In case it happens to pop over to Tinos just for one day, here’s the best way to make the most of the island and spend your hours with value. You will surely want to return for the whole experience!
Tinos is a rather big island, in order to get the most of it you will definitely need to hire a car.
Begin your expedition by visiting the most famous religious attraction in the island, the legendary Church of the Virgin Mary. Located in the town of Tinos, the complex is built in honour of a miraculous icon, which, according to tradition was found after the Virgin appeared to the nun St. Pelagia and revealed to her the place where the icon was buried. The icon is widely believed to be the source of numerous miracles.
Continue your journey to Pyrgos village, an inland settlement 29 km northwest of Tinos town. Surrounded by lush vegetation and featuring traditional Cycladic architecture with whitewashed narrow alleys, churches and cubic houses with flowery gardens, offers a dramatic scenery to stroll around and enjoy the tranquility and the beauty of one of the most charming villages in Cyclades. Pyrgos is also the centre of the marble arts in Tinos. The marble work on churches, houses and the two museums of marble art make obvious that sculpture enjoys long tradition here. It is worth mentioning that here is the birthplace of many famous Greek sculptors including Ioannis Halepas whose house is open to the public. The scenic village square is an ideal place to unwind and savor traditional Greek sweets in the shade of the large plane tree.
For your sea dip in exquisite beach scenery, you can swim in Rohari beach, an organized sandy beach with shady Tamarix trees, situated very close to Pyrgos village.
After your refreshing break, it’s time to refill your energy and stomach! Head to Panormos, a picturesque small port village just 1 km far from Pyrgos and choose a fish tavern to savor fresh fish and local specialties.
On your drive back to Chora, do not miss to make a stop in Kardiani, a magnificent village featuring traditional architecture, natural springs and a breathtaking view overlooking the countryside spreading down to the sea, Syros and other neighboring islands. Before reaching Chora, make a stop at Xomburgo: a huge, steep granite rock with a medieval ambience, offering magnificent panoramic views to the Aegean Sea. Here, used to be the ancient capital of Tinos and ruins of the past era are still visible.
It is late in the afternoon and about time to find a place to cherish the magnificent sunset. In the eastern end of the old port of Tinos, you will notice a rock creating a cape (‘akrotiri’ in greek), that’s called Passakrotiri. It offers great view over the town and it is the ideal place to watch the sun sinking into the sea!
For your night out in Chora, you can either have a drink at a lounge bar in the old port promenade or enjoy a delicious meal or sweets at a tavern by the sea or in the nearby picturesque paved lanes.
photo credits: Panagiotis Klappas, X. Laskaris