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ronellevan Tinos - A travel report by Ronelle
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Tinos,  Greece - flag Greece -  Kykládes
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ronellevan's travel reports

Tinos, quiet but magnificent.

  16 votes
On my way to Africa in 2004, I met a friend in Greece. We booked a holiday villa on the island of Tinos, one of the quieter islands in the Greek Cyclades. We wanted some sun and relaxation instead of the usual party, and that's exactly what we got.

Tinos from the ferry.
Tinos from the ferry.
Tinos is one of the larger islands of the Greek Cyclades, in the Aegean Sea. It is famous for the church of Panagia Evangelistria, a church visited by many Greek Orthodox, there is a yearly pilgramage to the church in August. It is a quiet island because it is visited mostly by Greeks and not tourists. It was for this reason that we chose it. English is not widely spoken on the island and we immersed ourselves as deeply as we could into the culture. We had some unseasonably strong winds through most of our stay there, but that did not stop us from enjoying ourselves and the island.

Favourite spots:
There wasn't one favourite, each place we went to on the island was as beautiful as the next. We rented a small car, we didn't have motocycle licenses for the 250CC scooters they had, and drove to a different part of the island everyday. The best thing about Tinos is that you can drive anywhere and have a beach all to yourself. We would stop at the small villages and have lunch at the local tavernas, trying to order in our broken Greek. The locals were friendly and patient with us, since most of them did not have menus in English.

What's really great:
One of the more elaborate pigeon houses.
One of the more elaborate pigeon houses.
There are more than 1000 pigeon houses on the island. They look like small bird hotels and are rather elaborate structures. Most seemed to be centuries old and each was inhabited by a few pigeons.

Another thing that struck us was the number of churches on the island. Each village seemed to have at least two, which was strange when you walked around the villages and noted the small population.

The church of Panagia Evangelistria should not be missed. It is a beautiful building and you are allowed to wander around inside and out. There are carpeted walkways from the bottom of the hill, near the port, right to the front doors of the church. These have been put down for the pilgrams use so that they can crawl in supplication up to the church. It is hard not to stare at the people doing it, many of them strap padding to their hands and knees for the journey up the hill.

The view from our porch.
The view from our porch.
We stayed in a privately owned holiday villa in Agios Yannis O Portos, on the south eastern side of the island. Our little flat was clean and spacious, on the property of the landlords, who were super friendly and even transported us around until we rented our car. The villa was just across the road from the beach and we had a magnificent view of the bright blue Aegean Ocean. It was close to a few hotels with excellent restaurants, and just a short drive, or bus ride, away from the main town of Tinos.

One of the many villages on tinos.
One of the many villages on tinos.
The food was excellent where ever we went and the prices were ridiculously low. My friend and I had at least one greek salad every day, usually two. Most restaurants would have a Greek and an English menu, the English ones were hilarious at times. The local Greek beer we drank, Mythos, was less than a pound for a pint, and it was tasty stuff.

Other recommendations:
Windmills on mykonos.
Windmills on mykonos.
We took a ferry over to Mykonos for one day, just to see how the other side was doing it. It was quite obviously different to Tinos from the moment we stepped off the boat. There were plenty more tourists and the atmosphere was one of ... drinking, if such a thing can be said. It was a fun break from our quiet island life, but we were quite happy to go back at the end of the day.

Published on Tuesday October 31th, 2006

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Sat, Nov 04 2006 - 05:32 AM rating by gloriajames

Nice report and loved the Windmills on Mykonos pic!

Thu, Nov 02 2006 - 01:42 PM rating by marianne

Could you add some photos especially of the pigeon houses. I would love to see them.

Wed, Nov 01 2006 - 07:15 PM rating by picasso

Well written report,with some good details,the description of the island is well done.If you would include the immages,your report would deffinately get one more extra point.

Wed, Nov 01 2006 - 11:52 AM rating by christianj.

Hi Ronelle,

I really like these quiet islands, too - and the friendly people living there! Your report has enough information for a first impression and I liked to read it!! Additionally it would be nice if you could tell us also some special details, maybe interesting websites and, of course, if you would add some pictures.

Greetings to New Zealand, Christian

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