Tinos is not one of the Greek islands that you hear a lot about. It has religious importance for the Greeks as the Church of Panagia Evangelistria in the main town is considered the protector of the entire country (attracting thousand of visitors each year) making travellers surpass the island believing that it is overrun by religous tourists. Its nightlife is not so exciting compared to its neighbouring island, Mykonos, and the winds are a bit too fierce. Tough, Tinos is one of the most beautiful Greek islands with fantastic beaches, mountain villages, delicious local products and its own special spirit.
To visit Tinos you will need a car or at least a motobike. The island is very big and there are a lot of interesting things to see throughout the whole island. There are buses around the island, but the schedules are not as frequent as you may believe. Still, if you choose to visit only the town of Tinos, called Chora there are a lot of cafes, shops, tavernas and bars so you can have a great time even if you miss out a lot of amazing spots.
Here are only a few places of the island that I visited (both few days ago and last summer). The list covers from where to eat, drink, or dance to museums, villages and beaches:
Pyrgos * This is a village of traditional architecture and is linked to marble carving. There are several small shops around and a central square with lots of lovely cafés serving fresh desserts and tasty coffee.
Volax * It’s a small village but it’s surrounded of big round stones giving the whole place of a surreal lunar atmosphere. Also, the locals are very friendly. Lyrics are written on the walls of several buildings, coming from world-famous Greek poets (such as Giorgos Seferis).
Kardiani * I love everything about this place, its vibes, the beaches, the buildings, the view. Also there is a traditional café there if you want to drink a coffee or eat something light.
Some other places that I visited are the villages of Kato Meria, Trianataros village, Ysternia and more.
Coffee, food & drinks
Aliazi Café & Wine Bar – I tried some delicious sandwiches and juices. Had a wide variety of wines, but I only went there for breakfast, so I can’t really tell about the wines. It’s located in Chora.
Polymerion Café – One of my favourite spots in Chora. Loved the view, the people, and the coffee.
Antilalos Coffeeshop & Bookstore * Great for a coffee stop, an early drink or if you want to buy books (new and secondhand ones). It’s located in Chora too.
Exomeria * I love everything about this place. It’s perfect for breakfast, lunch or a cocktail. It has an amazing view looking down to the sea. It’s located just below the Ysternia village.
Mikro Café * Brunrch on point with pancakes and nice coffee. Wide variety of choices for breakfast in general. It’s located in Chora.
Thalassaki * I didn’t manage to eat here because there was no available table, but this is one of the modern Greek restaurants almost everyone said we should visit. You may need to make a reservation beforehand to get a table. It’s located in Ysternia beach.
Koutouki tis Elenis * Traditional taverna very close to the port of Tinos.
Triantaraki * You will find this small traditional café in Triantaros village. It serves amazing food, desserts and coffee obviously.
Halaris Patisserie * If you pass outside one of the patisseries (located in Chora), I guarantee you will get inside and enjoy a dessert.
Noufara * If you are craving an ice-cream, this is your best choice.
Koursaros Bar * Very cool bar with clean drinks and nice music.
Argonautis * Well-made cocktails and surf decoration. Located in Chora.
Museum of Yiannoulis Chalepas * This is the home of Greece’s foremost sculptor, best known for the statue of a Sleeping Girl in Athens First Cemetery. The house has been transformed into a museum where you can see several pieces of his works along with everyday objects.
Museum of Tinian Artists * Right next door to the Museum of Yiannoulis Chalepas, you will find this museum, presenting mostly sculptures and reliefs created by Tinian artists, or sculptors who have been educated in the island.
Museum of Costas Tsoclis * Maybe one of the most famous Greek artists. This museum is a must-visit for an art lover.
Cultural Foundation of Tinos * A modern foundation presenting a wide variery of exhibitions. Last summer, I had the change to visit a very interesting exhibition organised by NEON.
Kionia * A long sandy beach, very close to Chora. It’s one of these beaches where you can go for the last swim of the day without losing time to get there.
Kolympithra * You need to visit both beaches. Megali (Big) Kolympithra has big waves and it’s a favorite spot for surfers. There is a surf school there and a funky cantina. Most people avoid this beach for swimming and choose Mikri (Small) Kolympithra which is more sheltered and has the usual umbrellas, tanning beds and a beach bar (as well as a restaurant and a hotel I think).
Kalivia * A small part of the beach is free, while the other one is organised. It is located before Ysternia on the way to Giannakis bay.
Other well-known beaches: Agios Ioannis Porto, Apigania, Agios Petros, Agios Sostis, Agios Fokas
Some more photos from Tinos island:
You can get to Tinos either from the port of Piraeus or the port of Rafina (Rafina is closer to the island, but you need to drive or use a bus to get there. If coming from the airport, there is a bus getting you to the port of Rafina). From the port, you can take a ferry. Depending on which port and which ferry you choose, the trip will last from 2 to 5 hours.
Vidalis Car Rental is all over Chora if you want to rent a car or motobike. In high season, it’s best to book as early as possible.
Until next time!