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Although lots of tourists choose to stay in the south of Tinos when they visit, it’s definitely worth making a trip further north. There’s a lot to see and do in Pyrgos. And nearby Panormos Bay offers a number of beaches and tasty restaurants.
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Pyrgos is the biggest village in Tinos and quite a sight with everything made out of marble. The material is completely abundant on the island. And the local people have worked with it for many, many years. The village boasts a renowned School of Fine Art that keeps traditional marble art skills alive.
Where is Pyrgos?
Pyrgos Tinos is in the northeast part of the island. If you look on Google Maps it’s incorrectly marked as Panormos. Don’t worry though, if you go to the directions and put in Pyrgos it will take you to the right place (even though it automatically changes the destination to Panormos).
(I contacted Google to tell them this was wrong but apparently, they aren’t able to make any changes to Maps in Greece at the moment.)
What is there to do in Pyrgos?
So, what is there to do in the village of Pyrgos?
Shop for Tinian Products
The village itself is lovely to walk through. Everywhere you look things are made from marble, from the steps to the big bus stop on the main road.
Along the main pedestrian street, there are galleries, cafes, tavernas and some quirky shops.
Shops selling Tinian products and clothes on the main pedestrian street in Pyrgos
You can buy jewellery, clothes, local honey, more Tinian products and other bits and pieces.
Along the main street you’ll find cafes and shops
Eat Local Food
At the end of the path, there’s a square with a big plane tree and a couple of cafes sprawl out across the stone. Sit at Athmar for a friendly welcome and some amazing traditional food.
Eating under the plane tree in winter/spring. It’s prettier in summer!
Visit the Marble Museums
There are a number of marble museums in Tinos since it’s such an important part of the area’s history. You can visit:
Museum of Marble Art – a small but fascinating museum about how marble is extracted, moved and sculpted. Includes videos in the exhibition.
Giannoulis Halepas Museum – visit the house of this famous Greek sculptor which has now been turned into a museum.
Museum of Tinian Artists – this is combined with the Halepas museum and contains work by local artists.
Another sculpture and the entrance to the Museum of Tinian Artists
Go for a Hike
Just walking through the village you’ll see some of the Tinos Trails waymarkers. There are two hiking trails that go through Pyrgos. The E2 route is under 6 km and is a nice circular route if you have time to do it. It goes past the Museum of Marble Art and the well-preserved windmills of the area.
Waymarkers to the various hiking routes and nearby villages from Pyrgos
How Do You Get to Pyrgos Tinos?
Although the best way to get to Pyrgos is by car so you can choose when to go and leave, there are buses from Chora (Tinos Town) daily. The timetable changes throughout the season so check the Tinos KTEL website for the current schedule. To go back to Tinos, wait on the side of the road with the bus shelter.
Getting a taxi there and/or back is also an option.
The ornate marble bus stop in front of the Pyrgos car park
If you drive, there is a car park on your left at the entrance of the village. It looks like there are just a few spaces off the main road. But if you actually turn in you’ll see that beyond those ones is a much bigger parking area with plenty of space.
Where is Panormos?
Panormos Bay is correctly marked on Maps (Ormos Panormou) and is just under 3km beyond Pyrgos. It’s a little fishing village where you can see the fishermen at work. I thought it had a nice community feel with locals congregating at the restaurants and children jumping off the pier in the harbour.
What Is There to Do in Panormos?
Panormos is a sleepy fishing village so mainly there are restaurants and beaches to enjoy.
Where to Eat
Stop at Maistros fish restaurant for a bite to eat and watch the fishermen sorting their nets at the harbour.
Buildings at Panormos and boats in the harbour
Accessible Beaches in Panormos
Afterwards, sleep it all off at the beach. There’s a cove of sand to the left of the bay. But if you drive through the village you’ll find the much bigger Rochari Beach.
It has lovely golden sand and space for you to lay out your towel. There’s also a beach bar with sunbeds and umbrellas if you’d prefer to use them. There is quite a lot of parking right beside the beach.
Rochari Beach just beyond Panormos with parking and a beach bar in the summer
Hiking and Beaches off the Beaten Track
If you’re a bit more adventurous then there are a couple of other beaches you can get to. I’d advise walking unless you have a 4×4/jeep type of vehicle. The road goes across a fair amount of sand that a normal city car won’t cope with.
Stafida beach where the road passes to get to Thalassa
Although it’s about 20 minutes’ walk from Panormos this beach isn’t exactly secret. But it has nice clear water and can be quieter than Rochari beach.
In the peak season, there is a little beach bar there with seats. If you don’t want to use them take something padded to lie on as there are some stones amongst the sand.
To get to Thalassa just put directions into Google Maps. If you’re already in the bay then walk across Stafida beach and then carry on the path up the hill.
Thalassa Beach and St Nicholas Church
If you’re coming from the car park at the entrance to the village then take the signed road on the left. Once you’re on that dirt road follow it round to the right and keep going.
Signage from the main road and then along the path to Thalassa
On the far side of the beach is the pretty chapel of Saint Nicholas. If you walk along the rocks past the church you’ll get to Kavalourko Beach.
If you don’t stop at Thalassa and carry on the path past the church you’ll get to another beach. As the dirt track widens out you’ll see the markers for the E2a hiking route. The path takes you down the rocks to the beach.
Looking back at the bath to Kavalourko beach and the waymarker for the trail
Kavalourko beach is really interesting because of the attractive patterns on the rocks. Someone has also made a rock carving of Aeolus, the god of wind.
Kavalourko beach and the coloured striations on the rocks there
Even if you base yourself at Thalassa it’s worth walking another five or six minutes around the coast to have a look at that.
Aeolus god of wind, carved into a rock and another carving of a wind rose
Because it’s tucked away, I’ve heard this beach is popular with nudists and gay couples.
How Do You Get to Panormos?
Again, the best thing is to drive. Keep going through the village of Pyrgos and you’ll get to Panormos. There’s a big grassy parking area as you come into the village so there’s plenty of space.
Sign leaving Pyrgos village and signage for the car park in Panormos
Otherwise, there are taxis available in Pyrgos and some of the buses carry on to Panormos. If you take the bus from Pyrgos, wait opposite the marble bus stop in the pictures above. The bus will stop where the hiking waymarkers are in the picture with my bag above.
It’s about 3 km from Pyrgos and downhill so you could also choose to walk.
Need More Adventures in Tinos?
See Tinos Highlight: Walk Up Exomvourgo Hill For History & Fantastic Views