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A call at Tinos island wouldn’t be complete without visiting some of its colourful, traditional villages. Some of my favourite Greece pictures are from Tinos villages so it’s definitely a trip highlight.
- Tinos Highlight: Walk Up Exomvourgo Hill For History & Fantastic Views
- Tinos Greece: A Guide to This Beautiful Traditional & Artistic Island
- Authentic things to Do in Chora Andros
Although 15 must-see Tinos villages sound like a lot it’s just a fraction of the island’s 40+ settlements. You don’t need to get overwhelmed though. Some of Tinos’ villages are very close together and can easily be seen as a cluster.
At the end of this post, I’ve put some suggestions of which villages to visit together. A little tour round, say, three villages can fit well with a spot of lunch and afternoon at the beach.
So, in no particular order…
Pyrgos – for marble
Pyrgos, up in the northeast is the biggest village in Tinos. If you search for directions to Pyrgos on Google Maps it’ll send you to the right place. But be aware that it’s marked incorrectly as Panormos. Panormos Bay is actually the little fishing village about 3km further along the road.
Anyway, I stayed close to Pyrgos on my first trip to Tinos and I found it to be a bustling village, full of local marble. The marble museums in the village are definitely worth visiting as the area is renowned for the stone. There’s a School of Fine Arts there keeping the local sculpting work alive.
Along the main pedestrian street, there are lots of cafes and some interesting shops. Walk all the way along and enjoy some wonderful food at Athmar while you sit under the plane tree on the marble square.
Panormos – for fish dishes and beaches
If you’re not yet hungry enough to eat at Pyrgos then head down to Panormos Bay. It’s about 2.8km from Pyrgos, so walk, drive or take the bus. Remember that on the Google Map of Tinos Panormas is incorrectly marked where Pyrgos is. Look for Panormous Bay and that will take you to the right place.
When you’re ready for food you’ll find lots of restaurants at the harbour. Stop at Maḯstros for great fish dishes while you look out at the fishing boats.
In the meantime, there’s a big sandy beach beyond Panormos. Rohari beach has a bar and beach chairs and space to just lay your towel out.
If you want something a little less crowded then head the opposite way to Thalassa. It’s about a 20-minute walk (don’t try and take the car unless you have a jeep-type vehicle). There’s a little beach bar there in summer.
Volax – for awesome granite boulders
Volax is one of the best villages in Tinos to visit. As you get close you’ll see the unusual geological phenomenon that causes the landscape to be covered in boulders. If you’re interested in walking there are a couple of hikes that run through the area.
The village itself is very pretty and it’s known for its basket weaving. If you go in summer you might catch a villager making baskets.
As you wander around you’ll notice writing on many of the buildings. Apparently one of the shopkeepers wrote song lyrics all around the village!
There’s a shady cafe at the entrance but walk a bit further to Cafe Nai for great food.
At the entrance to the village, you can pick up the hiking trails. There are two circular routes from Volax. If you just want to see the boulders for a bit walk through the village and beyond. Turn back when you’re ready.
Kardiani – for stunning sea views
If you’re coming from the south then you’ll reach Kardiani just after the road sign for Kardiani Bay on the coast. There is parking at the start of the village and it’s another stop for an incredible view, at sunset or otherwise.
Like others on the island, Kardiani village is an example of Catholic and Orthodox Christians living together harmoniously. There are three churches in the village and both groups are provided for.
The streets are pretty and with plenty of marble touches. You can walk to two springs and see the old wash house (cleanest one I’ve seen!).
In the summer there are a number of cafes and little shops to discover. There are also hikes through the area so you can walk beyond Kardiani to Isternia if you like.
When I visited, the walls were covered with posters of the local people. I’m not sure if they were for a particular occasion but it was lovely to see.
Oh and bring your walking shoes, there are a lot of steps.
Isternia Tinos – for amazing sunsets
Isternia village – sometimes spelt Ysternia – on the west of the island is the place to go for a stunning sea view. The village itself is full of quaint corners and traditional buildings. Explore it in the late afternoon and stay for the beautiful sunset.
I ate at MAYOU and sat under the tree, mesmerised by the sea view. The chips were the best I’ve ever tasted. (I assume the potatoes were from Naxos!)
Isternia is the kind of place to just wander around and follow the streets and tunnels to see where you end up. It’s pedestrianised so if you’re driving, park in the large area at the entrance to the village. Otherwise, that’s where the bus will drop you off.
Falatados -for Raki
Faltados is another well-populated and lively village. Its crown is the impressive St John’s church which is worth a look.
The Georoute hiking path runs through here and it’s worth asking at the Lefkes taverna if you can have permission to walk the short route that actually runs through the rocks.
Loutra – for a convent and a monastery
Although a small village now, Loutra was historically an important hub of religious activity. The dramatic old buildings of the Ursuline Convent and Jesuit Monastery remain and both now house museums.
The Tinos Trails route M4 The Road of the Water and the Castle runs through Loutra and is a really lovely walk. If you don’t want to do it all you could just have a short walk out of the village to Agia Anna church at the abandoned village of Lazarus. Pick up the hiking waymarkers and head towards Perastra.
Tripotamo – for the castle
Less than 15 minutes from Tinos Port is Tripotamo / Tripotamos. A lovely colourful village that’s easy to get to if you’re staying in the south. There’s a well-maintained path to the Venetian castle from the village entrance.
As is often the case this is a pedestrian village. So you’ll need to park at the entrance, either near the wooden sign or a bit further in.
Let yourself follow the myriad of paths and notice the pretty stonework and blooming bougainvillaea.
Tradition abounds here and they have a special custom at Christmas called Kavos. It’s shrouded in tradition and the heads of the families get together to celebrate, put aside their differences and appoint tasks to upkeep the church and, historically, the village.
Agapi – for tradition and dovecotes
Agapi is an area with an abundance of Dovecotes. If you’re interested in a short walk along the valley to see them you can join a group walk with Tinos Outdoor Activities.
The village itself is leafy and quaint with tradition at every turn. Walk down to see the spring and old stone laundry. Notice the marble lintels above the windows.
Ktikados – for churches and views
I was a bit villaged-out the day I visited Ktikados but I decided to stop there on a whim anyway. I’m glad I did. It’s a quiet, traditional village with a mix of Orthodox and Catholic Christians. You’ll see churches of both religions.
You’re supposed to be able to tell which churches are Orthodox and which are Catholic from the architecture of the buildings. But I haven’t managed to work it out yet!
Anyway, the streets are pretty and the view is good. Drosia Taverna in the village comes highly recommended so stop in if you’re peckish.
Triantaros – for pretty colours
Triantaros is a gorgeous village less than fifteen minutes’ drive from the port. I went on the morning of a Greek public holiday and the tavernas were filling up as I left.
You’ll find loads of beautiful spots as you walk along. Follow the signs to the spring and traditional laundry house to see the big stone sinks.
The village is pedestrianised so if you’re driving you’ll need to park by the main road. The car park is signed and you can either pull into the bay at the top or go down the slope. If you go to the bigger section down the slope.
I recommend backing into the space or facing the way you want to drive out. Greeks can be a bit haphazard when parking so make life as easy as possible for yourself to get out.
Along the road, a little way past the parking is Berdemiaros which is often classed as part of Triantaros. It has beautifully restored old houses to admire and a great view too.
Dio Choria – for coffee with a view
Carry on up the hill after Triantaros and you’ll come to Dio Choria. Another traditional village with churches and a large square. If you didn’t stop at the tavernas in Triantaros I can recommend Petrino Cafe. Right on the main road, it has tasty food and friendly service. Oh and an amazing view of the sea.
Arnados – for alleyways to hide from pirates
Round a few more bends from Dio Choria, you’ll find Arnados with its medieval streets and tunnels. As it’s higher on the hill than the other villages the views are even more amazing.
The village is an interesting walk with the various alleyways. Follow the signs to the winery and the little chapel hidden away beside it. You’ll also find a folklore museum. Head to the main square where the big church is and in the summer you’ll find a taverna that’s open.
Steni – for a winery
Steni is one of the biggest villages in Tinos and is the most populated. It’s another village where Catholic and Orthodox communities live alongside each other with churches of each denomination.
I visited Steni on a quiet Sunday afternoon in the summer when it was full of colour. It’s a lovely place to while away some time looking at the interesting old buildings.
Monastiria – for adventure
Ok this one’s a little bit different because it’s an abandoned village. But you know I had to include that extra adventure. The ruins to this village are accessible from the main road outside Perastra on walking route M4. (Go down the village road for Perastra and park there then walk back up to the main road.)
Alternatively, if you follow the sign to Sklavochori after you drive through Krokos you will come out above the ruins. You can park on the road and walk down the steps at the Catholic Church of Saint Joseph to get to the ruins.
Mind your step and don’t sit on or go poking at the gaps in the dry stone walls or piles of stones from the buildings. As with the rest of Tinos, there are snakes about outside of winter. Don’t panic but be mindful of what you’re doing.
The Best Way to Visit the Tinos Villages
If you’re visiting during the hot high season, are short on time or just don’t want to walk then here are some itineraries for seeing the villages.
- Triantaros, Dio Choria and Arnados are an obvious trio to see together. If you’re staying in Chora or the Agios Ioannis area then they’re quick and easy to get to. Once you get to Triantaros walk or drive between the villages.
- If you’re heading up the west coast for the sunset then Ktikados, Kardiani and Ysternia are a good trio to visit in one go.
- Further north you can easily spend a half or full day in Pyrgos and Panormos visiting Ysternia on the way.
- Volax and Agapi are only about 15 minute’s drive away from each other. I visited them in that order and then drove 10 minutes to the beach at Kolimvithra.
- Steni, Faltados and Volax are also close together and could be done as a group. You could include a walk between them or do a walk from Volax to Kolimvithra beach.
- Tripotamos is just 10 minutes from the port and one of the access points to Exomvourgo Castle. Explore the village and then hike up to the castle or stop in for a drink after.
If you love traditional villages then check out these ones on the neighbouring islands: