The countryside of Tinos is a glorious mix of broad terraced hillsides, mountaintops crowned with crags, unspoiled villages, fine beaches and fascinating architecture that includes picturesque dovecotes. Rent wheels to see it all.
Kionia, 3km northwest of Hora, has several small beaches and the scant remains of the 4th-century BC Sanctuary of Poseidon & Amphitrite, a once-enormous complex that drew pilgrims.
First along the way north of town, beautiful Ktikados perches in a hanging valley and has a matched set of blue-topped church and campanile. Drosia is tops for local lunches and magnificent views.
Kambos sits on the top of a scenic hill surrounded by fields and is home to the Costas Tsoclis Museum, home to works by the renowned contemporary artist.
Don’t miss Tarabados, a fun maze of small streets decorated with marble sculptures and leading to a breezy valley lined with dovecotes (look for the sign ‘Pigeon Houses’ Area’). Explore!
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.
Pyrgos is a stunning, church-dotted hamlet where even the cemetery is a feast of carved marble, and the perfect village square looks like a film set. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Pyrgos was the centre of a remarkable sculpture enclave sustained by the supply of excellent local marble.
At the main entrance to Pyrgos, the fascinating Museum House of Yannoulis Chalepas preserves the sculptor’s humble rooms and workshop.
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 Kolymvythra Bay, where Tinos Surf Lessons takes advantage of the breaks at two excellent sandy beaches. It offers surf tuition, plus rentals of surfboards, bodyboards, kayaks and canoes.
A worthwhile detour inland takes you to Agapi, 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 Evangelismou tis Panagias, an enormous Catholic church, 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.