Tinos, Greek Islands

Slightly Fewer Tourists ..


8/24/20234 min read

I arrived for 2 nights in Tinos - after a short (half hour) ferry ride from Mykonos - back in the direction of mainland Greece. The ferry terminal on this island lands straight in the middle of the main town (Chora) - then it was a 5 minute ride out to my beautiful home for my time here - at Tinos Suites & Apartments - Tinos Hotels - Vacation Tinos (tinos-apartments.gr)

The main reason I chose this hotel was the fact that while still in peak season, there was very little available on the island and this place was literally half the price of everything else in town. I need not have worried about the fact it would require transport from the ferry terminal, as it only cost $12 EU in a taxi, then I discovered there was a bus stop close to the entrance of my stay, for subsequent trips 'to and fro'.

My hostess was lovely and well-practiced at using Google translate, so we had no trouble there - and with my room on the second level, my private balcony looked straight over the little cluster of beach clubs and whitewashed villas, to the crystal blue waters of the bay. Perfect.

The scenery on the island is similar to Mykonos of course, but with its own little twist - and a more remote feel. Far fewer tourists and much more space between villas. After a delicious lunch and a swim that lasted the rest of the afternoon, I decided to catch the bus into town to see the sunset from the harbour, and check out the town by night. In contrast to the tiny blue and white lanes in Old Town Mykonos, the restaurants and shops here are mostly on double-lane roads, although there were very few cars - as I think most people seem to take advantage of the $1.80 bus rides! The lanes that were off the road were all wide enough for tables and chairs, and were filled with groups of people enjoying the warm summer night and all the delicious Greek delicacies on offer. I found somewhere to get a Pita Gyros - and it did not disappoint! I wandered around the shops after dinner and found a few souvenirs to squeeze into my almost-at-the-weight-limit suitcase, then just hopped on the bus to get back - which was easy as it runs every hour, on the hour, until 11pm.

With just one full day to explore after that, I started Day #2 with breakfast by the beach, followed by a morning swim in the warm water, then headed back into town on the bus, as I was intrigued to check out an odd phenomenon I had heard about. It seems that every day of the year, several people a day make their way from the harbour, up a strip of carpet next to the footpath, ON THEIR HANDS AND KNEES - to the church at the top of the hill. It looks as crazy as it sounds and I managed to snap a couple of pics (below). One lady looks more organised than the other and must have packed lunch, as she was lugging a backpack!

During this 'pilgrimage', people are walking on their knees up to the Church of Panagia Evangelistria. ( Evangelistria Church in Tinos, Greece | Greeka ) This church is the most important pilgrimage site for Orthodox Greeks as well as Tinos’ emblematic monument. According to tradition, the church was built following the dream of a local nun from the Monastery of Kechrovouni in Tinos who later became a saint, Pelagia. The nun used to have frequent dreams of the Virgin Mary telling her to find her home and showing a particular place. When the nun dug in that place, in January 30th, 1823, she found an icon depicting Virgin Mary praying. So yep - a pretty special place for the Greeks, by all accounts, and I thought it would be worth a look. I've added some pics below showing the giant candles the size of broomsticks (you can buy them in the markets on the way up to the church), and of the long queue of people waiting for a piece of the action inside.

After another decent hike around a few of the hilly streets on the outskirts of town (including a walk up to the monument overlooking the sea, where I spotted the huge sports turf also pictured below) - then it was time to head back for another swim and a cruisy dinner at one of the other eateries by my villa.

Overall, I would definitely recommend a visit here if you're keen to get to a quieter town, with uncrowded beaches, and loads of delicious authentic eateries. I also thought the shopping here was some of the best I've seen so far. There's a great mix of souvenirs, beautiful bags, shoes and clothes, as well as art and lots of handmade furniture and homewares (apparently Tinos is very well known for being the birthplace of many Greek artists). It definitely felt very safe here for me as a solo traveler, and if you like hiking, you could walk for miles up hill and down dale, taking in the stunning scenery. The other great drawcard is that it is one of the closes islands to the mainland - at only 1hr 50mins from the port of Rafina.

As I loaded my bags into the taxi that collected me this morning to leave, my darling hostess threw her arms around me and gave me the best hug, to wish me on my way, (despite only knowing her for 2 days, and not being able to speak the same language together) - and her sister waved and blew me kisses from the balcony above the courtyard. These are my kind of people 💕

Tasty Tinos ...

Tinos Town ...