Often overlooked by foreign travellers, Tinos has much to offer to the adventurous eco-traveller. The Greeks see it mostly as a religious island for pilgrimage, made popular by Panagia Tinou (Virgin Mary of Tinos).
Yet Tinos is about unique Cycladic architecture, many picturesque towns with cobblestone streets that are now sparsely populated, secluded beaches, walking paths, famed pigeon hotels, windmills and eclectic nature. The island boasts spectacular natural landscapes to delight in and explore, including some protected regions such as the wetlands of Kolymbithra and the region of Tsiknias, which falls under the network Natura 2000.
This is the third largest island of the Cyclades, spread over 197 square kilometres and home to 8000 people. A mix of valleys and mountains surround its 64 different villages (some abandoned) and main town, which is more like an idyllic museum.
The main town, known as Hora, offers some magnificent houses with gardens, stunning churches and lovely cafes. The food all around is nothing short of delicious, while the patisseries are known for their almond-based sweets among others.
The road leads to the picturesque fishing village of Panormos, with its houses being amphitheatrically built on the slopes around the bay. In Panormos you will also find a cave with stalactites and stalagmites with iridescent phenomena caused by the very little light that enters in.
There is also an artistic side to the island, as many Greek sculptors and painters of the last two centuries have come from Tinos. These include Chalepas, Filippotis, Gyzis, Lytras and Sochos to name a few. Giannoulis Chalepas is considered the most important Greek sculptor in modern times, hailing from Pirgos, one of the most beautiful villages on the island. In this vein, the Museum of Artists of Tinos in Pirgos is worth a visit. A visit to Pirgos will definitely unveil the island's artistic ambiance, particularly through its marble sculptures and architecture (door frames, fountain, town square and more).
To learn more about the geography of Tinos and get some valuable information on its established hiking routes, visit our partners at TinosMap.gr by clicking on the link below: