A few details on Tinos
Tinos is known as the “Island of the Virgin Mary and Artists”. Every year, thousands of pilgrims from all over Greece and abroad gather on the island, during the August 15th period, so as to pay tribute to the Virgin Mary.
Tinos is also the home of many great sculptors and artists of the Modern Greek era, such as Giannoulis Halepas, Nikolaos Gkizis, Nikiforos Lytras, Dimitris Filippotis and many others.
Tinos belongs to the Cycladic Islands cluster and is the third largest island after Andros and Naxos. It is situated in the Northern Cyclades, between Syros, Dilos, Myconos and Andros. Today the island’s population amounts to 10,000, while the highest mountain is Tsiknias, rising to 726 m.
There are 52 villages and settlements on the island. Most of these were established during the Middle Ages and possibly during the Byzantine period, while several sea-side dwellings have also been built.
All villages maintain their strictly traditional character, with picturesque footpaths called “sokakia”, cobblestone pavements called “kalderimia”, arches, marble fountains and traditional cafes (“kafeneia”). Several island festivals take place and plenty of local dishes are offered in the villages.
However, the surprises in store for visitors do not end here. For example, a visit to “Volax” village will really impress visitors, as the landscape consisting of round pebbles and cliffs, virtually assimilates the landscape of the moon!
The capital of the island – Tinos or as the locals call it: “Chora” – beyond its religious character and the “Church of Evaggelistria” (Church of the Virgin Mary), is of major archeological and cultural interest. Its beauty is hidden within the picturesque footpaths (“sokakia”) and the “Old Road of the Virgin Mary”, with several small shops along the way. This is also the commercial centre of the island and the heart of the island’s nightlife.
The beaches of Tinos also of a great beauty: Visitors can enjoy small bays or big beaches, sand or pebbles, the privacy of a secluded beach or a big organized one. At the beaches of Tinos one can enjoy swimming in blue crystal clear water.
The Natural Surroundings and Architecture
As expected, the “Island of Artists” entails major architectural treasures. Approximately 1,000 “peristereones” (pigeon towers), over 750 churches and chapels, with grandiose steeples, benches and various “ornaments” sculptured from stone or marble, such as water fountains, skylights, blazons and other works, make Tinos a massive museum of traditional art and folklore.
It is also noted that nature has endowed the island with an abundance of materials produced by the land itself, such as green and white marble, schist, granite and rock – structural materials which are used in the local Aegean architecture.
At times imposing, at other times, serene and mysterious, the diverse landscape of Tinos is distinguished for its uniqueness in the whole of the Aegean. Wandering around the island leads to an alluring discovery of natural beauties, and is the ideal place for demanding visitors, who hope for an all-round holiday packet: breathtaking scenery, clear blue seas, alternative forms of tourism, nightlife, good food, peace and relaxation, archaeological and cultural interest.