The island muse and her festive revelations
(the blogpost is based on Instagram posts by Tinos island friends)
Now, just in case you were under the impression that the wonders of the Greek islands were exclusive to summer, Tinos stands in the middle of the Aegean Sea as a shining example of how equally enchanting winter can be in this part of the world. For centuries, the people here have been inspired by their beautiful island muse, spurred to the heights of creation by their wonderful surroundings all through the year. So richly bestowed with natural beauty, colour and vibrancy, Tinos during winter, and especially the festive season, is one Christmas present that you should definitely be thinking about giving to yourself, your family and friends this year.
Get that winter feeling
It’s late afternoon and you’re standing on the quayside of the port, newly arrived on the island, admiring the huge Christmas tree and its twinkling lights, the decorative stars strung across the lamp posts, the gently rippling waves tinted by the rays of a hazy winter sun; you begin to feel that tingle of excitement as yuletide songs play out in your head; somewhere along one of the enticing whitewashed alleyways you hear children chatter excitedly about the possibilities of snow and what Santa will bring them this year. It’s the colours that strike you next; in the sky above, now and again deep blue gives way to a billowing mass of whites and greys; as evening approaches, swirls of magenta and burgundy complete the spectacular canvas;
trees bend down to lay a carpet of russet, cinnamon and bronze leaves and bring that comforting winter crunch underfoot.
Hard on the heels of summer
In the case of Tinos, whatever summer can do for you, winter can match it! All the activities that the island invites you to take part in are even more exhilarating with its bright days and crisp, bracing air.
Magnificent breezes propel you through the crashing white foam, wet-suited and weaving shapes upon the winter waves. Rugged mountain ridges and verdant vales, castle and temple ruins, chapels, windmills and dovecotes present both picturesque and challenging routes for runners and climbers of all ages. And don’t forget to pack the hiking boots too; ready to take on the invigorating treks along the island’s traditional stone trails, crafted by generations of masons and farmers to criss-cross its beautiful roughhewn terrain.
As well as the stunning rock formations, like the mighty peak of Exomborgo, it is also the exquisite little details that can enchant you. Occasionally, winter flowers are embroidered into the fabric of the undergrowth; tiny sparklers of gentle lilac, vivid reds and oranges to light your way.
Enjoy the beauty and comfort
If it’s unadulterated relaxation you are after, then Tinos is just the place for this as well.
Take a stroll in any one of its many welcoming and scenic villages, with their winding, cobblestone alleyways and squares, whose ancient tree branches stretch out to greet you on arrival.
What other choice now but to mellow out with good company in a favourite café or tavern gazing out the window at a glowing sunset casting its dreamy winter’s light across fishing boats bobbing in calm harbour waters, church towers and glistening roof tops?
And as a roaring fire blazes in the hearth, you’ll tuck into a selection of home-cooked pies, containing fennel and mushrooms freshly harvested from the mountains or delicious locally produced sweet cheese.
Compliments of the season