The countryside of Tinos is a glorious mix of broad terraced hillsides, mountaintops crowned with crags, unspoilt villages, fine beaches and fascinating architecture that includes picturesque dovecotes. Rent wheels to see it all.
North of Hora, beautiful Ktikados perches in a hanging valley, with a good taverna and a skyline punctuated by a blue-domed church with an elegant campanile.
Kampos sits atop a scenic hill surrounded by fields and is home to the Costas Tsoclis Museum, displaying works by the renowned contemporary artist.
Don’t miss Tarabados, a maze of small streets roamed by village dogs and decorated with marble sculptures, leading to a breezy valley lined with dovecotes.
About 17km northwest of Hora, lovely Kardiani perches on a steep cliff slope enclosed by greenery. Narrow lanes wind through the village, and the views towards Syros are exhilarating.
The gorgeous church-dotted settlement of Pyrgos is the highlight of Tinos and one of the prettiest of all the Cyclades towns. Narrow whitewashed lanes wind towards a perfect little square lined with cafes, which looks just like a film set. Marble has been quarried from the encircling hills for millennia and during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the town was the centre of a remarkable sculpture enclave. A trio of interesting museums celebrates this legacy.
Further north of Pyrgos the main road ends at Panormos, a popular excursion destination for its photogenic fishing harbour lined with fish tavernas.
About 12km north of Hora on the north coast is emerald Kolimbithra, where surfers take to the breaks at two excellent sandy beaches.
A worthwhile detour inland takes you to Agapi, a pretty village set in a lush valley of dovecotes. Ethereal and romantic, it lives up to its name (meaning 'love' in Greek).
Pass eye-catching Krokos, with its enormous Catholic monastery and school, to reach Volax, about 6km directly north of Hora. This hamlet sits at the heart of an amphitheatre of low hills festooned with hundreds of enormous, multicoloured boulders. The ruins of the Venetian fortress of Exobourgo lie 2km south of Volax, on top of a mighty 640m rock outcropping.
The northeast coast beach at Livada is spectacular, but the ones east of Hora, like Porto and Pahia Ammos, can seem comparatively built-up.