Tinos in Greece

Tinos in Greece.

Island group: Cyclades | Capital: Tinos town | Population: 8500 | Area: 197 km2 | Highest mountain: 724 m | Airport: No

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Tinos is equal to Greece. That is the simple formula. Looking for the real Greece, you do not need to look no further. Tinos is just what you're looking for. There are almost just Greeks who go here, most come to visit the church of Panagia Evangelistra. Backpackers are rare, although they have slightly increased in number in recent years. Very rightly. I am also a big fan of Tinos, and I love to go there. What attract me are all the nice villages, beautiful hiking-friendly landscape, the extremely good food and that the Greek everyday life comes first, and tourism in the second.

GETTING HERE
It's as easy as pie: take the plane to Athens and continue by ferry from Rafina or Piraeus. The easiest is to travel from Rafina, which is a much quieter place than the chaotic port of Piraeus. Buses to Rafina and Piraeus are outside the arrival terminal at the airport.

GETTING AROUND
Tinos is undoubtedly an island that is most appropriate explored on your own by car or moped. The roads are in good condition and traffic is low, except in and around Tinos town. Car and moped rental companies are located along the seafront in Tinos town. If you do not want to drive yourself, there are buses that operate large parts of the island.

Exobourgos on Tinos.

Tinos is equal to exciting landscapes and beautiful villages.


Kolymbithra

Kolymbithra.


VILLAGES
There are the nice villages that make Tinos to such an attractive island. Here are some fifty large and small villages, and with few exceptions, they are extremely delightful. Below are just some of the villages described. Other fantastic villages are: Agapi, Isternia, Kampos, Ktikados, Koumaros, Panormos, Smardakito, Tarabados and Volax.

All do not fall like a ton of bricks for Tinos town (see picture on top of the page). At first glance some think that the town is impersonal, uninteresting and noisy. If you only have visited developed tourist resorts before it's no wonder that Tinos town seems like unruly. But after a day or two you generally accept the alarming Greek everyday life and slowly begin to understand Tinos town.

There are around 5,200 residents here; add the large amount of Greek day trippers and you understand why it's such a hustle and bustle in the town. The large number of tourists, combined with the local everyday life indeed puts the mark on Tinos town. Here you have a perfect opportunity to discover the Greek cuisine. Nothing is adjusted for tourists; the tavernas serve the food that the Greeks themselves appreciate. So take the opportunity to browse in the Greek cuisine. If you unlikely don't like the food, it doesn't matter, because the prices are below the average.

Smardakito

Smardakito.


Kardiani is located about 17 km west of Tinos town and it is one of the most charming Greek villages I have ever visited. Kardiani is the major diamond among Tinos all beautiful villages. Ancient labyrinthine lanes winds as snakes through the village, sometimes you pass under admirable stone arch and you discover new small alleys all the time. The dominant white colour is changed from time to time to a green exuberance of the vegetation. In springtime, the water streams through parts of the village, the murmur sound is very relaxing. The village has a small cafe and a taverna.

Pyrgos is the second largest village on Tinos. It is a village with traditional architecture that has historical connection with a long tradition of sculpture. The village is touristic but picturesque and it is a great pleasure to aimlessly wander around in it. In the beautiful square there grows a giant plane trees that gives shade to the inviting cafes. There is a marble museum in the village for anyone who is interested. Otherwise, it is enough to study the fine ornaments of marble that decorates many of the houses.

Pyrgos

Pyrgos.


BEACHES
I do not think that anyone goes to Tinos just for the beaches. There are the villages that attract tourists. But there are quite a lot of beaches, and some of them are really good. Agios Fokas is one of the most popular beaches, mainly because it is the closest one to Tinos town. The beach is about three kilometres long and starts with pebbles and ends with sand. Agios Sostis - not far from Agios Fokas - are also popular. The beach is shallow and ideal for families with children.

Two of my favourite beaches are Livada and Kolymbithra. Livada do not look like any other beach on Tinos. The landscape is rocky, wild and beautiful. The beach is full of big pebbles and the waves can be high. As a beach, Livada is perhaps nothing to write home about, but it is the amazing scenery that is worth the trip. Kolymbithra are two beaches located in a basin-like bay on the north of Tinos. The two beaches are separated by a rock. Both beaches are good, but personally I prefer the smaller beach that is behind the rock. Other beaches on Tinos to choose among are: Agios Romanos, Agios Ioannis, Kionia, Kalivia, Gianaki, Pachia Amos and Lichanftia.

SIGHTS
Tinos offers some interesting sights, such as, the magnificent scenery, the nice villages, the beautiful dovecotes and the castle Exobourgos.


The biggest attraction of Tinos is, of course, the church Panagia Evangelistria, which is the major church in Greece. It is visited annually by thousands upon thousands of Greeks. The icon in the church is considered to have healing powers and it is said that it can perform real miracles. The majority of visitors go to the church via the super commercial street Evangelistras where there is sold religious knick-knacks in all its forms: mainly wax candles, but also copies of icons, crosses and holy water. It is also sold usual souvenirs such as donkey cuddly toys and weathervanes. The wax candles dominate and they come in all sizes, from a few inches up to two meters long. The real fans crawl all the way to the church. Right up to the icon! It is just the crawling that makes Panagia Evangelistria to such a strange attraction. The power of the icon is considered to be larger if you sincerely make an effort to get to the church. And I find it hard to imagine a more strenuous way than to crawl up the long hill and then up the stairs

ACCOMMODATION
There is no problem to find a place to stay on Tinos unless you come in August when every square meter is booked. If you go there in August, and especially around the 15th, when many Greeks go to Tinos because of the church, you must make a reservation ahead. People with rooms for rent usually meet up all the ferries and if you do not have made a reservation ahead, it is a good idea to follow one of them.

We have stayed at Altana once and that's one of the best places we know in Greece. The owners are very friendly. Book Altana Hotel here »

Book other hotel, studios and apartments in Tinos here »

Panagia Evangelistria.

Panagia Evangelistria.


MORE ABOUT TINOS
Geographical location »
Map of Tinos »
Ferry timetable »

OTHER LINKS
Andros - nearest island »
Weather in Greece »
Tinos.se »

PICTURESFROMGREECE.COM
Photos from Tinos »
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