies, biscuits and candies found at Chalaris are a must try.
4. Take a trip to Arnados village :
Situated on a height this picturesque village offers gorgeous views of the southern Cyclades.
Adorned by beautiful streets, Greek tavernas, old wine cellars and local cheese factories a trip to Arnados is incomplete without visiting the wine cellar of Mr. Ballis Nikos and the Arnados traditional cafe.
The wine cellar is absolutely spectacular with steps leading down to Wine storage nestled between cool medieval stones. The aged wine comes in many variants and glides over your taste buds like silk.
If you love Food you also must step into Arnados Traditional Café that serves some of the best Greek yoghurt, sweet rice putting, and traditional desserts.
5. Visit the Museum of Marble Craft :
Located in Pyrgos, the exemplary display of marble art & craft with an audio-visual supplement makes the museum of marble craft a must visit. The year-long exhibition of marbles, its making and effect on Greek architecture highlights the contribution of Greek marble to the world’s structures. The marble making and crafting process with other masterpieces is a delight to watch.
6. Discover the hidden village of Koumaros :
Situated on the steep mountainside of Fourka, the beautiful little village of Koumaros offers the offbeat Greek island experience with its warm locals, stunning views and delicious local food. Drink in the the glorious panorama of the island or meet locals over traditional Greek coffee and delicious treats prepared by them. This is one experience you can’t miss!
7. Walk around Chora, the capital:
Although popular for the pilgrimage to the church of Panagia Evaggelistria, which is an architectural wonder, Chora, the capital of Tinos always has a buzz of exciting activity going on.
With sidewalks adorned with intricately patterned small cobbled stones, the cacophony of people singing and dancing & the smell of freshly made food in the air, a walk around the small streets as you window shop or savour local delights makes for a great way to spend your evenings here in Tinos.
7. Visit a local cheese factory!
Bedazzle your senses with some authentic, traditional Greek cheese made fresh from the best quality milk in small factories across the island. A trip to San Lorenzo, a private dairy by Giannis Armaos will tantalize your taste buds with the showcase of the cheesemaking process + a cheese tasting paired with crisp crackers. Located in Kehros village amongst cute little houses and crisp winds, this beautiful cheese dairy is a must visit.
Stay : Cavos Hotel, Tinos.
Boasting of a fine beachside location, the spectacular Cavos Hotel, Tinos Island gives you the compete Greek island experience with its whitewashed rooms overlooking the Aegean Sea. We stayed at one of their suites which was utterly spacious and came with its own living area, cosy bedroom, kitchenette and large porch opening out to the beach. If you’re looking for a quiet, romantic and luxurious beach hotel, this is the place to be. Read more about Cavos on a separate blog post soon.
Tinos boasts of a rich and vibrant gastronomy full of freshly sourced ingredients. The beautiful artichokes of Tinos are found in many forms and incorporated into many salads, mains and soups. Apart from farm to table vegetables, Tinos is also famous for its local cheese that is soft, fresh and absolutely delicious. A dash of cheese on your salad or some famous saganaki will leave you with complete satisfaction.
Where to Eat in Tinos :
Pyrgos & Chora are full of multi-cuisine cafes, bars and restaurants with many pocket-friendly & vegetarian options too!
Here’s what we highly recommend :
- Dine in the middle of the blue Aegean sea at Thalassaki, one of Greece’s most popular restaurants serving authentic Cycladic cuisine with a twist. The ambience, food and feel of the place make for an unmissable dining experience.
- Try the Galaktoboureko (Phyllo pastry stuffed with Greek custard topped with syrup) at Sousouro cafe.
- Visit Frangkiskes restaurant (vegetarian-friendly) and Skouna Restaurant at Chora: Amazing salads, pizzas and pasta! The food by Dimitris & Stella craftfully blends local ingredients with authentic Italian cooking styles making for some amazing food!
- Indulge in delicious food at Apodrasi restaurant (authentic local treats) in Steni Village, Tinos.
How to Get to & around Tinos :
By Air :
Take a flight to Athens followed by a short ferry ride to Tinos. There are some direct seasonal flights to certain island destinations too.
By Ferry :
A comfortable, short ferry ride from Rafina (near Athens) or a ferry from Pireaus (Athens) can get you to Tinos in under 5 hours. There are also daily ferries links from Tinos to Mykonos (30 minutes) and to and Andros (1.5 hours) apart from other Greek islands.
The best way to get around Tinos is by road and there are many pocket-friendly car rental services at the port.
Overall, if you’re looking at an authentic Greek island experience, minus the excessive tourists, the breath-taking Greek island of Tinos is a must visit.
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