Sleeps from 2 to 13

Xinara House, a beautifully converted former bishop's palace in the heart of unsung Tinos

Tinos Island, Greece

xinara exonvourgo

When to stay  For much of the year Tinos is good to visit. Spring is exceptionally beautiful, perfect for strolling through wild flowers meadows and exploring the island on foot. Summer is busy with lively beaches and village parties, and rarely too hot. Autumn remains warm enough for swimming on almost deserted beaches and great for walking the ancient paths and country roads. Christmas is lively too - and cosy at Xinara House with open wood fire and our cinema.

Tinos has a reputation for exceptional wine, and good food celebrated each year with a series of events; Tinos Food Paths 2nd or 3rd week of May. Tinos/gr/en/taste/events

We can arrange trips to our neighbouring archeological island, Delos where English sculptor Anthony Gormley has a show May to October 2019 https://neon.org.gr/en/exhibition/sight-antony-gormley-delos-island/

Beaches

BEACHES You can see the sea on both sides from Xinara House. A few minutes drive is safe Kolimbythra Beach, a broad sweep of sand with a lively bar one end and solitude at the other, plus a nearby sheltered sandy cove with a good, reasonable taverna. There are dozens more places to relax and swim. A few have beach bars, lots are barely visited. Examples are breathtakingly beautiful Lavada beach (above), and on the south, beneath the ancient church at Stavros, a tiny beach in the ruins of a Phoenician harbour. At Ag. Fokas are smart loungers served by excellant Marathia restaurant, or around pretty Kardiana village you can swim and take cocktails along a succession of sandy beaches, then eat at famous To Thalassaki ('To the sea') on the quay at Isternia Beach next to the waves.

 

Tinos landscapes

It takes around one and a half hours to drive from the wild north-west Tinos coast overlooking Andros, through the pretty marble town of Pyrgos, passing terraced slopes and ancient white villages, to the sandy beaches facing Mykonos in the south-east. Halfway is the Tinos port, the principal town with old-fashioned shops, lots of tavernas, a daily farmers' market, fresh fish and meat. Here is the extraordinary church of Panagia Evangelistria, a Greek Lourdes with an ikon venerated by pilgrims who travel from all over Greece and can often be seen crawling the 500m uphill from the harbour to the church.

Exomvourgo

Exomvourgo Peaklets

Practise and improve your climbing skills with 360º Mediterranean views a few minutes walk from Xinara House.

 

Ancient dovecotes

Ancient dovecotes

Most extraordinary is the proliferation of ancient decorated dovecotes, a sort of folk art with stone arrangements of checkered, fishbone, cedar, or criss-cross patterns, with finials sprouting oddly-shaped ears of stone. Flocks of white doves remain all over the island although they are no longer a source of food (or guano). While lots of the old dovecotes are in ruins many are still maintained, and even a few new ones are built. Xinara house has a miniture example.

 

Ancient tracks to walk

You can walk all over Tinos on a network of old donkey tracks, recently signposted. From the back of Xinara House villas you can easily reach the top of Exomvouga mountain (for climbing see above). Or you may go down to the port by walking the pleasant ancient stone road right into town, or go swimming by hiking across to the old wine town of Falatados and on down through an exquisite wooded valley to the sea (and a summer taverna) at Lavada. We can arrange guided walks with food and transfers.

 

Traditional villages of Tinos

Traditional villages of Tinos

Tinos still has an unusual number of traditional Cyclades villages, white-painted homes tightlypacked like sugar cubes along cool car-free lanes often barely visible from the road. Because Tinos has a tradition of quarrying and carving the houses are decorated with pretty marble features – decorated doorways, Old decorative carved fanlights, etc. (Xinara House has many examples from the 18th century). The villages put on festivals and traditional parties with food, live island music, and dancing often into the small hours, like the big annual artichoke festival of Komi, with huge quantities of food utilising every conceivable artichoke recipe.

 

Local vineyards

Tinos organic wine from the vineyard

Tinos has always had good wine, with a couple of rare ancient varieties of grape that survived the arrival of phylloxera. A recent renaissance of the old vineyards has encouraged expert wine producers. There are exceptional wines such as T-oinos, and great organic wines from Volacus, Domaine Kalathas and others.

Julia Harding on Tinos wine Renaissance plus her Tasting Notes.