Visit Tinos, the most graceful island in Greece
Tinos is a beautiful Greek island located in the Aegean Sea, close to Andros, Delos and Mykonos. This Cycladic island attracts people from all over the world all year round, but especially on March 25 and Dekapendavgousto (August 15) as many come to visit the Church of Panagia Megalochari (the Blessed Virgin Mary).
The Church of Panagia Megalochari, is not only the patron saint of Tinos, but is also considered the patron saint of Greece. It was built in 1823 on the site where the miraculous icon of the Virgin was found, on a hill above Chora, the capital of Tinos. Many people crawl on their knees from the bottom of the street (from the port) to the church.
I was blessed when I visited Tinos in 2017, as it was July 23, the birthday of Saint Pelagia, another special day for the island of Tinos. In June 1822, Pelagia (a nun from the Kechrovounion convent) had visions of the Blessed Virgin who told her how much she had suffered after being buried underground for many years. Panagia also asked him to inform the elders of the village of Tinos to start digging up a piece of land, where they would find a sacred icon. Excavations have started and an icon representing the prayer of the Virgin Mary has been found, and can be found today inside the church of Panagia Megalochari.
Visiting Tinos is special in many ways, and no matter if you are looking for a spiritual journey, a gastronomic getaway, or just to discover a Greek island full of grace, this is the place for you!
There are a lot of places to stay in Tinos, and I highly recommend where I stayed –
These studios are 5 minutes walk from the center of Tinos town, 9 minutes walk from the beach, 10 minutes walk from all restaurants, cafes, shops and taverns and a short walk from the bakery or supermarket . The property is surrounded by a lush, well-kept garden with plants and flowers. All apartments are equipped with Wi-Fi, air conditioning, a dining area, a fully equipped kitchenette with mini-fridge, kitchenware (and cupboards stocked with food) and open to a private furnished patio or balcony with garden view. It is also located near a bus stop, just 1 minute walk, to the beaches or to visit the monastery. The host, Marika, also gives a lot of information about Tinos – what to see, where to visit, how to get there etc which has personally improved my stay on the island. What I liked most about these places was that during my stay Marika gave me every day fresh figs from her garden (the best figs I have ever tasted) and for breakfast, she also offered me eggs laid by her hens.
Poseidonio is located on the main road, facing the sea, in the center of town. It is only a short walk from the lively Evagelistria street with all the restaurants, shops and cafes and very close to the Church of Evangelismos Theotokou. The hotel offers rooms with views of the Aegean Sea or the picturesque old town. All rooms have air conditioning, safe, wifi, minibar and bathroom with hairdryer. A shared terrace is also located on each floor and some rooms also open out to a private balcony. In the building, general facilities such as a lounge, cafe-bar and TV room can also be found, with a continental buffet breakfast served in the cafe-bar.
There are so many great restaurants along the main road in Tinos town, here are a few of my favorites –
Koutouki Tis Elenis
Near the port of Tinos you will find this traditional postcard perfect tavern with hydrangeas and other flowers decorating the narrow alley it is in, a friendly atmosphere and super delicious local cuisine to taste. Objects like garlands of peppers and spices, wooden spoons and copper pots hang from the ceiling and musical instruments and fishing boat lights also decorate the room to create a nostalgic atmosphere. Eleni’s has served customers with a smile for 20 years, summer and winter. Their restaurant is reasonably priced, well worth trying to taste their stuffed cabbage leaves, artichoke pies, thyme lamb and fennel fritters just to name a few good items on the menu you won’t. will not be disappointed.
Platanos Tavern (Douar)
This traditional, family-run tavern is located in a small alley in the village of Steni, behind a huge plane tree. Known for specializing in meat, menu recommendations include perfectly cooked grilled steak, grilled pork, veal liver, lamb chops as well as salads, cheeses and vegetables all locally grown. It wouldn’t be authentic without it also being accompanied by the best homemade wine. With excellent and very friendly service, you should not miss eating here.
This little gem is on a small winding street in the town of Tinos. Lovingly run by a family, you can enjoy fresh Aegean fish, shrimp spaghetti, mussels, lobster pasta, homemade tyrokafteri, homemade Tinos sausages and much more! Most importantly, the staff and the environment make you feel right at home, so you’d better add this family-style home goodness to your list of places to eat.
For dessert this place is in one of the most central locations, located in the middle of Tinos town, Mesklies is the place to go for sweets! They have lots of delicious homemade pastries and a variety of candies, but they are famous for their loukomades (or donuts). I would recommend eating the loukomades with merenta while enjoying the view of the harbor. They also go very well with a smoothie or a Greek coffee.
Tinian food tends to be fresh and creative, using local produce. Beer lovers should look for Nissos de Tinos’ own craft beer. Tinos also has quite a few wineries to visit, with T-Oinis wines in the lead as one of the best local wineries, which you can try in most of the local taverns. Also try the local sweets Xerotigana, which are simple squares of dough made with flour, raki, water, salt, oil, fried in olive oil and drizzled with honey and chopped almonds, which are like Diples. Karydota are little candies made from nuts, flour, sugar, rose water and mastiha, and Seskoulopitakia are small pies made with chard, rice, nuts, raisins, cinnamon, cloves, grape syrup and fall somewhere between the sweet and savory category.
Agios Ioannis Porto beach is located 7 km southeast of Tinos town. Known for its beautiful natural features like the crystal clear waters which also contain a sparkling particle, the soft sand and the lush green area, make this beach one of Tinos’ favorites. Not far from the beach there are also beach bars and tavernas. The picturesque chapel that stands on the left side of the beach is one of the attractions of Agios Ioannis. To get there as well, you can take a bus from Tinos town center.
Agios Markos beach is located 3 km northwest of Tinos town. The beach consists of fine golden sand and crystal clear water, a favorite spot for tourists and locals. The great thing about this beach is that it is protected from the strong winds that Tinos is famous for. Along the beach you will also find plenty of deckchairs and umbrellas, or you can use the trees for shade. To get there you can take a bus from Tinos town center.
How to get to Tinos:
-Ferry from the port of Piraeus to Tinos, which takes place once a day, and lasts 5 hours
-Ferry from the port of Rafina to Tinos, which takes place several times a day, and lasts 3 hours
-Flight to Mykonos airport, then a ferry from Mykonos port to Tinos, which runs daily and only takes an hour.