Tinos, a beautiful island in the Cyclades, Greece, offers visitors a unique blend of rich history, charming villages, and picturesque beaches.
Often overshadowed by its popular neighbouring island Mykonos, Tinos showcases a more authentic and laid-back side of Greece.
The island’s main attraction is the Panagia Evangelistria church, renowned for its miraculous icon, but Tinos has much more to offer, making it a perfect destination for travellers seeking a serene and engaging experience.
To reach Tinos, you can take a ferry from one of the ports in Athens or from nearby islands like Mykonos, Syros, Paros or Naxos.
The island boasts an array of attractions, from exploring the traditional villages of Pyrgos, Volax and Kardiani to lounging on its beautiful beaches such as Agios Romanos, Kolimpithra and Kionia.
If you’re a foodie, be sure to indulge in the island’s delicious local cuisine, featuring fresh seafood and locally produced ingredients.
Besides relaxing by the beach, Tinos offers various activities to fill your days. Hiking enthusiasts will find many trails around the island, suitable for all levels, while surfers can enjoy the excellent wind conditions at Kolimpithra and Santa Margarita beaches.
The blend of natural beauty, welcoming locals, and immersive cultural experiences make Tinos an ideal destination for those looking to explore an authentic side of Greece.
Getting to Tinos
Tinos is a picturesque Greek island located in the heart of the Aegean Sea. For travellers looking to visit this beautiful destination, there are two practical options to reach Tinos: air travel and ferry connections. In this section, we cover those options in more detail.
Although Tinos does not have its own airport, the nearby island of Mykonos does, and it serves as the closest air travel option for those visiting Tinos. Here is a quick overview of the air travel option:
- Fly to Mykonos Airport (JMK): You can book a direct flight from Athens or various international airports to Mykonos. The flight from Athens takes approximately 35 minutes.
- Take a ferry from Mykonos: After landing in Mykonos, you can take a ferry to Tinos, which departs from Mykonos’ port. The ferry trip takes about 20-30 minutes.
Ferry connections are the most popular and convenient way to get to Tinos directly from mainland Greece. The ferries depart from Piraeus, Athens’ main port. Here is some useful information about ferry connections to Tinos:
- Departure port: Piraeus, Athens
- Travel time: The quickest ferry route takes about 2 hours and 45 minutes, but travel times may vary depending on the ferry and operator.
- Frequency of departures: There are several daily ferry connections, allowing you to choose the most convenient time for your travel.
- Booking: You can book your ferry ticket online or at the ticket booths located at Piraeus port.
In conclusion, both air travel via Mykonos and ferry connections from Athens are feasible options for reaching Tinos Island. The choice depends on your personal preferences and convenience factors, such as the amount of time you want to spend in transit and the budget for your trip.
Accommodations in Tinos
Hotels and Resorts
Tinos offers a variety of hotels and resorts to cater to different budgets and preferences. Ranging from luxurious properties to mid-range accommodations, there’s an option for everyone.
Some popular hotels include 4-star hotels with modern facilities and amenities. These properties often provide free WiFi, breakfast, and parking to make your stay comfortable.
Villas and Apartments
For travellers seeking a more private and homely experience, Tinos has a selection of villas and apartments. These accommodations often come with fully equipped kitchens, spacious living areas, and bedrooms to cater to families or groups. They are available in popular locations such as Arnados, Panormos, and Kámbos. Villas and apartments provide a more independent and personalised stay with added flexibility.
Bed and Breakfast Options
If you’re looking for a cosy and intimate atmosphere, Tinos has numerous bed and breakfast establishments. These B&Bs offer a warm hospitality, a comfortable stay, and a hearty breakfast to start your day. With options ranging from traditional Greek homes to more modern facilities, you’re sure to find a charming B&B that suits your taste. Many B&Bs also provide free WiFi and other amenities to ensure a pleasant and convenient stay.
Sightseeing on the Island
Historical and Cultural Sites
Tinos is a Greek island in the Cyclades known for its rich history and cultural sites. One of the most important landmarks in Tinos is the Church of Panagia Evangelistria, a major pilgrimage site for Greek Orthodox believers. The Kechrovouni Monastery, an impressive complex of whitewashed buildings housing a community of nuns, is also worth a visit. Don’t forget to explore the archaeological site at Mount Exomvourgo, where you’ll find the ruins of an ancient Venetian fortress.
Beaches and Natural Landscapes
The island’s stunning beaches and natural landscapes offer plenty to explore for those who appreciate the great outdoors. Some of the best beaches in Tinos include:
- Agios Sostis: A family-friendly sandy beach with shallow waters.
- Kolymbithra: A picturesque bay with two beaches and crystal-clear waters.
- Livada: A pebble beach with unique rock formations and strong waves, ideal for experienced swimmers.
For those interested in hiking, Mount Exomvourgo or the rocky lunar-like landscape of Volax provide excellent opportunities to appreciate the island’s breathtaking views and scenery.
Villages Worth Visiting
Tinos boasts several charming villages worth exploring, each with its own charm and character. Some of the most noteworthy include:
- Pyrgos: Known for its marble craft and architecture, this village is also home to the Museum of Marble Crafts.
- Kardiani: Perched on a hillside overlooking the sea, Kardiani is a beautiful village with narrow alleys, traditional architecture, and lush greenery.
- Isternia: This picturesque village features stunning views of the Aegean Sea and is known for its skilled marble sculptors.
- Volax: A unique village surrounded by massive granite boulders, Volax offers a quirky atmosphere and scenic beauty for visitors to enjoy.
As you explore the island, you’ll surely appreciate the authentic Greek charm that Tinos offers, away from the hustle and bustle of more touristy destinations.
Food and Dining
Tinos is known for its delicious traditional Greek cuisine, which focuses on local and fresh ingredients. Some of the island’s specialty dishes include:
- Louza: A type of cured ham that is thinly sliced and served as an appetiser
- Fteliá: A flatbread filled with tomatoes, onions, and soft Tyrovolia cheese
- Marathópita: A pie made with fennel and various herbs, typically served as a side dish
Popular Restaurants and Cafes
There are many fantastic dining options located throughout Tinos. Below are a few well-regarded choices:
- Avli: Mediterranean and Greek cuisine in a cosy setting. Popular dishes include traditional Greek salads and the vegetarian moussaka. This restaurant comes highly recommended by travellers and locals alike.
- Athmar: A charming Greek bar and restaurant offering a variety of delicious dishes. The homemade cheese pie and signature Athmar salad are must-try items on their menu.
- Thalassaki: Located by the sea, this restaurant offers a variety of seafood dishes like fresh fish, grilled octopus, and shrimp pasta, as well as traditional Greek dishes in a picturesque setting.
Tinos Food Paths Festival
While visiting the island, be sure to check out the annual Tinos Food Paths Festival. This culinary event celebrates the island’s local products and traditional recipes, providing visitors with an opportunity to indulge in authentic Tinian cuisine. Prior bookings may be required for certain events, so be sure to plan ahead when visiting Tinos during the festival season.
Activities and Experiences
Tinos, a charming island in Greece, offers visitors a variety of activities and experiences to enjoy. From outdoor adventures to local events and festivals, the island has something for everyone. In this section, we will explore some of the best opportunities for fun and excitement on this beautiful Greek island.
Tinos boasts stunning landscapes and pristine beaches that cater to a range of outdoor adventures. Here are a few highlights:
- Beaches: With numerous beaches all around the island, visitors can relax and sunbathe on the sandy shores or participate in water sports. A few popular beaches include Panormos, Kardiani, and Isternia.
- Hiking: Explore the island’s dramatic landscapes by hiking through its numerous trails. One popular route is the ascent of Mount Exomvourgo, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding area.
- Volax Adventure: Visit the unique village of Volax, famous for its spherical boulders and traditional houses. The surrounding areas provide opportunities for rock climbing and bouldering, attracting adventure enthusiasts from around the world.
Local Events and Festivals
Tinos is home to many cultural events and religious celebrations throughout the year. These events provide visitors with an authentic insight into local life and traditions. Some notable festivals and events are:
- Panagia Evangelistria Feast (15th August): This religious event sees thousands of pilgrims arriving on the island to participate in a procession carrying the miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary. Many devotees even ascend the stairs to the church on their knees.
- Jazz on Tinos Festival: Held annually in late July, this festival celebrates jazz music with performances from local and international artists. The picturesque setting of Tinos island provides the perfect backdrop for enjoying soulful music.
- Tinos Food Paths: This week-long event, usually in May, celebrates the island’s culinary heritage. Visitors can attend cooking workshops, wine tastings, and other gastronomic events while discovering local Tinos cuisine.
These activities and experiences are just a sample of what Tinos has to offer, ensuring a memorable visit for travellers seeking both outdoor adventures and cultural immersion.
Currency and Payment Methods
The official currency in Tinos, Greece is the Euro (€). Major credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard, and American Express are widely accepted in most hotels, restaurants, and shops. However, it’s a good idea to keep some cash on hand for smaller establishments or purchases at local markets. ATMs are readily available in Tinos Town and other larger villages.
Tinos is considered a safe destination for tourists. Nonetheless, it’s essential to exercise standard safety precautions, such as:
- Keep your valuables secure and be cautious of pickpockets in crowded areas.
- Familiarise yourself with the local traffic rules, especially if renting a vehicle.
- Be aware of the sun and stay hydrated, as sunburns and heatstroke can be common during the summer months.
- If participating in water activities, always follow the guidelines set by local authorities and tour operators.
Language and Communication
The official language of Tinos is Greek. However, English is widely spoken across the island, particularly in tourist areas and larger establishments. Learning a few basic Greek phrases can be helpful and greatly appreciated by locals. Some useful phrases include:
- “Γεια σας” (Yia sas) – Hello
- “Ευχαριστώ” (Efharisto) – Thank you
- “Συγγνώμη” (Sygnomi) – Excuse me / Sorry
- “Πόσο κοστίζει;” (Poso kostizi?) – How much does this cost?
Using a translation app or carrying a small Greek-English dictionary can also be a helpful tool when visiting Tinos.
Frequently Asked Questions
What to do in Tinos?
Tinos offers a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy. Explore the impressive Church of Virgin Mary in Tinos town, also known as Panagia Evangelistria, which is one of the most important churches in Greece and the symbol of Tinos island. Take a stroll through Tinos Town and discover boutique shops, restaurants, and bars lining the narrow alleyways. Don’t miss visiting Antiolos, a unique coffee shop, bookstore, and art gallery all in one.
Is Tinos worth visiting?
Absolutely! Tinos is an ideal destination for nature lovers, architecture and art aficionados, as well as gastronomy enthusiasts. As one of the rising island destinations in the Cyclades, Tinos offers a culturally rich and authentic Greek experience that is not to be missed.
How to get to Tinos?
Tinos is part of the Cyclades group of islands, located in the Aegean Sea. The closest islands to Tinos are Mykonos, Andros, Syros, and Delos. Access to Tinos is mainly by ferry from nearby islands or the mainland, with Tinos Town being the main port of arrival.
Where to stay in Tinos?
Tinos offers a range of accommodation options, from hotels and guesthouses to apartments and traditional holiday homes. Consider staying in Tinos Town for easy access to transportation, restaurants, and shops, or opt for a quieter village location to immerse yourself in the island’s unique atmosphere.
Tinos is home to numerous beautiful beaches, each with its own distinctive charm. Some popular beaches include Kolimbithra, Agios Sostis, and Agios Fokas, where you can relax on the golden sand and enjoy the crystal-clear waters of the Aegean Sea.
Best village in Tinos?
Tinos has several picturesque villages worth visiting, each with its own unique character and charm. Some must-visit villages include Pyrgos, known for its marble sculptures and elaborate architecture, and Volax, famous for its unique landscape of rounded boulders. Explore these villages and more to discover the distinct beauty and heritage of Tinos.
Eleni Vasiliadis, a native of the picturesque island of Corfu and co-founder of Greek Island, is a seasoned traveller, accomplished writer, and passionate advocate for Greek culture and cuisine.