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Are you looking for a place far away from every stress and the busy nightlife? If so Tinos is the perfect island for you. Here you will be able to admire the famous marble statues. The statues are part of the Greek and Cycladic culture and have been a traditional form of art for hundreds of years. Last but not least you can also visit the monastery of Panagia, a wonderful reminder of the religious importance of this island.
Tinos is connected to almost all the islands in the Cyclades and it is very close to Mykonos so it can be reached for a daily trip. The beaches on the island certainly aren’t as famous as those on Mykonos but they are just as nice thanks to the turquoise water, golden sandy beaches and warm sun. The best beaches on Tinos are located on the western side of the island and for this reason people often visit it while staying in Mykonos.
Why choose Tinos?
Tinos is clearly a better destination for families or couples looking for complete peace and quietness. Even if the island is quite small and not many people live on it you will be surprised to find more than you would expect. From the Chora you can admire the Panagia Evangelistria, the most visited and sacred orthodox temple in the whole of Greece. On the 15th of August the locals celebrate a religious ceremony very important for Tinos’ tradition: The ascension of St. Mary. During these celebrations the island is full of pilgrims especially on the road towards the temple.
In Tinos there is a strong wind blowing from time to time. The villages on the island are very nice and well kept, the houses are very colourful and give an extra touch to this lovely island!
Tinos’ coasts are covered in both sand and pebbles in different areas of the island. A useful thing to keep in mind when you visit this island is to check the weather forecast daily and try to avoid the warm wind that may spoil your daily trip. Here are the best beaches on Tinos:
Agios Sostis beach
Near the main port of the island you will find Agios Sostis. There are actually two smaller beaches that are connected and together form the main one. Here you will find beach umbrellas and chaise lounges that can be rented besides a very shallow seabed that is perfect for children and families. Another interesting fact is that from this beach you can see the island of Mykonos.
This beach has both sand and pebbles and it is located in the northern part of the port near the Chora. Even if you haven’t got a vehicle there are many busses that stop by the beach. There are a few taverns and some other services on the beach.
Two separate beaches form the beach known as Kolimbithra. The smaller one is fully organized and has a cosmopolitan flair, while the larger one is more quieterl. The view to the little island “Drakonisi” is splendid and there are also taverns on the small beach, where umbrellas, toilets, showers, beach volley and water sports are also available.
Livada is definitely the most impressive beach of Tinos. It has pebbles and crystal blue deep waters, surrounded by strange big rocks with numerous holes of various sizes. The road to the beach is not so good, and passenger cars may have a problem accessing it.
Near the village of Isternia there is the small bay (Ormos) of Isternia. Here, you will have the chance to choose between pebble or sandy beach besides having the chance to try one of the two excellent fish taverns that serve local food . During the evenings, the view across to Syros is accompanied by a lovely sunset. A long, winding, steeply paved road opposite the village of Isternia accesses the bay.
Pahia Ammos beach
Going from the southern part of the island to the eastern one you will find this small and beautiful beach that appears to be almost abandoned and can only be reached going through a narrow road. Unforunatley on this beach there aren’t any services or taverns for tourists.
Many tourists don’t visit this beach just to enjoy the beautiful sea but also to have some of the fresh fish that is served daily at the nearby taverns. Panormos beach is located in a bay from where the beach’s name comes from in the northern part of the island.
Even if the name may suggest so, this beach isn’t anywhere near the port, in fact it is located in the southernmost part of the island. Unfortunately sometimes the beach can be covered in water plants, if this happens no worries you can always spend the rest of the day in one of the small taverns or bars nearby.
Tinos is famous and well known for being one of the most important destinations for the Greek-othodox religion. Besides this the island offers all the other attractions that you can find in the rest of the islands. Beautiful landscapes, architecture and unique experiences are just some of the things you will find in Tynos.
Panagia Evangelistria sanctuary
Panagia Evangelistria is the biggest sanctuary dedicated to the Virgin Mary in the whole of Greece. Every year on the 15th of August the sanctuary becomes very crowded since a lot of people from Greece and other countries gather here for a pilgrimage. There is a museum where the sanctuary’s treasures are kept and can be admired.
Diving and snorkeling in Tinos
The seabed between Mykonos and Tynos is particularly interesting. If you like diving or snorkeling this is the ideal place for you as there are many diving centers that are well equipped and suited for both amateurs and professionals.
Boat trip, Mykonos and Delos
Visiting the island’s coast travelling through land is almost impossible, the best option is to take part in an organized boat trip. You can choose between taking a daily trip to the nearby island of Mykonos or visit the wonderful island of Delos. If you wish to visit other solitary parts of the island the boat will take to some of the semi-abandoned creeks that can’t be reached on foot. You can also rent a boat and decide your own routes and timing!
Renting a boat and exploring Tinos
If you want to reach the most isolated parts of the island and those creeks that can’t be visited on foot the best option is to rent a boat.
The museums on Tinos island
Tinos has a wide variety of museums that preserve and document the island’s traditions and myths. One of the most interesting ones is Chalepas museum, dedicated to the sculptor Giannoulis Chalepas, one of the most important modern greek artists. Or else there is the archeological museum of Tinos, where you will find some art pieces that date back to the classic era.
Nightlife in Tinos
Tinos certainly isn’t the island where you will find the best nightlife. If you are looking for a place full of discotheques and plenty of drinks you are better moving to the nearby island of Mykonos. In Tinos the nightlife is concentrated in the many small bars and taverns you will find in the Chora.
There aren’t any nightclubs or pubs unfortunately. You can think about planning a daily trip to the nearby islands if you are looking for a vibrant nightlife as anyway Mykonos is the gateway before getting to Tinos.
How to move around Tinos? Once you arrive on the island the bus is a good solution for going from one part of the island to another, especially if you are trying to reach the Chora, Pyrgos or other bigger inhabited centers. But for visiting the island’s beaches, the best option is to rent your own vehicle and enjoy the magnificent views that the island offers. The prices are pretty low.
Renting a car or scooter in Tinos
The best solution for exploring the whole island is certainly renting a car as it gives you the chance to reach all the hidden spots that you wouldn’t be able to reach otherwise. The car rental during high season is approximately 30 € per day. Almost all the car rentals are spread throughout the island’s biggest inhabited centers, but if you decide to choose a scooter make sure you get at least a 150 cc engine. This way you will be sure of being able to get wherever on the island, even if the road is very steep.
Moving around Tinos by bus
The longest bus route will cost slightly more than 4 € but will get you from one side of the island to the other, stopping through all the most important villages. Here are the timetables for the busses running in Tinos. During the summer the busses run frequently (but unfortunately don’t reach the island’s beaches).
Tinos isn’t part of the Greek islands that have an airport. So how can you reach Tinos? Only after taking a ferry from Athens port. The quickest way to reach Tinos is to either land in Mykonos or Athens and taking a ferry from there.
Reaching Tinos from Mykonos
There are more than 15 ferries that travel from Mykonos to Tinos on a daily basis. So first of all you will have to reach Mykonos as it has an international airport. Try and organize the transport from the port to the airport in advance as there aren’t many busses and taxis or private drivers can be quite rare, especially during high season.
Once you have reached the island’s port you will have to take a ferry for Tinos. The trip lasts less than half an hour. In Tinos there are two ports, 300 meters from each other, in one of them you will find some small ferries while in the other one you will find the bigger ships and motorboats. The trip will cost around 8 € and takes half an hour.
Reaching Tinos from Rafina (Athens)
After having landed in Athens’ airport you will have to reach the port of Rafina from where you will take a ferry for Tinos. In less than 4 hours you will be in Tinos. It is also true that the journey will take a little longer and the price of the ticket is slightly higher.
Once you reach Mykonos you will also have to add 20 euros for moving from the port to the airport. From Athens (port of Rafina) the journey lasts 3h and 50m and costs around 28,00 €.
Reaching Tinos from Athens (port of Piraeus)
Moving from Athens’ airport to the port of Piraeus doesn’t take very long. There are less ferries that run from this port compared to the previous one and the journey will take a lot longer and will also be more expensive. You will first have to take a taxi or the underground for the port of Piraeus where you will take a ferry for Tinos.
You can also consider renting a car from the airport and shipping it to Tinos. This is always the most expensive solution and the journey will last 5h and 10m for 34,00 €.
Most of the accommodations and hotels in Tinos are located in and nearby the Chora. In Tinos tourism is mainly religious and for this reason there are only a few hotels where a room can be rented at a modest price.
Where to stay in Tinos
If you want to stay for the night in an area near the Chora you can choose Voreades that with its balconies facing the port and its beautiful rooms and suites that make it one of the best places where to stay in Tinos. All the rooms have small kitchens and comfortable beds, an excellent choice if you are travelling with families.
If you are thinking about participating in the event that takes part on the 15th of August remember to book in wide advance. During this event thousands of pilgrims gather here and the island can be so crowded that you may not find any places where to spend the night.
Like on most Greek islands on Tinos you will also find many studios, apartments and villas to choose from when visiting this wonderful island.
Hotels in Tinos
In Tinos the hotels staff are used to people arriving late as they know the timetables that the local ferries arriving from Mykonos and Athens have. So besides offering wonderful hotels with beautiful views and all the comforts you may need the local people will also wait for you even during the night when your ferry will reach the island.