Let us introduce you to Tinos, a ruggedly beautiful place with a deeply religious aspect too; it is said that there are around 700 churches on this small island. A significant number of people come to make the pilgrimage to Our Lady of Tinos, hoping for a miracle.
But the miracle of this island isn’t just the icon of Virgin Mary which gave Tinos its high standing. It’s the wild beauty that awaits you to explore it, the beaches with their crystal clear waters.
However, Tinos’s best non-religious miracle derives undoubtedly from its villages. Pyrgos is said to be the prettiest, with whitewashed walls, picturesque doors, and the vibrant flowers of bougainvillea plants bursting in small explosions of color wherever you set your eyes.
Then there’s Volax, nestled into a hillside studded with, while in Aetofolia the must-do is sitting for a meal at the excellent restaurant of Kounaria.
But you can’t make do without visiting Isternia, the so-called “village of artists” known for its tradition in marble- carving, located 18 km away from Chora (the island’s Capital town). A walk through the village and a visit to the Museum of Isternian Artists will show you why this is the case.
North of the village you will come across an exceptional cluster of windmills, dating from the 19th century, as well as the church of St. Athanasius, one of the oldest on the island.
In all the villages, what you’ll certainly take notice of is the hospitality that comes with tasty treats: there is always sweet raki on offer as well as Tinian cheese and louza (smoked pork meat).
On this holy island of Cyclades, a typical sight which cannot be missed are the “Peristeriones”; dovecotes made of stone or slate, covered with lithographs in which pigeons and doves make their nests. What a great instagram story would that be, right?
A must-go sandy beach is definitely the Kolimvithra beach, provided the wind is not coming from the north. You will find an excellent canteen serving snacks while a limited number of umbrellas are free of charge, so you’ll need to be there a bit early.
Another highly recommended beach to visit in Tinos – recommended also in most visitors’ reviews – is Rochari beach, close to Panormos village. Its peaceful atmosphere along with the crystal waters and the relatively cheap price of amenities create a value-for-money proposition.
During the whole summer season and until the end of September, Tinos hosts a great festival with concerts, events in the streets, dance, cinema, photography, experimental art and workshops, featuring important creators from both Greece and the international scene.
The advantage of traveling to Tinos during the off-season is that you’ll have most of the island to yourself and most importantly: you will have the roads to yourself. The only way to explore the island is through driving and during the peak season it can be a rather taxing endeavor.
Cover Photo Credit: grassrootsgroundswell