Tinos is the archetypal Cycladic island without the blight of too much tourism. A barren, mountainous mass with the typical dry terraces, rocky peaks, wide sandy beaches, azure waters and fertile valleys of the Cyclades. Aiolos, the ancient keeper of the winds, resided, they say, on the peak of mount Tsiknias. Tinos is still blown around by the summer meltemi after several thousand years. There is a divide between Chora (Town) of Tinos with its topping of the white church of the Panaghia (Holly Mary) and the mountainous country villages, with their traditional architecture and dovecotes perched high above wavy plateau and small lush valleys of well-developed agriculture and full of running streams.
There are innumerable bays and beaches to drive to – you will truly be spoiled for choice – and the small port of Panormos is developing the best seafood tavernas on the island. The village of Volax in the north is glued into a moonscape of giant boulders and still produces generations of basket-weavers, and is a perfect modern amphitheatre for its artistic events. The 800 pigeon-lofts (or dovecotes) are never identical. The artistry and good taste of the local artisans created these practical barns and decorative bird houses after Venetian feudal occupiers encouraged pigeon breeding.
Tinos is a typical Cycladic island which has not been affected by the onslaught of mass tourism. The inhabitants are warm and friendly. Whitewashed buildings gleaming in the mid-day sun, a mini-maze of back streets sloping gently down to the harbor and pretty beaches all around the island. There are over 50 traditional villages to visit and explore, with taverns, kafeneia (café) and old picturesque houses as well as newer decorated with elaborated marble pieces. For shopping, Tinos Port (Chora) has super- markets, bakeries, butcheries, gift shops, a post office, car rentals etc. Four banks with ATMs are also available. Water sports facilities, fishing, diving etc. are available. Restaurants, Pizza places and tavernas serving local cuisine and fish dishes can be found in most of the villages.
Tinos is an idyllic destination, a place to be from April to October.
In Spring time, the Island turns green. The weather is sweet. It is ideal time for trekking and visiting the villages. In Summer, the numerous beaches are mesmerizing. The temperature stays around 28 deg Celsious (90 deg F). September is really warm and nice, less windy than August.
Unspoiled sandy beaches, marble carvings, the architecture of arguably Greece’s most picturesque villages, polite, devout and hospitable islanders, a traditional and cultured atmosphere and some great food. Easy access to Athens by frequent ferries and hydrofoils.
May/June and September/October are perfect for wild flowers, beaches to yourself, and characterful tavernas open after long walks on windless days .
Tinos can be reached by boat either from Rafina Port, about 40 km from Athens Airport or from Piraeus. One can also fly to Mykonos and take a boat from there to Tinos (20 min distance).
Seeking a blessing from the miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary every August 15, the greatest pilgrimage in Greece and a spectacle for photographers with its carnival atmosphere.
Eight hundred Venetian dovecotes with lacy stucco piercings, and the same number of churches and country chapels.
The marble sculptors’ school.
Intense enough nightlife in the old part of town, shopping (for marble fanlights, honey, cheeses, art works from the School of Fine Arts at Pyrgos, baskets at Volax), as well as heavenly swimming, sunning, sailing and exploring. Take a picnic, your snorkeling gear, your sketch book and camera, and explore. Mykonos is just a short trip across the water if it all gets a bit too tasteful!