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Quietly romantic: Condé Nast traveller highlights Tinos

Quietly romantic: Condé Nast traveller highlights Tinos

Romance isn’t always about drama and hearts bursting, nor is it all about sunsets and restaurants and amazing Instagram feeds. Sometimes, the mind-blowingly beautiful loses to the landscapes that make you ache for them when you leave. Sometimes romance isn’t fiery hot, but sleepy hot, like an afternoon in the marble square in the village of Pyrgos, on Tinos, a short boat trip and a few light years away from Mykonos and Santorini.

In what can be described as a love letter to the island of Tinos, Antonia Quirke recently wrote for Condé Nast Traveller about what she calls the most romantic place in the whole of Greece. In the article, titled “Tinos: the romantic Greek island,” literary descriptions of her time in the villages are complemented by her conversations with locals and other visitors:

“‘So, when you first arrived, you were a hippie…’ I begin to say – and Heidi looks rueful. ‘No! I just wanted to be free.’ Not all lovers of freedom are bohemians. ‘Oh, God!’ cries Andrea, of their first summers on the island and the intent, luxurious brilliance of the night sky. ‘The heat and the STARS. We dragged our mattresses outside. In the village of Triantaros they called us “the people who sleep on roofs’.”

While increasingly popular as a tourist destination in recent years, Tinos’ growing reputation is still that of an “authentic” Cycladic island – and that is how it feels. Among Greeks it’s most popular as a pilgrimage destination. To gourmands, it’s the home of the deliciously charming Tinos Food Paths festival, which celebrates everything local and takes visitors to the villages and the literal and metaphorical root of every flavor. Perhaps for foreigners, it could become the romantic island.

“Vagelis’s girlfriend Athki bowls up, with raki in a plastic bottle, rolling her eyes in amusement at the talk of traffic jams and septic tanks. ‘She is my flower,’ murmurs Vagelis when she’s out of earshot. ‘I need her for the whole of my life,” writes Quirke.

A place to fall in love with, and a place to need, as its returning visitors know, this is also how one feels about Tinos.


This article first appeared in Greece-Is.com, an English-language publishing initiative by Kathimerini.