Tinos Highlight: Walk Up Exomvourgo Hill For History & Fantastic Views
One of the best things you can do during your visit to Tinos island, Greece is to walk up Exomvourgo/Xomoburgo. It’s the impressive granite hill you can see from much of the island.
For more routes and beautiful scenery check out these other posts about walking in the Cyclades.
- Hiking on Tinos – Helpful Walking Guide to this Stunning Island
- Hiking in Andros Greece – A Paradise for Walkers
- 3 Short Hikes in Naxos to Hidden & Unusual Sites
- Hiking in Naxos: Nature-Lover’s Guide to Walking this Island
- Walking in Paros: 5 Short & Enjoyable Walks with Great Views
Xinara village in front of the hill
On top of the mountain are the remains of a Venetian castle. And it goes without saying that you get a fantastic view of Tinos and neighbouring Syros from there.
The actual castle is known as Agia Eleni (St Helen’s). There’s not a huge amount of it left but it’s fun to (safely) explore the ruins that are there.
Remains of the castle
There’s a huge marble cross at the summit. The top is missing and I heard someone say it had been struck by lightning.
Marble cross and views from the top
Exomvourgo/Xomoburgo means outside of the castle and it’s the name of the ancient capital town that was built on the slopes below. You can still see the remains of the ancient town but it’s a bit tricky to know what you’re looking at unless you’re something of a historian.
Remains of the ancient city
If you want to find out more then some of the items recovered from the town are on display in the Archaeological Museum in Tinos.
How to Get to Exomvourgo
In terms of getting to the castle, there are a few different trails you can choose from. They will all get you to the base of the mountain so you can then climb up to the castle. The easiest way is to drive to the Catholic Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus monastery. From there you can walk straight up to the castle with the monastery on your right.
Catholic Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus monastery
I chose a different route and the photos in this post are from the walk I took from Tripotamos village. It takes a bit longer than starting at the monastery but the trail is easy to follow, if uphill. Parking at the village entrance is straightforward and the start of the trail is easy to see.
Starting from Tripotamo
You could also start from Xinara village. The start of the path looked a bit overgrown in March but not overwhelmingly so.
Alternatively, you could walk from Chora on the T1 Three Capitals trail. The full walk is a 13km loop if you want to include some other sights on your hiking expedition.
Signs to the climbing zones
Don’t panic if you see people heading up to the path with rock climbing equipment. There are several bouldering and rock climbing routes at Exomvourgo. But rest assured there is an actual path that goes all the way up too.
Walking to the Castle
The route from Triapotamos and back should take from around an hour depending on fitness levels, how long you stop to explore and how many pictures you take on the way.
It’s uphill all the way from the village and there are many stone steps to climb.
One of the churches en route
There are a few churches along the way even on this short route so do stop and have a look at them too.
Inside the church
If you choose to do this walk when the weather’s warm then start early. Wear long trousers, take plenty of water, suncream and a sunhat to keep you safe.
Also, keep an eye out for snakes outside of the winter months. They can slither about in the drystone walls and long grass. They also curl up under rocks and on the path so be mindful of where you’re stepping.
Combining Your Trip to Exomvourgo
The good thing about starting at Tripoatmos is that you can explore the village too. It’s a lovely pedestrian settlement, with narrow alleyways and two-storey houses. I highly recommend a walk around. Xinara is smaller but has interesting church buildings and nice feel to it too.
If you feel like doing more walking then don’t stop when you climb down from the castle. Follow the signs to carry on to other-worldly Volax.
Want to see Exomvourgo as a Group?
There are organised group tours to the castle and ancient town if you’d prefer to join one of them. Tinos Outdoor Activity runs a 3-hour round-trip that takes in three villages. Trippy (May to October) runs a slightly longer trip that takes in the castle and five of the surrounding villages.