The Best Kept Secret of the Cyclades
Naxos, Mykonos and Santorini - A few of the most famous islands of the Cyclades. More unknown, but no less charming, is Tinos with its 50 small villages.
23 March 2023
Barely 9,000 inhabitants live on the approximately 196 square kilometer island in the southern Aegean Sea. It is often overlooked by travelers to Greece. It is too overshadowed by glamorous Mykonos or the equally famous Santorin. Tinos is still an insider tip for the Cyclades, although in Greek mythology it is the birthplace of the wind god Aiolos. And it also plays a role in the Christian religion - as a place of pilgrimage to Mary. What else the island scores with:
Pangia Evangelistria © Shutterstock
On the island you can meet mostly Greek travelers. They often come to visit the sanctuary of Pangia Evangelistria. Conversely, this means that the taverns serve excellent cuisine that is not altered to the taste of tourists. For lovers of genuine Greek hospitality, Tinos is definitely the insider tip for the Cyclades par excellence. You should try, for example, the Botilia in Chora.
Kolympithra Beach @ Shutterstock
During the summer months, the Greek islands are a popular vacation destination. The Cyclades are no exception. And yet it is quieter on Tinos than elsewhere. Here, even in high summer, you will find numerous secluded bays where you can spend undisturbed hours. The most beautiful beaches are located in the north of the island. They include, for example, the beach of Agio Ioannis Porto and the beach of Kolympthra.
Varied hiking routes
Hiking on Tinos © Shutterstock
Tinos is covered with hills on its entire surface. This makes the island an ideal destination for hiking and mountain biking enthusiasts. The hiking trails are well marked with red and white metal panels. They are scenically very varied. You hike along the coast, cross asphalt roads, small villages and the bizarre rock formations around Volax. Tip: hiking route 5 from Falatados to Agapi is particularly worth seeing.
Persiteriona © Shutterstock
Tinos delights with typical Greek architecture. Here, too, you will find cobblestone, narrow streets with white houses, bright pink bougainvilleas and blue shutters. A special feature for Tinos, however, are the many pigeon palaces (peristerionas). About 1,000 of these mostly two-story and ornate turrets are scattered around the island.
Pnoēs © Design Hotels
Underneath, people used to store supplies, while pigeons lived upstairs - back then the only means of communication between the villages. Also an architectural feature is the Pnoēs Design Hotel with its minimalist white cubes.
Alley on Tinos © Shutterstock
Tinos is also a tip for those who are interested in handicrafts. For the second largest village on the island, Pyrgos, has devoted itself entirely to marble. Here many of the houses are decorated with marble. You can learn more about the beautiful and valuable stone in the Museum of Marble Crafts.