Town of Tinos
It is not worth the first impression one gets. Behind the buildings that form a dissonance to the Cycladic architectural harmony, Tinos (Town of Tinos or Chora) hides narrow medieval alleys with arches, courtyards with bougainvilleas, neoclassic buildings, gardens with palm trees, stone-paved streets, smallsquares with tavernas (restaurants), marble water-fountains and sculptures, traditional coffee-shops and bars.
A town full of life, in winter and in summer, thanks to the pilgrims of Virgin Mary and the approx. 6,000 inhabitants. It is sure that you cannot pass by Tinos without a stop at Megalohari (Virgin Mary Full of Grace), one of the biggest pilgrimages of the Orthodox Church. Around the pebbled yard you will find the Tinian Artists’ Museum and the Art Gallery, hosting original works of art by famous artists, a permanent exhibition of Icon Art, the mausoleum of (ship) ELLI, and the church of Evreseos (find), built over an ancient temple, at the spot where the miracu-lous icon was found.
If you feel like shopping, then better choose to walk down to the port via the stone-paved road. Apart from creative ideas for souvenirs, you shall discover small treasures: jewellery, icons, sculp-tures, paintings, etc. And now is the perfect moment for waffle and ice-cream or loukoumades (doughnuts) at Pantanassa square, look¬ing at the movement of the marina; for a cappuccino at the cafe of Pallada; or for ouzo and meze at the other end of the port. But if you prefer traditional small restaurants, gourmet taste or fast food, Tinos won’t disappoint you!
The town of Tinos is from the few capital cities of Cyclades that has beau¬tiful beaches at its boundaries. The endless beach of Agios Fokas starts literally in Tinos, under Pasakrotiri, though the best part is hidden at the other end, near the heliport: Fine golden sand with grey-blue shades, flat peb¬bles, saltworts offering shadow, beach bars, water sports and the unique experience of swimming in the crystal-clear water under the shadow of Vrekastro, the con¬ical rock with the prehistoric set¬tlement, and view to Delos.
Agios loannis, at Porto, approx. 6km from Tinos, is a pre¬ferred summer destination for its two organised beaches, the very good local tavernas and the many options for accommodation. The main beach is called differently from one end to the other, even though it’s not that long: Skylantar, Agios Sostis, Laouti, Agia Kyriaki. However you may call it, it is idyllic. The other beach, Agios Ioannis, is shallow and protected from strong winds but may occasionally have many seaweeds.
At the west side, just 3 km away, Kionia is a beautiful beach near the ruins of the Poseidon temple, with tav-ernas next to the waves and view over the open sea. Behind the rocks hide three wonderful calm small ports and one more beach, Platia Ammos, with rocky sea-bottom and a small dune.
The beaches of Tinos are, generally speaking, protected from the north wind, unless Aeolos is in good mood and then only those who know where to swim well dare to go swimming! They go to Stavros or at leeward Agios Markos. Both can be found on the way to Kionia.