I fell in love with tinos long before my visit to the greek island. that damned algorithm! as I was scrolling down on instagram for the thousandth time that day, my eyes were drawned to a video someone had posted a few minutes before at to thalassaki: a wooden table, the aegean sea and the light breeze from the wind. from that day on, I knew I would be visiting tinos some day in the future. they say all good things take time and this time it was no different. but even with my lack of planning skills getting in the way and all the craziness happening at airports worldwide, I eventually made it to the cyclades island last summer.
sitting at that very same table on my 34th birthday, watching the sun slowly going down and contemplating my favorite shade of blue - the aegean sea blue - it was a full circle moment and another proof that no other place in the world gives me the same feeling.
WHERE TO STAY
UNDER THE SUN (from €260/night)
located on a hillside between the villages of kardania and isternia, under the sun is a small boutique hotel with eight suites and an infinite pool facing the aegean sea and the island of syros. part of the the aficionados group, under the sun features beautifully decorated interiors with details that include ceramics from the local green marble quarries. it has that quite luxury vibe that I love. it’s quite and peaceful, giving you a sense of remoteness, yet so close to everything.
FYI, I stayed at the signature suite with a mini jet pool and sea view.
WHAT TO VISIT
THE GREEN MARBLE QUARRIES
scattered all across the island but especially in the northern part, the green marble quarries are are one of the most unique sights in tinos. you will find green marble in the smallest details. at under the sun, it was the ceramics. to learn more about the importance of marble for the local economy and the process of quarrying and sculpturing the marble, you can visit the museum of marble crafts in the village of panormos.
COSTAS TSOCLIS MUSEUM
I wasn’t familiar with the work of artist costas tscolis but this is a must-visit. the first thing you’ll notice is the impressive art installation of st. georges slaying the dragon outside of the main building, an abandoned primary school found in kambos village. inside you’ll find not only the work of tscolis but also from other greek modern artists. a beautiful, unexpected homage to the island.
a greek-island guide wouldn’t be complete without a list of the best beaches to visit. keep in mind that the roads are usually bumpy and that you may find yourself with no service on your mobile, so it’s always a good idea to fill up the tank of your rented car/scooter. also, most of the beaches in tinos are entirely natural and don’t have the same facilities you will find in mykonos or santorini.
traditionally and because of the wind, the best beaches in tinos are located in the southern part of the island - and that’s why under the sun is such a good choice - but don’t overlook the north side. surrounded by a rocky moon-ish landscape, livada beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in tinos. don’t be surprised if you see goats and ducks casually hanging out. back to the southern part, my absolute favorites, without any special order, where agious kalyvia, agios petros, apigania, agia thalassa and kavalourko.
WHERE TO EAT
BIANCO BEACH HOUSE RESTAURANT
the only beach club I visited in tinos. although, I usually enjoy spending the day discovering more secluded and quiet beaches, bianco beach house restaurant at didn’t disappoint. it still has a cool, laid-back vibe, with refined aesthetics, and serves delicious and fresh food at their restaurant. order the sea bass tostadas and thank me later.
to thalassaki was an old dream of mine and the perfect choice for my birthday dinner. a few days before my stay, I e- mailed the hotel staff asking if they could get me a reservation. I didn’t care about what time I would have dinner, as long as it was this specific table. I got there and it was everything I had envisioned: the food was amazing - I started-off with grilled octopus, followed by a delicious spaghetti alle vongole - the wine selection too, and the most beautiful sunset I could have asked for my birthday.
I found komissa while casually driving around komi. this hidden gem bistro is perfect for either lunch or dinner, serving interesting and delicious dishes. I went for the chickpea stew with shrimp and loved this different approach to greek gastronomy.
suggested by the staff at under the sun, marina panormos is the typical greek taverna. the picturesque restaurant serves a variety of the amazing greek cuisine, including my beloved fava and a selection of fresh fish. ask for a table outside and enjoy the views over the marina.
a five minute drive from under the sun will take you to mayo all day bar, where you can sip a glass (or two) of wine while contemplating the scenic views over the aegean sea and enjoying yet another unforgettable greek sunset.
cátia santos reis the world is yours but greece is mine” could be her mantra as cátia santos reis is yet to find a greek island she hasn’t fallen in love with. in the meantime, she keeps traveling the world. for CINCO editorial, the 34 year-old, will share her favorite things to do, visit and eat in every destination.