Some of the most beautiful and lively villages of Tinos, and few but special beaches and landscapes that have been included in the European programme ‘Natura 2000’ in order to protect their unique natural beauty. Ktikados and Chatzirados combine it all: they are close to the Town of Tinos, they have charming small tavernas with a view on the Aegean, and they bear the authentic atmosphere of the villages of the inner island. The catholic church of Holy Cross (Ktikados) is one of the old-est of the island.
In Tripotamos, one of the oldest vil-lages of the island, where philosopher Cornelius Kastoriades found inspiration and refuge, the scenery is merely medieval: arches, mazy alleys, coats of arms and at its edge the scenic Lilliputian Sperados. In Karia had their summer houses the rich families of Chora. The villas with pomegranate and eucalyptus gardens, as well as the exhibits at the folk-art muse-um give witness to the past glory. The small village of Mountados is inhabited for almost 1,000 years. Birthplace of important heroes and artists and one of the few villages of the island that used to have a secondary school.
Tzados is also a small village but with a marvellous view to the Town of Tinos and the Cyclades.
The amphitheatric built Triantaros has probably most of the best renovated houses of the island. With unre-stricted view to Agios Fokas beach, the dovecotes valley, and to the neighbouring Cyclades, and, at a small distance from Chora, Triantaros is the first choice of those who dream of a house on the island. The natural continuation is Berdemiaros.
Monastiri (10th century) is the convent where the nun Agia Pelagia (Saint Pelagia) saw a vision of Virgin Mary, pointing her the exact place of the miraculous icon. Some parts, such as the nun’s cell and the churches, are accessible to visitors.
The houses of the neighbouring medieval village of Dio Choria (Two Villages) have also a panoramic view on the Tinian land and the sea, as well as water springs at the cool square.
Mountainous Arnados but with the Aegean Sea at its feet, is known for its stone-paved alleys and the medieval arches. One of the strongest picture you could carry away with you is the panorama over the islands and the ships sailing away in the night, with the august moonlight reflecting on the Aegean waters.
Another traditional inner land’s village, with stone-paved roads and well-preserved houses, is Kechros – known in the past for his stratourades (saddle-makers).
Mesi is built on the Pentostrato (five streets), a crossroad between Pano and Kato Meri. At the local old monastery of St. Francis there is a folk-art museum.
Falatados, one of the biggest villages of the island, dates from 14th century. There are also a private folk-art museum, rooms for rent, tavernas, cafe and bars.
Steni is the second biggest village of the island, after Pyrgos. On the contrary to the rest of the villages, here live many young people and on its marble-paved alleys play small children all year long. You can find here a carpet-weaving school, a folk-art museum, room for rent, tavernas, cafe, bars and groceries.
Nice Mirsini and Livada’s cape is the only part of Tinos that was included in Natura 2000, the European ecological sites’ network, whose protection is con¬sidered vital. One needs to start from Mirsini or Mousoulou, as it used to be called, you may reach the beach of Livada or climb the highest peek of the island, Tsiknias. But be careful, as it was not without a reason the ancient Greeks imagined Aeolus, god of winds, lived right here!
Potamia is the sole village of Tinos with unhindered view to the wild beauty of the north shores, to the open sea and to Mykonos. Built between 3 gorges, used to have watermills. Easily reached from here, the sand beach of Santa Margarita with the golden-green water.
Finally, Fero Chorio, a small holiday settlement on the east with a view to Icarion Sea and Mykonos; and last, Agia Varvara over Agios Sostis’ beach with a view to Delos and Mykonos.
The beaches are few in comparison to the number of the villages, but unique.
Till recently, the only way to reach to the isolated but exotic beach of Pachia Ammos with a view to the Town of Mykonos, was to descend the huge dune. Now there is a path.
The neighbouring beach Lichnaftia, may not be as exotic, but it has shadow and equally clear-crystal waters. The next beach to the north is Santa Margarita. A sand beach where one can feel alone on planet earth, with golden-green reflections in the water and view to Mykonos. Don’t forget to carry drinking water! But, the beach that wins all impressions for its rare and wild beauty is Livada beach.
To beaches like this one, at the steep north shores of Andros, Tinos and Mykonos, we owe the existence of the calm Cycladic lagoon. It is a natural dyke to protect from the mania of the north wind, and where the water and the wind seem to be the biggest artists, with natu¬ral sculptures on the white and green rocks; clear-crystal water; white stones, deep blue of the sea and a rare ecosys¬tem at the small delta of the river that flows down from Exomvourgo. The scenery reminds Volax. Don’t forget to carry drinking water.