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Big Blue Tinos: A Home Away From Home

Home is not a place, it’s a feeling.

Years ago, I couldn’t quite relate to this quote.

For me, home had always been the place where I grew up and spent most of my life.

However, the more I started to travel and spend time abroad, the more I started to realize that the word “home” doesn’t describe a single place only.

It’s rather the special, kind of secure feeling you get when you feel very comfortable in a situation or place.

It was this exact feeling that I got during my stay at the Big Blue Tinos – a gorgeous 3-star hotel on the small Greek island of Tinos.

Five nights were the only thing I needed to feel at home there.

Five nights and no longer.

But let’s start from the beginning.

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a certain percentage of a sale if you purchase after clicking.)

Tinos? Never Heard of it.

At the beginning of September, my sister and I decided to be spontaneous for once and booked a flight to Athens only a few days before departure.

Our main intent was not a city trip but rather a relaxing holiday on a lovely, quiet Greek island with a bit of exploration.

We decided against visiting a well-known island like Santorini or Mykonos.
Instead, we wanted to choose a less touristy one.

Well, funny enough that we actually found the hotel first before we even decided on an island.

While doing some research, my sister came across an Instagram post about the Big Blue Tinos and I think it was love at first sight for both of us.

We got even more excited when we found out that Tinos is only a 4-hour ferry ride from Athens. Perfect!

So our decision was made quite fast and we booked five nights at a hotel on an island we had never heard of before.

Let the adventure begin!


A Windy Surprise

As much as I love the meditating feeling of staring at the deep blue ocean, it can get quite boring after four hours.

No wonder my sister and I breathed a sigh of relief when we finally felt solid ground under our feet again.

The first thing I noticed after leaving the ferry was the insanely strong wind. Whereby “wind” is quite an understatement as it almost tore my feet off the ground.

The Big Blue Tinos is located between the small village of Kionia and Tinos Town with the island’s harbor. Thanks to its convenient location near the harbor, we decided to walk all the way to the hotel.

According to Google Maps, it was only a 20-minute walk.

Trust me, Google Maps did NOT include the heavy wind in its calculation because it took us at least twice as long. Needless to say, it was the first and last time we went there on foot.

Btw, the wind is a typical thing in the Aegean Sea during summer. Called “Meltemi”, these strong and dry north winds usually blow from June right through September.

I guess we should have informed ourselves better because we were so not prepared for it! 😀

Staying at The Big Blue Tinos

At the time we arrived at the hotel, we were both tired and exhausted yet unbelievably happy we made it there without being carried away by the wind.

big blue tinos

A Furry Welcome

Another surprise awaited us right after we entered the hotel area.
This time it was a good one tho.

Instead of a human being welcoming us, we were greeted by a friendly tail-wagging dog.

It followed us to the reception where we met one of the hotel owners. She told us the dog’s name (Cleo) and that it belongs to the hotel.

Cleo was such a sweet and well-behaved dog – I fell in love with her right away.

One day, she even accompanied my sister and me to the small bay close to the hotel and stayed there with us all day long! Saying goodbye to her was one of the hardest things ever.

Cuddling with Cleo

Cleo wasn’t the only four-legged friend at the Big Blue Tinos.

Besides the dog, there was also a very calm cat I didn’t know the name of.

And then of course there was also Minki.

That’s how I named the tiny, constantly screaming cat that didn’t belong to the hotel but was always there.

She was mostly either sleeping on our veranda or begging for some food at the breakfast table.

big blue tinos

No one at the hotel could really tell where she came from but I fell in love with this cute ball of fur like I did with the other two.

Room With a View

After enough cuddling, it was time for us to get the key to our room.

The Big Blue Tinos has 11 rooms/apartments in four different categories but all facing the ocean. We decided to book a split-level suite with two floors as the price difference wasn’t that much.

For five nights in the suite, we paid less than €500.

A small, lovely detail I really liked was that each room is named differently. The sign with the room name on it can be found right next to the entrance door.

Our suite was called “Kyma” which means “wave” in Greek.

big blue tinos
Our veranda & Minki

Inside, the suite was exactly as I had imagined it before.
Everything was kept in white and grey colors, giving it a clean and modern look.

On the ground floor was the “kitchen area” featuring hot places, a sink, plates and cutlery. Plus there was also a fridge and a small table to sit at.

At the back of the ground floor was the open bathroom. The most eye-catching part of it was definitely the big in-built bathtub.

Big Blue Tinos bathtub

A shower, a toilet, a washbasin and amenities such as care products and a hairdryer made the stylish bathroom complete.

The bedroom was on the upper floor which was accessed by an elegant white staircase. It was furnished with a very comfortable bed, a big wardrobe and a shelf with a hanging mirror above.

My Very Own Morning Ritual

The wall opposite the bed had two windows. Every morning, the first thing I did was to open them and greet the ocean.

I mean, how often do you have the opportunity to admire the deep blue color of the endless sea right from bed?

For me, it was the first time and I could have spent hours doing it.

Luckily, I didn’t have to do without the ocean view for too long after leaving the bed – I only needed to go downstairs. In fact, I could even have it in the bathroom!

This was possible because there was a flap on the front door that we could open and close whenever we wanted.

The mirror in the bathroom was right opposite the door so every time I brushed my teeth I saw the ocean behind me.

Front door views
View from our veranda

It was by far one of the coolest rooms I ever stayed in and the concept and the attention to detail were truly amazing.

Another special thing to mention is that all rooms at the Big Blue Tinos are individually designed and none looks like the other. What they all have in common tho is the clean, airy white look.

Vegan Breakfast? No Problem at The Big Blue Tinos!

Having a good and nutritious vegan breakfast at a hotel can be difficult sometimes.

Unless it’s particularly focused on vegetarian/vegan food. I had no idea what being vegan in Greece will be like and I didn’t expect too much.

Accordingly positive was my reaction when I got such a rich vegan breakfast at the Big Blue Tinos. Honestly, it was better than I could have ever imagined!

For my sister and me, breakfast was always very special and we were looking forward to it every single time.

It was not only because of the food but also the location. The cozy breakfast corner with pool and ocean view was really the icing on the cake.

Big Blue Tinos
Breakfast corner

Unlike in most hotels nowadays, breakfast wasn’t served in buffet form. Every morning, the staff came and asked about our preferences.

From Greek yogurt to scrambled eggs, cake, bread, fish, oatmeal, or different types of vegetable tarts – there was something for everyone.

And, as I mentioned before: They had enough vegan options as well.

Although I hadn’t told them about my special diet before our arrival, it was no problem for them to make something.

The first morning, I got hearty oatmeal with banana, raisins and walnuts plus some bread and homemade jam.

For the following couple of days, they also prepared an incredibly tasty vegan chocolate cake and coconut yogurt with fruits.

A glass of freshly-pressed orange juice plus a cup of green tea and there was nothing more I could have asked for.

Breakfast at Big Blue Tinos

Big Blue Tinos – I’ll be back!

I could go on and on writing about the amazing time at the Big Blue Tinos.

About how heartily welcomed I felt and how thankful I was for each and everyone there who made my stay so special.

But I want you to experience it yourself.
And maybe then, you’ll understand why saying goodbye was so incredibly hard for me.

Even now, back in Austria, I’m still missing this wonderful place. Our stay there was way too perfect to be true.

The apartments, the location, the food, the animals, the friendly and courteous people – it couldn’t have been any better.

It was my first time at the hotel but it felt like I’d been there many, many times before. After only one day, I got this special feeling of familiarity and I wasn’t ready to leave after five days.

The Big Blue Tinos kind of became a home far away from home and I’m 100% sure I’ll come back soon.

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Do you want to travel like me?
Here are some of my favorite travel tips and resources:

Flights: I prefer using CheapOair or Skyscanner to book flights. The destination everywhere feature is perfect for finding some cheap deals!

Accommodation: Booking.com is my favorite site to find some great hotel deals. I do love staying at a local place as well, thus I book an Airbnb every now and then.

Travel Insurance: There are many reasons why travel insurance is important and I never travel without having one. I use the simple and flexible one from World Nomads to be protected against unforeseen events.

Tours: I love taking tours to explore destinations like a local. My favorite website to book them in advance is GetYourGuide.

Camera Gear: I use a Nikon D5300 camera with an 18-105 mm and a 10-20 mm wide-angle lens to take my photos.   

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  1. I need to visit some more of the smaller Greek Islands! Tinos looks like such a cute little island and I love that it is less touristy. The front door views look so gorgeous! I’m glad you were able to find a Vegan breakfast as well.

      1. Love this. So well written and I know exactly where I want to stay the next time I’m in Greece. Thanks so much!

  2. This hotel looks so adorable! I never heard of Tinos before, but you have totally inspired me to see more Greek Islands. I also love how the hotel had a dog and cats. A boutique hotel I stayed at recently in Aruba also had pets! 🙂

  3. First of all, any hotel with a dog goes to the top of my list. But I love the layout of this place. The bathroom, the bedroom and that veranda. Brave choice picking a random island you didn’t know about but I think having some time away from the busy areas would be great right now

    1. Yes same! We didn’t know they had a dog so it was a really nice surprise. And yes, it was definitely a good decision to choose a rather unknown island 🙂

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