On the Megalochari Street (the main street leading from the harbor to the Church), you will find the Archaeological Museum (just opposite the telecommunications building of OTE). This small, dynamic museum displays many finds from all over Tinos Island, the earliest dating back to the 5th century B.C. Its collections include: Pottery, dating from the Mycenaean to the late Hellenistic/Roman period, sculpture, ranging from the Archaic to the Roman period, inscriptions and coins.
Opposite the museum, you will see that the street is carpeted, a vain attempt at making more comfortable the many pilgrims who crawl up to the church on their hands and knees. At the top of the street, just before the large square that fronts the church grounds, you can see a lovely bronze sculpture depicting this humbling and emotional act of crawling up to the
The new Cultural Center, on the harbor opposite the Post Office, usually has an art exhibit running for most of the summer. This renovated and restored building dates to the 1800s; it was built by a wealthy local and was used as a hospital up until the time that the island’s then and now small population did not warrant such a facility. It’s worth a visit to the center just to see how beautifully the building has been restored, both inside and out.
Wandering through the side streets of Tinos reveals some very beautiful houses and illustrates how the architecture has changed over the years, with older structures of Venetian style interspersed with Cycladic and newer, nondescript modern. Throughout the year, the balconies and verandas are flooded with colorful flowers, and many of the windows display the lovely white island curtains that are so prevalent here. Many of the side streets are little more than narrow alleys that twist and turn, always bringing you to another little church, or a taverna tucked away in the shade.
Of course, café sitting is a favorite Greek pastime, whatever hour of the day. You can choose from the many, many harbor-front cafés or venture away from the crowds along the back streets, or take an evening stroll along the coast to sip an ouzo and gaze at the sea. If you love to watch the crowds arrive, be sure to be at a harbor-
front café near the Megalochari Street when the boats start to arrive, from about 11:30 until 13:30. This is not the place to be if you want to be alone!
In the area of Pallada, there are numerous cafes overlooking the sea, and small tavernas along a covered walkway. Here you can find the local farmers’ market, where farmers from all over the island gather to sell fresh vegetables, dried tomatoes, spices, honey, and fresh flowers. You can usually find the island’s mascot, Markos the Pelican, wandering through the Pallada, waiting to have his photo taken.
Lastly, no holiday would be complete without hunting for souvenirs to take back home with you. The main shopping street for that is Evangelistria (which runs parallel with the Megalochari Street, running from the harbor-front up to the Church). There is something for every taste and budget, from kitsch to antique. Shop hours vary during winter, but most shops and stalls are open continuously throughout the day during summer, from about 09:00 until well after Midnight.