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Tinos:
The Absolute Religious Destination

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Discover Tinos

Tinos is the third largest of the Cycladic Islands. Its international fame is associated with the Church of Our Lady of Tinos, one of the most important places of pilgrimage in the Orthodox Christian world.

A centre of marble carving since the 18th century, Tinos has produced great sculptors and painters, as well as masters of popular crafts who have left unforgettable monuments of folk culture in every corner of the island. Exquisite examples of this tradition can be seen today in its beautiful villages, countless churches, paved footpaths, and remarkable dovecotes.

A place that celebrates art and history, Tinos offers a unique travel experience to lovers of alternative outdoor activities and cultural tourism.

6 memorable experiences on Tinos
  1. The famous Tinos Festival, which is held at various impressive sites.
  2. A visit to the home of Yannoulis Chalepas in Pyrgos, which is now a museum, for a fascinating introduction to the life and work of modern Greece’s most important sculptor, through personal artefacts, photographs, preparatory sketches, and original sculptures.
  3. A climb to the top of the evocative Mount Exomvourgo, which stands 640 metres high, for a unique view of Tinos from the ruins of the Venetian castle.
  4. Wandering the narrow streets of the picturesque Kardiani, arguably the prettiest village on the island, with superb views of Syros, Kea and Kythnos. Built in tiers on the steep slope of Mount Pateles, it gives the appearance of being suspended over the sea.
  5. If you choose one of the itineraries to Tinos, visit the Museum of Tinian Artists in the main town. Its collection is a panorama of sculptures and paintings by the island’s most illustrious names, including Yannoulis Chalepas, Dimitrios Filippotis, Georgios Vitalis, Nikolaos Gyzis, Nikiforos Lytras, and Giannis Gaitis.
  6. Going on a “poetry tour” in the village of Volakas, where the old doors of the houses have poems by Kalvos, Cavafy, Elytis, and others written on them.
Beaches of Tinos

The island is blessed with many wonderful beaches to suit all tastes: some are family-friendly or have facilities for water sports enthusiasts, while for those who prefer seclusion, there are others further off the beaten track. It is worth discovering:

  • The impressive Livada, a ruggedly beautiful landscape of huge rocks sculpted by the elements, with deep blue-green waters that attract surfers and lovers of exploration.
  • The popular Kionia, a long stretch of sand in front of the archaeological site of Poseidon and Amphitrite, which is perfect for water sports and families with children.
  • Exotic Pachia Ammos for endless games in the sand dunes, offering a view of the straits between Tinos and Mykonos.
  • The famous Saint Phocas, with its fine sand and pine trees, where you can go for a jog along the seashore.
  • The twin beach of Kolymbithra, with the cosmopolitan Mikri Ammos on one side and the youth-friendly Megali Ammos (also known as “California”) on the other, an ideal setting for water sports with views of the islet of Drakonisi.
Postcards from Tinos: 10 things not to miss

The Monastery of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary (Our Lady of Tinos)
Built of white marble at the top of the hill overlooking Tinos Town, this imposing monastery complex, constructed between 1833 and 1879, is the island’s most recognisable landmark. Its highest point is the majestic 30-metre-high bell tower created by the Tinian sculptor Ioannis Filippotis.

The Old Town
A symbol of Tinos’s importance and prosperity in the 19th century, the Old Town is a charming mosaic of narrow maze-like streets in which attractive mansions with coats of arms, excellent museums, and picturesque churches are waiting to be discovered. It is one of the loveliest places on the island to go for a stroll.

Pyrgos Museum of Marble Crafts
This modern museum opened in 2007 in the village most associated with marble on Tinos. Through audio-visual presentations and dozens of exhibits, it covers the technology used to extract and shape the material from antiquity to the present day.

Pyrgos
The largest village on Tinos is like an open-air work of art, with narrow paved streets, decorative wall-fountains, elaborate lintels, and stone churches, all testifying to its long tradition of marble carving. The birthplace of great painters and sculptors of the 19th century, Pyrgos boasts exceptional museums, workshops, and a renowned School of Fine Arts.

The Dovecotes
These two-storey stone towers, which have adorned the slopes and footpaths of Tinos since the period of Venetian rule, are unique folk monuments. There are estimated to be more than 600 of them, particularly around the villages of Tarambados, Agapi, Livada, Potamia and Kardiani.

The Villages of Tinos
The island’s traditional settlements are excellent examples of vernacular architecture. Their main feature is marble-paved squares and intricately carved wall-fountains.

Trails
The medieval paths of Tinos form a 400-km network of hiking trails that criss-cross its mountainous interior along ancient paved routes. In ancient times, the historic Vary path (which runs from Tinos Town to Kionia and up into the hills) joined the capital with cities in the centre of the island.

The boulders of Volakas
Something between a lunar landscape and an open-air geological museum, the area between Mount Exomvourgo, Falatados and Livada is dotted with giant granite boulders that excite the imagination. Legend has it that the volakes (enormous projectiles) are left over from the mythical fight between the Gods and the Giants. They make a spectacular sight and the area is a top climbing destination for “boulderers” in Europe.

Kechrovouni Monastery
Built on a steep slope 650 metres above sea level, the oldest monastery on Tinos (dating from the 10th or 11th century) consists of seven churches and resembles a fortified Cycladic village. It is also called Our Lady of the Angels and is among the most beautiful monastery complexes in Greece.

Tinos Archaeological Museum
This museum is located on Megalochari, the main street leading to the monastery in Tinos Town, and its collection includes finds from excavations at two sanctuaries, one on Mount Exomvourgo, and the other in Kionia. Of particular interest are the marble sundial made in the late 2nd century BC by Andronicus of Cyrrhus and the storage jars dating from the 8th century BC with their striking relief decoration.

Tastes of Tinos

The fine local food includes delicious cheeses such as graviera, kopanisti and tiniako tyraki, while its charcuterie is excellent: Tinos sausage, louza (smoked pork), and syglina or syssira (pieces of pork preserved in fat) are justly famous. You should also try capers (in a dip), sun-dried tomatoes (fried in batter), wild artichokes, arnathkies (wild black mushrooms), and of course the traditional omelette (fourtalia) made with sausages or syglina and various vegetables. One of the island’s finest delicacies is braised pigeon.

For a taste of something sweet, sample the lychnarakia (sweet fried cheese pies) or psarakia (fish-shaped pancakes filled with walnuts).

Don’t leave the island without discovering outstanding wines such as the red Koumariano and the white Aspropotamisi and Askathari, as well as Tinian raki, which is flavoured with fennel.

Discover them and try them by choosing one of the ferry tickets to Tinos.

MAP OF TINOS
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