Tinos is a Greek island situated in the Aegean Sea. It is located in the Cyclades archipelago. In antiquity, Tinos was also known as Ophioussa (from ophis, Greek for snake) and Hydroessa (from hydor, Greek for water). The closest islands are Andros, Delos, and Mykonos. It has a land area of 194.464 square kilometers and as per latest census its home for its 8,636 inhabitants.
Tinos is famous amongst Greeks for the Church of Panagia Megalochari, its 80 or so windmills, about 1000 artistic dovecotes, 50 active villages and its Venetian fortifications at the mountain, Exomvourgo. In Tinos, both Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic populations co-exist in peace and harmony. The island is also well known for its famous sculptors and painters, such as Nikolaos Gyzis, Yannoulis Chalepas and Nikiforos Lytras.
The island is located near the geographical center of the Cyclades island complex, and because of the Panagia Megalochari orthodox church, with its reputedly miraculous icon of Virgin Mary that it holds, Tinos is also the center of a yearly pilgrimage that takes place on the date of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary (15 August, "Dekapentavgoustos" in Greek). This is perhaps the most notable and still active yearly pilgrimage in the region of the eastern Mediterranean. Many pilgrims make their way the 800 meters from the ferry wharf to the church on their hands and knees as sign of devotion. Tinos is a wonderland of natural beauty, dotted with more than 40 marble-ornamented villages found in hidden bays, on terraced hillsides and atop misty mountains. Also scattered across the brindled countryside are countless ornate dovecotes, a legacy of the Venetians.
Things to do
There is a variety of things to do while being in Tinos. If you're looking for mass tourism and crowded beaches, then this destination is not for you. Tinos is an island for those who appreciate the old ways and lifestyle of the islanders, the authentic and unspoiled, picturesque villages that one hopes to find on a Greek island, and the simple Greek cuisine that Greece itself is famous for. Here on Tinos, it's back to basics.
- Visit the picturesque and exotic village Volax, this natural museum of geophysical art with the giants round rocks
- Walk through the secret paths from the city of Tinos to Ktikados, Triantaros and Exombourgo
- Swim at the remote beach Apigania and the wild Livada with the white sea-washed rocks and the beautiful pond with the friendly ducks
- Dive at Kolympithra and gazing at the imposing view of Drakonisi in the bay opposite
- Cross the steep course in the north part of the island from Aetofolia to Pyrgos; the landscape is wild but very impressive
- Find out why Tinos is considered by many one of the top boulder – climbing destinations worldwide, if you are a fan of Climbing
- Test your surfing skills at Kolympithra beach
- Explore the handicrafts of artistic Pyrgos
- Walk through the white washed streets and the picturesque arches of Falatados with the blossomed parterres
- Gaze at the beautiful dovecotes in the valley of Tarampados and the old wind mills that are scattered all over the island
- Taste some of Tinos traditional dishes and sweets, e.g. louza, fourtalia, sun-dried tomatoes and artichokes, pasteli made of sesame and honey served on a lemon leaf as well as a variety of handmade sweet preserves
- Join some of the countless local feasts for dancing and singing in the central squares of the villages
- Participate in the beach party and the local beach-volley championship during the week around the 15th of August at Kolympithra beach
- Celebrate along with other local villagers the ‘choirosfagia’ in the start of the winter
- Taste the local ‘protorako’ (a spirit distilled from wine) in ‘rakitzio’ festival in the beginning of September
- Visit some of the island’s numerous white ‘jewels’, the picturesque Cycladic churches, and the monastery of Kechrovounio where the nun Pelagy envisaged the revelation of the miraculous holy picture of the Virgin Mary
- Travel to Dilos opposite in order to admire the unique archeological monuments
- Travel to all the nearby islands, such as the glamorous Mykonos
- Discover on your own the dozens of other secrets of Tinos island and the Aegean culture.
Enchanting yet still unknown to the majority of tourists, this Cycladic island mostly attracts tourists with a high sense of taste and respect towards Arts and Culture. The island of Tinos is the homeland of renowned great artists of marble carving who have been the last famous names to have held the baton of the island’s marble-carving tradition.
According to the legend, the famous sculptor of the ancient times, Fidias, had taught the secrets of his art to the locals. Their admirable craft is displayed in chapels, fountains, arches and dovecots. In the village of Pyrgos the Marble Art Museum is worth a visit as much as the Gallery of Tinian Artists right next to the church of Virgin Mary. Exploring the bright paths of marble and stone, the Cycladic statuettes and the Aegean handicrafts, you come to realize why Tinos is one of the most significant landmarks of art and civilization worldwide. The excellent Giannoulis Chalepas, Nikolaos Gyzis, Dimitris Filippotis, Antonios Sochos, Georgios Vitalis and many other Tinos artists prove that Tinos is fairly considered the island of Artists. Painting, marble sculpture, hagiography, basketry and the art of pebble mosaics are among others some of the most known Tinos crafts! Many shops in Tinos sell traditional handicrafts inspired by the island as well as other local treasures of Tinos civilization.
The amazing island of Tinos, with the beautiful beaches and the 40 traditional villages, or, according to the philosopher Kastoriadis, the “hand-made Tinos”. Tinos is a very interesting place to visit. One can enjoy its unspoiled architecture, its picturesque villages, its beautiful beaches and its traditional culture and way of living that has been going on through the years. The Pan-Hellenic festivities in honor of Virgin Mary on August 15 are accompanied by other festivals like those in Tsiknias and Exombourgo and the gastronomic feasts involving artichoke and raki in Falatados as well as the festival of honey in Kampos. Tinos is the ideal place for nature lovers, architecture, art and tradition, and the perfect answer to the relative expectations.
TIME ZONE: GMT+2 / Local Currency: Euro € / Local Area Telephone Code: +30 / Right Hand Driving
Electricity: 230V/50Hz (Plug type C and F)