Posts tagged: Tinos

Final Day on Tinos

By , August 4, 2015 07:54
Chora (Tinos) by night.

Chora (Tinos) by night.

Yesterday was our last day on Tinos.

The last couple of days, the wind has been particularly strong so not really great weather for beaches. Mum and I did manage to find a sheltered one which was quite nice: Ag. Markos.

For our final night on the island, we got the bus in to town for our meal; we ate at a taverna on the pedestrianised street leading away from the waterfront. It can be quite fun to sit and watch the crowds walk past!

After strolling around a bit, we had an ice cream each, before we got a taxi back to our apartment (the last bus had left 10 minutes previously).

Later this morning, we will be getting the ferry across to Syros. Despite being visible from the harbour of Chora here on Tinos, there is not a direct ferry today – the ferry companies didn’t publish their summer timetables until after we’d booked, and in previous years it has always been a daily service.

So instead, we have to zig-zag our way from Tinos to Mykonos, then we effectively double back on ourselves for another crossing over to Syros. We have a 90 minute stopover in Mykonos. Not ideal, but at least the port of Mykonos isn’t in the main town. Mykonos is not my favourite island at all, based on a previous overnight stop on the island.

Anyway… I need to pack.

See you on Syros!

Fred.

Quiet Day at the Beach

By , August 2, 2015 10:01
Sitting on the balcony outside our apartment.

Sitting on the balcony outside our apartment.

Sunday morning on Tinos island and the meltemi winds are up, the sea looking quite white now, and Mykonos just a silhouette in the haze.

Yesterday was a quieter day, as we chose to stay in the Ag. Ioannis Porto area. There are two beaches in walking distance from Anemologio, the apartments where we are staying – Ag. Kyriakis and Porto.

The beach of Ag. Kyriaki.

The beach of Ag. Kyriaki.

We spent the morning at Ag. Kyriakis beach. As the winds were up we chose to sit on the rocks so we would not be sandblasted! Both of the beaches here are sandy, sunbeds in some areas but there is plenty of space for those wanting to get away from all that. Several guidebooks say they are the best beaches on the island.

For lunch, we went in to one of two beach bars located between the beaches. We went in to the Anemos bar. It’s quite a nice place to sit to keep out of the hot sun. There is another right next door.

Mum and Dad enjoy their drinks at Anemos Beach Bar.

Mum and Dad enjoy their drinks at Anemos Beach Bar.

At both, drinks and snacks are served all day, as are full meals if you are particularly hungry. The two more traditional tavernas are also open for lunch – and are in fact busier at lunchtime than they are in the evening, since this is when most Greeks have their main meal of the day. In the afternoon, Mum and Dad went to Porto beach, and I returned to the apartment for my siesta.

Later in the evening, we took the bus to Chora. Tinos’ main town has lots of narrow side streets leading away from the main shopping street. The main street leads up to the large Church of the Virgin Mary; a lot of Greeks come here as a pilgrimage and you will see people crawling up the red carpet which leads from the harbour to the entrance of the church.

The main street of Chora Tinos, looking up towards the big church.

The main street of Chora Tinos, looking up towards the big church.

In the narrow streets, plenty of tavernas, bars and cafenia can be found hidden – away from the bustling main street. We found a nice taverna – Malamatenia (named after the little square on which it is located) where we enjoyed our meal next to a small church.

Since the last bus back in the direction of our apartments is at 22:00, we took another taxi on our return. The taxi rank is located on the sea front, by the roundabout. Just walk up to a taxi at the front of the queue, and tell the driver where you would like to go. If you are in a village wanting to get in to Chora, you can always phone for a taxi on (+30) 22830 26000.

Today – Sunday – I am going to get the bus in to Chora to get some bread from one of the many bakeries which can be found there. I will also collect our ferry tickets for our transfer to Syros on Tuesday. This afternoon I will return to the beach… if the wind is not too strong.

Bye for now.

FH.

Coach Tour of Tinos

By , July 31, 2015 20:20

The View from Our Apartment

This is the view I am greeted by each morning when I wake up and look out the window. The view over to Mykonos is great. I love watching the ferries go past during the day, and by night you can clearly see many aircraft arriving and departing from Mykonos Airport.

As we are only on Tinos for 6 nights, we decided the best way to see more of the island was to book ourselves on to a coach trip.

The daily tours are run by the local branch of the national bus operator ΚΤΕΛ. 7 days a week, the bus leaves from Χώρα.

There are two routes: one route operates on a Tuesday and a Friday – the other on all the other days. Each route takes you through the villages of Tinos and makes 5 stops. The guides tours are in Greek and in English.

I’m normally always sceptical about coach tours – but this is not one provided by an international tour operator. This is Greece’s national bus company and most of the tourists on the tour were in fact Greek.

Ξινάρα - Xinara

Ξινάρα – Xinara

Our first stop of the day was at the village of Ξινάρα (Xinara), where we looked round the museum and church there. The scenery here is interesting too, with the big rock in the background, it was almost like a mini-Meteora: To see what I mean, take a look at last year’s photos from Kastraki and Kalambaka.

Of Tinos’ 42 villages outside the main town, Πύργος/Pyrgos (meaning Tower) was our next stop. With narrow pedestrianised streets and a square with lots of cafenia, a bakery and post office, this made a good place to stop for a drink… and had time allowed would have been an excellent location for lunch as well.

Pyrgos - Πύργος

Pyrgos – Πύργος

Next on the day’s itinerary was a visit to Κολυμπήθρα beach. Kolimbithra is actually 2 beaches – ‘Megali Kolimbithra’ which is less crowded but more exposed when the wind gets up, and ‘Mikri Kolimbithra’ which has 2 tavernas and sunbeds.

Kolimbithra Beach - Παραλία Κολυμπήθρα

Kolimbithra Beach – Παραλία Κολυμπήθρα

The coach stopped for 1hr 45mins, giving us enough time to have souvlaki and chips at the taverna above the beach. Had time allowed, we would have liked to walk across to the larger beach, but the small one is not bad at all. There’s just more people there.

On the way back from Kolimbithra, the coach goes up to the monastery of the Virgin Mary, not far from the highest mountain on the island, with views over to Mykonos and Delos to the South, and Syros to the West.

The final stop before the coach returns you to Chora is at the Halaris patisserie, where you can try traditional sweets from Tinos, and you have the opportunity to by them too.

At a cost of €12 each (or €7 for under 12s), this was not a bad trip. There are regular busses to all the places the tour goes to so we can easily go back to spend more time at our favourite places, if we want to.

Returning back to Chora at 17:30, we got an ice cream from the mini market opposite the bus terminal, and got the minibus back to Porto – driven by the same driver who had driven the coach on the trip!

Tomorrow won’t be quite so busy I think. We plan to say around the Porto area and relax for the day. Perhaps on Sunday we will go in to Chora in the evening and eat in one of the restaurants in the narrow pedestrianised streets which lead away from the port to the residential area.

Time to get ready to go out for dinner now.

Bye for now.

FH.

London to Tinos

By , July 30, 2015 16:36
Athens from Above

Athens from Above

24 hours ago, we were on the boat out from Ραφήνα (Rafina) to Τήνος (Tinos).

Athens was the first destination of our holiday. Just a very quick stop at the city’s Ελ. Βενιζέλος (Elevtherios Venizelos) Airport, from where I had a taxi pre-booked to take us to the port of Rafina.

In Greece, taxis are a cheap, quick and easy way of travelling, particularly if there are several of you and you’ve all got luggage. Within an hour of landing we had arrived at Rafina and had already collected our tickets for the ferry journey to Tinos.

Rafina - Ραφήνα

Rafina – Ραφήνα

The driver, clearly impressed with our ability to communicate in Greek, pointed out all the attractions on the way – the Attiki Zoological Gardens, the designer outlet, the vineyards and the olive groves. I was sitting in the front, Mum and Dad in the back.

We had a bit of a wait in Rafina, but managed to find luggage lockers so we could leave our bags and headed to the beach to cool off. With temperatures above 30, this was very welcome! You couldn’t swim in the sea like this at Dover (or, for that matter, Piraeus).

Superjet

Superjet: This is the boat which took us at high speed from Rafina to Tinos.

From Rafina, we took the 15:45 Seajets service to Tinos. Travelling at high speeds, ‘Superjet’ got us to the island in just 1hr 45mins. A “normal” car ferry would take 4hrs 30mins minimum to complete the journey. For those interested, the boat then went on to the islands of Mykonos, Paros, Naxos, Ios and Santorini.

On arrival in Tinos, we headed to the taxi rank where a driver took us to our accommodation – the Anemologio, on the island’s South coast, with fantastic views over to the likes of Μύκονος (Mykonos) and Δήλος (Delos).

There are several fantastic beaches just down the hill from us, a couple of tavernas, a mini-mini-market and a bus stop so we can get in to Χώρα (Chora).

For our first evening, we had a swim at the beach before going to a little walk, then going to the taverna for our evening meal.

I had also discovered that I had left a mobile phone in the taxi, and phoned the taxi company’s office to explain (in Greek) the situation so I could try and track it down. This I managed to do successfully so I collected it from the taxi rank when we went in to Chora this morning.

Tomorrow, we will be taking a guided tour of Tinos, organised by ΚΤΕΛ (the Greek version of Stagecoach). This will take us in to many small villages, a monastery and a nice beach too. So it should be an interesting day.

At the moment, I am indoors, trying to keep cool, and I’ve got the radio on too. We’ll head down to the beach a little later too.

Bye for now.

FH.

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