the religious center of the Cyclades group



Tinos is known as the religious center of the Cyclades group, like Patmos is for the Dodecanese. What attracts pilgrims is the church of Panagia Evangelistria which houses an old icon of Virgin Mary, source of miracles and healing.

Apart from the religious value, Tinos is a nice place for quiet holidays, with preserved Cycladic-style villages, sandy beaches and gorgeous food.

Hotels in Tinos

General information about Tinos

Marble alley near the center

Tinos is one of the two northernmost Cyclades (together with Andros) and as a such it is often exposed to strong winds. Its wild north coast is known as a place for kite surfing.

Tinos is predominantly mountainous and most of the villages are built on slopes, with steep alleys and gorgeous sea views. Distances take more time to travel than you expect because of the high denivelation. At first sight the island looks barren but it has springs with drinking water and you will notice big trees and greenery in some villages.

In many places you can see the peculiar Tinian dovecotes - these are small houses with geometric ornaments and holes for the pigeons to come in but you will not meet pigeons in the villages.

On August 15 each year Tinos gets pretty busy because thousands of pilgrims come to join the celebration of Virgin Mary and touch the miraculous icon. According to the tradition some of them pass all the way from the sea to the icon on their knees, on carpeted part of the street.

Where to stay in Tinos?

Berdemiaros village with a windmill house

Tinos Chora, the capital of the island, is located on the south coast and close to many of the beaches. It is the best place to stay if you do not have a car.

Small resorts have developed around some beaches. Such are Agios Sostis, Agios Ioannis, Kionia, Ormos Panormou and Agios Romanos, with a choice of hotels, villas and some tavernas.

Tinos has an impressive number of inland villages and they offer accommodation, too. The largest of them are Panormos (Pyrgos), Falatados, Komi, Triantaros and Kardiani. Hotels are available also out of the villages, along the main road going to Tinos Chora, and a car is highly recommended.

Which are the best beaches of Tinos?

Beach with transparent blue water, trees and beach bar

The beaches of Tinos are concentrated on the south coast which is more protected from winds. Sandy beaches with shallow water prevail and most of them are accessible by car.

The most popular beaches are close to the capital - Agios Fokas, Laouti, Kionia and Agios Romanos. The beaches of Kalivia, Apigania and Agios Petros are the most picturesque but they have sand mixed with pebbles around the shore.

Beaches in the north are just a few, deep and often blown by winds. Kolymbithra is one of the most famous surfing destinations in the Cyclades and it is not suitable for common holidaymakers. The beaches close to Panormos - Stafida, Agia Thalassa and Rocharis - are a bit more sheltered.

What to do in Tinos?

The square in front of Agia Paraskevi church

Points of interest and best things to do in Tinos:

- Pyrgos, the artistic marble village of Tinos
- The old villages of Kardiani and Isternia, with majestic sea views from a height
- Tinos Chora and the Church of Panagia Evangelistria
- The Granite Rocks of Volax
- The less known villages of Dio Choria, Agapi and Arnados
- The wildest northwest part of Tinos, with Mali peninsula and the church of Agios Theodoros
- The rock-carved face of god Aeolos at Kavalourko beach

What to eat in Tinos?

Salad with artichoke

Artichoke plays a significant role in Tinos cuisine. It is cultivated on the island and you can taste it cooked in omelettes and stews or marinated in salads and appetizers. The Tinos omelette is special, too, because it has local sausage and vegetables.

While in Tinos, do not miss to try the local sweets amygdalota (with almond paste and various flavors) and psarakia (with walnuts, honey and cinnamon). The population of the island is involved in farming and production of dairy products, especially cheese from cow and goat milk. The most common types of cheese are Tyraki, Balaki, Kariki, Kopanisti and Tinos Graviera.

How to get to Tinos?

Yachts and hotels at the seafront

Tinos has no airport. The easiest and fastest way to reach Tinos from mainland is via ferry from Rafina port (a couple of ferries running every day) but there are regular connections from Piraeus as well.

Mykonos and Syros can be reached in 15 minutes from Tinos via speed boats or 30 minutes via conventional ferries. There are also ferry connections with Andros, Naxos and Paros.

Tinos photo galleryx