Escape the crowds of Corfu and sun-seekers of Santorini in Tinos, the unspoiled island that the Greeks don't want you to know about.
29 July, 2019
While many flock to the renowned isles of Mykonos, Santorini or Corfu for a Grecian summer break, Tinos remains the country's best-kept secret. It's the island where real Greeks go to escape the influx of sun-seeking holidaymakers. This unspoiled sanctuary is abundant with vineyards, a thriving arts scene and whitewashed Cycladic villages that put Santorini's postcard-perfect setting to shame.
Spend days hiking through ancient trails that weave between sleepy villages dotted across the island. Dazzling marble buildings line cobbled streets - chiseled fountains, sculptures and doorways gleam a brilliant white in the summer sunshine. Famed for its ceramics, Tinos has a bounty of boutique shops filled with artisanal crockery and handmade ornaments.
Tinos' culinary scene offers Greek cuisine at its most authentic. Tinian menus include squid straight from the Aegean, artichokes and capers from local farms, and Greek wine from organic vineyards. Don't forget to taste Tinos' honey - the island's dry, windy climate provides excellent beekeeping and honey-making conditions.
Who to take with you
Someone looking for a truly remote escape.
When to go
Tinos is rarely very busy, so you can visit in July and expect an idyllic summer break.
Where to stay
Perched on a thyme-scented hillside, Diles & Rinies lies hidden behind tall stone walls. Book into a villa for a remote hideaway complete with private gardens, secluded pools and views of the Aegean.
Most likely to bump into…
Unlike in neighbouring Mykonos, on Tinos you're more likely to bump into religious pilgrims than hedonistic party-goers. Every summer pilgrims flock to the island to embark on an 800m crawl (yes, on hands and knees) from the island's port to the Church of Panagia Evangelistria to touch and pray before an icon of the Virgin Mary said to have healing powers.
Essentials to bring with you
A pair of Ancient Greek Sandals (what else?). These Apteros cutout leather slides are perfect for strolling through Tinos' Cycladic streets.
How to get there
Fly to Athens, where ferries from the port of Rafina will take you to Tinos in around 3 hours.