While many travelers to Greece head to Mykonos and Santorini, there should be another Cycladic island worth a trip. The island of Tinos is on the less beaten path when it comes to Greek islands, despite being just a short ferry ride away from Mykonos.
Traveling to Tinos is like traveling back in time. It’s an island known for its devout religion, tiny villages, pigeon houses, and unique cuisine. There are plenty of things to do in Tinos from relaxing on the beach to hiking among ancient landscapes.
We’ve now traveled to over 20 Greek islands, and can confidently say that Tinos ranks in the top 5. Here are some of the best Tinos attractions to visit.
Best Things to do in Tinos (Greece)
1. Tour Tinos Town
Tinos is an island in Greece but there’s also a town on that island by the same name. This is where you should start your tour if you want to learn as much as possible about the island, its people, its culture, and its history before setting out to explore it. Strolling the streets is one of the best things to do in Tinos.
Tinos, or Hora as it’s also known, is the first place you’ll see upon your arrival to Tinos. Once off the ferry, take a right at the docks and walk along the shore to reach the town’s center. Along the waterfront, there are many restaurants, cafes, and museums are scattered around the area. Also walk a few blocks away from the waterfront to explore smaller shops.
As you explore this pretty little town, make sure to check out the Church of Panagia Evangelistria, admire the stunning scenery, or find a place to sit and watch life go on in this bustling little place.
2. Go Shopping in Tinos
Tinos may be small but that doesn’t mean there isn’t some great shopping around the island. In Tinos Town, you’ll find some great shops along the main street Magaloharis. Enosis is a favorite stop on this street and this shop has many items, including olive oil and tsipouro liqueur.
Evangelistria Street is a pedestrian shopping area with many shops and vendors selling candles, jewelry, souvenirs, embroidered items, and trinkets. At Marko’s Fish Market and Farmers’ Market, there’s more than fish on offer and you’ll also get to meet Marko the pelican on his daily rounds.
3. Check out the Museum of Marble Crafts
- Address: Panormos 842 01 (GPS)
- Hours: Monday -Sunday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
- Cost of Admission: Standard entrance fee: € 4.00, Concessionary ticket: € 2.00.
The Museum of Marble Crafts is located in the village of Pyrgos and this is where you’ll learn all about the marble that was used to construct many of the buildings in the area. Inside this fascinating museum, there are exhibits showcasing marble sculptures, historic equipment and tools, archived materials, photos and sketches of renowned carvings.
Outside the museum is another exhibit showcasing old equipment such as a trolley, crane, and wagon truck. You can also watch an audiovisual presentation of the entire marble-carving process.
4. Admire Beautiful Pyrgos
Pyrgos is situated about 15 miles away from Tinos and is one of the biggest and most scenic villages on the island. The village’s claim to fame is the amount of marble that makes up many of the structures in the town. You’ll see it on homes, fountains, churches, in cemeteries, the bus stop, and adorning much of the main square.
In fact, marble is so much a part of life here that the local Sculpture School is well-known around the world. As you explore this lovely village, be sure to check the two churches that dominate it, Aghios Nikolaos and Aghios Dimitrios.
5. Admire Fine Art at the Tinos Tinian Artists Museum
- Address: 1, Evangelistrias Street Complex of Evangelistria Church, Tinos (GPS)
- Hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 11:00 – 5:00 pm
The Tinos Artists Museum isn’t hard to find since it’s located right next to the iconic Panagia Evangelistria. Inside this art museum, you’ll see over 100 artworks by some of the island’s best artists. Admire beautiful paintings by renowned artists such as Nikephoros, Periklis Lytras, and N. Gyzis and sculptures by L. Sochos, Lazaros and Markos Fytalis.
On site, you’ll also find a library showcasing rare books and if hunger strikes during your visit, the museum has two cafes and a snack bar.
6. Head to Kardiani
Kardiani is another beautiful village on Tinos Island, and it’s situated on the side of a mountain about 15km away from Tinos Town. It’s known for its dramatic landscape and incredible scenery that makes it one of the most scenic villages on the island. You’ll need to climb some stairs to get the most out of your visit but the views at the top are amazing!
Take the trail to the bottom of the cliffs to find a beach. As you explore the village, you’ll also find two beautiful churches, incredible marble architecture, the Multi Cultural Center and Folklore Museum and a beautiful stream that runs through the area.
Just under 4km away from Kardiani, you’ll find the small village of Isternia which is also worth visiting. Here, you’ll find more amazing views and marble structures but many people go to Isternia to enjoy the incredible sunsets.
7. Dine at Mikro Karavi
There are many fantastic restaurants on Tinos and if you’re seeking a relaxing environment with delicious traditional Greek cuisine and an extensive wine list featuring local and regional wines, Mikro Karavi is a great choice.
On the menu, you’ll find many dishes made with fresh, local produce and over 60 wines. This restaurant also hosts wine pairings and Olive Oil tastings.
8. Lounge on the Beach
Whether you want to take a dip in the Aegean Sea or just lie in the sun with the sound of the sea lulling you into a state of ultimate relaxation, there are many stunning beaches on the island of Tinos.
If you prefer a beach with modern amenities such as chairs and umbrellas, you can head to Kolimbithra, Agios Sostis, Kalivia, Agios Fokas, Kionia, Paralia Agios Romanos, and Agios Markos. Some beaches, including Agios Thalassa, Santa Margarita and Livado are remote and only accessible on foot.
If you’re seeking calm water to swim, it’s best to head to the south coast of the island as the winds are strong to the north.
One of our favorite beaches on Tinos would have to be Paralia Agios Romanos. It’s well protected from the wind (so head here on a windy day), has a beach bar, and plenty of space in the sand to relax.
9. Go Sailing
- Address: Tinos Sea Tour- Trion Ierarchon 30, Tinos (GPS)
- Hours: Contact hours: 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
- Cost of Admission: For ticket tours information, click here.
No trip to an island paradise is complete without taking at least one sailing excursion and with Tinos Sea Tours, you can choose from a variety of seafaring adventures.
Join a seasoned crew on a journey around Tinos and some of the nearby islands onboard the Nissos Tinos. Available tours include the Delos, Rhenia and Sunset Tour, the Tinos Southern Sea Tour and the Tinos Northern Sea Tour and Caves.
10. Visit Kechrovouni Monastery
- Address: Epar.Od. Triantarou-Falatadou, Tinos (GPS)
The 11th-century Kechrovouni Monastery is mostly known for being the site where a Sister Pelagia witnessed a vision of the Virgin Mary.
Today, the monastery is one of the biggest and most beautiful in the country. Inside, you’ll find Sister Palagia’s cell, seven churches, murals and a collection of religious artifacts such as holy books, chalices, candles and embroidered items.
The silver-plated icon of the Virgin Mary is one of the most fascinating things to see here. If you’re looking for some handcrafted souvenirs to take home, you can purchase some beautiful items made by the resident nuns.
Be aware that if you plan to visit this Monastery, there is a dress code that requires visitors to be modestly dressed.
11. Explore the Town of Volax
Only 10 km from Downtown Tinos is the small, picturesque village of Volax. The surrounding hills aren’t the only things that make up the incredible landscape of this area; a large number of circular granite rocks of various sizes are scattered about and no one really knows where they came from!
One theory points to a long-ago meteor shower but it’s now widely thought that they came from a volcanic eruption that took place millennia ago. Among the things to see in Volax are historic churches, an outdoor theater that hosts concerts during the summer months and a Folklore Museum displaying artifacts from the 1800s.
Make sure to check out the area’s workshops where you can see traditional baskets being weaved.
12. Visit Panagia Evangelistria
- Address: Leof. Megalocharis, Tinos (GPS)
- Hours: Monday- Sunday: 7:30am- 8:00 pm
Situated in Tinos town, the Hora and Panagia Evengelistria is an important Marian shrine. Construction of this church began in 1823 immediately after the discovery of an extraordinary icon of Mary that was thought to be a heavenly omen for victory against the Turkish occupation.
Today, many people believe that this icon can perform miracles. The church itself was built using large amounts of marble and inside, you’ll find a gallery featuring over 100 works of art by artists from around the world.
At any given time you may see pilgrims crawling on their knees from the port to the church to show their devotion.
13. Go Surfing
In recent years, Tinos has become a top surfing location on the regional surf scene and that’s thanks to the north-facing coves that get major wind and wave action to create ideal conditions.
Some of the best beaches for surfing include Megali Kolymbithra, Livada, Agios Romanos, and Kionia. Tinos Surf Lessons at Kolymbithra Beach offers surf lessons and rentals. Typically, surf lessons in Tinos start at around €55.
14. Hike the Chora-Ktikados-Kionia-Chora Trail
There are many incredible hiking trails on the island of Tinos but the Chora-Ktikados-Kionia-Chora Trail is a great one to do if you’re looking for something that isn’t too long but is long enough to get a real taste of the landscape and scenery of the area.
This circular hike travels along a scenic area to the quaint village of Ktikados. Along the way, you’ll see the Panagía Evangelístria, the Chapel of Agia Xeni, olive trees and panoramic views of Kionia Bay and Syros Island in the distance.
You’ll descend stairs and cross bridges before reaching the beautiful beach of Kionia. The trail is a combination of pavement, gravel and cobblestone and is just over five miles long.
15. Walk among the Pigeon Houses in Tarambados
When you first arrive to Tinos you’ll likely notice plenty of white small houses dotted along the island. No they are not houses for people, but rather houses for pigeons. There are currently more than 600 pigeon houses on Tinos Island which are estimated to have been built as early as 1200.
Pigeons offered meat and fertilizer to the residents of Tinos and they needed appropriate housing. Pigeon houses provided shelter and protected the birds. So the Venetians built more than one thousand around Tinos.
You only have to travel about four miles from Tinos Town to reach the fascinating village of Tarambados. And what makes this village so fascinating? Why it’s the dozens of pigeon houses you’ll find here!
These pigeon houses were constructed by local people and every one is a unique work of art. Pass through a medieval archway to access the village where you’ll also find the Cathedral of the Archangels.
Although Tarambados is a great place to see the pigeon houses up close, you’ll find them all over the island.
16. Visit the Ecclesiastical Museum
Situated in the village of Arnados, the Ecclesiastical Museum houses exhibits that showcase various religious artifacts. Historic books, holy vestments, liturgical vestments and ancient icons that were uncovered from various churches in the region are some of the items on display.
17. Climb Mount Exomvourgo
At 640 meters high, Mount Exomvourgo is one of the tallest mountains on the island and is another must-visit during any trip to Tinos. The ruins of a Venetian fortress are situated near the mountain but it’s the summit that offers up the best views.
There’s a trail that starts in the nearby village of Xinara and leads up to the top where you’ll enjoy 360-degree views featuring the distant islands of Mykonos, Naxos and Samos. A picturesque Catholic Monastery can also be seen on the mountain’s slopes.
18. See Beautiful Art at the Kostas Tsoklis
- Address: (GPS)
- Hours: Daily: 10:00 am-2:00 pm and 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Kostas Tsoklis Museum is situated in Kambos Village and predominately displays the contemporary works of renowned artist Kostas Tsoklis however, the works of other affiliated artists are also on display. Outside in the courtyard, there’s a beautiful sculpture of Saint George slaying the dragon.
In summer, many events take place at the museum including lectures, screenings and theatrical performances. Admission is €3.
19. Explore Tinos Chalepas Museum
- Address: Pyrgos 842 01 (GPS)
- Hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 11:00 am -5:00 pm, Closed: Monday
If you’ve never heard of the well-known Greek sculptor Giannoulis Chalepas, you can get familiar with his extraordinary works at the Tinos Chalepas Museum. Inside, you’ll see furnishings, marble statues and busts. The building that houses all of this was once the home of Chalepas so you’ll also see personal items and photos related to his life here.
Some of his clothing is still hanging on a hook and his bedroom and workshop are just as he left them. The courtyard features a statue of the artist and a replica of one of his most celebrated works. Admission is €3.
20. Head to the Village of Loutra
Loutra is one of the oldest villages on the island and it’s located about five miles away from Tinos. This is a great place to head to if you want to escape the crowds of Tinos Town and the main attractions are the 19th-century monastery that is now a Folklore museum and the Church of Saint Joseph.
21. Relax at Alohari on Rochari Beach
When you want to take a break from exploring Tinos, Alohari Bar on Rochari Beach near Panormos is a great place to kick back with some tiki cocktails while the sound of tropical vibes fills the air. Soak up some sun and quench your thirst with a Rochari Thyme Margarita or Rochari Spicy.
22. Hike the Sea to the Sky Trail
The Sea to the Sky Trail starts at various points including Agios Ioannis Porto, Dyo Choria, Arnados, Triantaros and Agios Sostis. This moderate trail heads uphill along the side of a mountain to a point where you’ll enjoy spectacular views.
Along the way, you’ll hike through Dyo Choria, Arnados, Berdemiaros and Triantaros where you’ll see the Holy Monastery of Faneromeni. Cross the remote Kounares region and through Agia Varvara and Smovolo where you’ll find a historic tower.
23. Explore the Archaeological Museum
- Address: Tinos 842 00, Greece (GPS)
- Hours: Wednesday – Monday: 8:30 am -3:30 pm
- Cost of Admission: Full: €3, Reduced: €2
You’ll find the Archaeological Museum on Megalocharis Avenue in Tinos, and this is where you can see artifacts that were uncovered from Archaeological sites around the island including the ancient temples of Demeter and Poseidon.
Some of the items on display in the exhibits include funerary vases that date back to the 10th century BC, pottery from the 6th century BC and sculptures from various periods. Ancient coins, tombstones and various other items from the Mycenaean and Roman periods are also on display. Admission is €3.
24. Hike the Hidden Valley Trail
Whether you start this trail in Potamia or Lychnaftia, you’ll see more incredible views along this scenic trail. Pass through Tartari and over a stone bridge before reaching a remote landscape with incredible views of nearby Mykonos. See a historic watermill, little chapels and lush countryside and cross the beach at Lichnaftia.
25. Visit Panormos
Situated about 19 miles from the main center of Tinos, the port town and fishing village of Panormos is home to many pubs and restaurants. It’s one of the best places on the island to enjoy a meal of fresh seafood.
The village is also known for its namesake beach Panormos Beach. This sandy stretch features great views of the area and is a popular spot for windsurfing.
26. Visit a Winery
Greece is well known for their wines, and especially the Tinoan wines. The unique climate and landscape here reflect in vines and it’s well worth visiting a winery or at least picking up a bottle of Tinoan wine from the grocery store. Vaptistis Winery offers tours and wine tastings every day. It’s best to make reservations or call ahead before visiting.
27. Kolimvithra Beach
If you can only visit one beach on Tinos, head to Kolimvithra Beach. This beach on the north part of the island has a lot of open sand, crystal clear water, and an overall nice vibe. It’s great for a relaxing swim, or if you are a strong swimmer and it’s a calm day you can even swim to Paralia Agapiani nearby.
Be forewarned, if it’s a windy day in Greece Kolimvithra Beach is not the ideal place to be, instead head to Paralia Agios Romanos.
28. Kolimvithra Beach Bar
Right on Kolimvithra Beach, there is a cool beach bar in a retro school bus. This bar area has a nice bohemian vibe that will make you feel as though you’ve been transported to Bali. It’s rare we find this kind of laid-back beach bars on Greek beaches so make sure to enjoy it.
The Kolimvithra Beach Bar has plenty of places to relax and chill with shade, there’s also a cool surfboard shower and toilets!
What to Eat on Tinos
Tinos is a self-sufficient island in Greece and doesn’t have to rely on imports of many food items. There is plenty of locally grown produce and delicious dishes that are unique to Tinos. We recommend you try:
- Tinos graviera (yellow cheese)
- Artichokes of Tinos (trust us on this one)
- Thyme Honey: Greek honey is always delicious, but it hits differently on Tinos.
- Tinos Capers
- Fourtalia (traditional omelette)
- Sausages and louza (Tinian prosciutto)
- Rabbit stew
Where to Stay on Tinos
We splurged for our few days in Tinos (since it was my birthday!) and stayed at Tinostra Casa near Paralia Agios Romanos and absolutely loved it! The location was ideal, and truly had one of the most stunning sunset views on the entire island.
Beds were comfortable, full kitchen, and a fantastic living area with free wine! The hosts went above and beyond and we cannot recommend staying here enough.
How to Get Around Tinos
The best way to get around Tinos is by car. The island is quite large, and if you want to get to all these Tinos attractions, it is best to have a car. We typically rent a car on every Greek island we visit or rent one in Athens and drive it around while we tour Greece.
Experience driving in Greece is helpful, as I can almost guarantee the mountain roads are nothing like driving back where you are from. Roads are winding and often dilapidated. You can see our tips for renting a car in Greece here.
When is the Best Time to Visit Tinos?
The best time to visit Tinos and the Greek Islands, in general, is in May and September when the weather is sunny and mild, but summer tourism is not as present. June, July, and August are the busiest months on the Cyclades, and you will find higher prices and more crowds.
But don’t worry, Tinos is somewhat of an undiscovered gem, and you won’t find the crowds of Mykonos and Santorini here. We visited Tinos in mid-September and found the beaches almost empty, with some restaurants closing up shop in October. My favorite time to visit Greece is always September because of this.
How to Get Around the Greek Islands
There is no airport on the island of Tinos. The closest one is located in Mykonos. You can fly into Mykonos International Airport and connect via a 30 minute ferry to Tinos. Alternatively, Tinos is well connected to other islands in the Cyclades including Naxos, Paros, and Syros. We recommend checking schedules on Ferry Hopper.
Plan For Your Trip
- Protect Your Trip: We don’t travel without travel insurance, nor should you. You never know what can happen while traveling, so it’s best to be prepared. HeyMondo provides excellent short-term and long-term travel insurance plans.
- Find Cheap Flights: Sign up for Scotts Cheap Flights to get notified when prices get ultra low.
- Travel Adapter: Make sure you find a good adapter to keep your personal electronics charged. Otherwise, you may be paying for a cheap one once you land. Purchase one here.
- Travel Backpack: We like the Nomatic Travel Backpack for our travels. Check the price here.
- Our Favorite Travel Shoes: Our answer to this question is always ALLBIRDS! Check them out on their site!
- Get a Travel Credit Card: We travel worldwide for free because we have leveraged our spending into points. See why you should get a travel credit card and how you can do the same with our favorite travel credit cards.
READ MORE GREECE TRAVEL TIPS
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