Browsing through a guide book about Tinos, searching in different websites or scrolling up and down on social media, one can pretty much find out almost everything about the island’s beauties and what it has to offer.
Well, almost everything…
Just like every place in the world, Tinos holds some small “secrets” that tend to stay away from most of the travellers’ photographs. However these small “secrets” are what makes the island much more charming to the ones that are willing to discover them.
So with this in mind I chose three of them, in an attempt to showcase all the different aspects of the island:
#1 A hilltop with panoramic view
#2 A remote – almost private – beach
#3 A stone wine cellar in a medieval village
A small chapel on top of a hill, with panoramic view, a balcony with stone tables that also serves coffee?! Well…yep!
The chapel of Profitis Ilias can be found outside the village of Marlas in the Northwest side of Tinos.
The landscape here is wild and rough, full of rocks that are being eaten away by nature through the ages and with a sole dirtroad crossing the land leading to the northernmost point of the island, right next to Andros.
You can reach Profitis Ilias by following the path that starts from the main road (notice the iron bar on the right side of the road) while the hike up to there is pretty easy and will last about 20 – 30 minutes.
Even if you find the route difficult, be sure that the view from the top will reward you; 360° towards the nearby villages and Andros island, as well as a magical sunset if the time is right.
After you enjoy your first moments on the balcony, you will realise that the door of the chapel is unlocked.
The family that maintains the place always makes sure that there is coffee or raki (Greek spirit) inside, just to make your visit a little more pleasant.
Before you leave, you can write a note in the guest book that you will find inside the chapel and also you can leave a tip for the treat.
Besides, the place really deserves it!
If you’re looking for a beach where you can privately enjoy the sun and water by yourself or with your partner/friends, this tiny gulf with the picturesque chapel is ideal.
It’s located near Kionia and is accessible through a path that starts from Pachia Ammos beach, 10 – 15 minutes away from there.
Chances are that you won’t meet any other person there (except maybe during August) so you will have the whole beach for yourselves.
Even if the gulf is small, there is still enough space to sunbath or play rackets on the sand, swim in the open water, even have a picnic under the tree beside the chapel.
A little further from the beach you can find the remains of a furnace that was burning here in the ancient times, that’s why the area is full of broken pottery pieces – a nice souvenir to keep and remember this special place.
Finally, if you feel adventurous you can follow the rocky way along the sea until you reach the mysterious cave that’s hidden in the area.
It takes a little bit of luck to find the 3rd “secret” location, like in my case when I first discovered it while wandering around the alleys of Arnados village with friends.
This village of medieval times is one of the most stunning places on the island. The characteristic arches, the infinite view towards the south and of course the wine cellar are what makes Arnados really worth visiting.
Completely by chance so, we met Michael in one of the alleys who greeted us and invited us on the spot to check out his new project, a place to make and store his wine.
The first impression caught us completely off guard, as we entered a renovated stone building lighted with many candles and with soft music playing in the background. The imposing wooden barrels were indicating the usage of the room, though it seemed like the place was expanding further with hallways and staircases.
As Michael explained to us, the main idea was to combine some old stone stables that happen to be in his land close to each other and eventually create a multi-purpose venue where him and his crew could make their wine, sell it and also organize various events.
While he was giving us the full tour of every room of the complex, it was obvious that – even if the project was still under construction – it had a lot of potential. You could clearly see that when the construction works are done, it will make a truly remarkable site to see and experience.
Even though the cellar is still not finished – the project is vast afterall – it remains open for anyone who wants to visit and try its delicious wine. Pair it with some dry bread from the traditional bakery of the village for the perfect local delicacy.