Tinos | Cyclades
37.5803° N, 25.1543° E
Tinos is one of the biggest and more developed islands of the Cyclades, yet it has managed to grow gracefully, its architectural style contrasting with the wild beauty of the landscape. Tinos is split by a mountainous backbone that looms in the background over its whitewashed houses, overlooking the Aegean and the neighbouring islands.
The island's town is dominated by the famed church of Panagia Evagelistria, a place of pilgrimage for the orthodox Christians. Moving away from the somewhat touristy waterfront, the island boasts pretty settings of verdant hills, a stunning coastline and 40 quaint villages sprinkled across its interior and the coast.
Tinos has been producing marble and sculptors since ancient times. The island also has a long tradition in craftsmanship, the local marble used in the intricate ornamentation of buildings and dovecotes that are scattered around the island.
Panagia EvagelistriaThe star-attraction that dominates the island's picturesque town. Legend has it that the church was built on the spot where the icon of Virgin Mary was found, after a vision of St Pelagia. The icon is believed to have healing powers, thus the annual pilgrimage every 15th of August.
Temple of PoseidonIn ancient times, Tinos was an important centre of worship for the God of the seas Poseidon and his wife Amphitrite, goddess of fertility. At the seaside area of Kionia lie the finds of the temple of Poseidon and Amfitriti, including the remnants of two shrines as well as sculptures and ornaments that once decorated the temples.
The art of sculptingIf you are interested in sculpture, Tinos is sure to leave you in awe. Visit Pirgos, the village of prominent sculptor Giannoulis Chalepas with its marble-ornamented houses and the imposing graveyard, the Museum of Marble Crafts and the Cultural Foundation of Tinos which hosts concerts, film screenings, exhibitions and a permanent display of the work of Giannoulis Chalepas.
VolaxVolax is a small village hidden away in the interior of the island. Its eerie granite boulders, scattered around the area, have been puzzling geologists for decades. Nowadays the village is scarcely inhabited, the few people who live there carrying on a long tradition of basket-making -you can visit the workshops and buy handmade baskets.
Chora's cobbled main street, edged with shops selling religious memorabilia on either side, leads up to the Church of Panagia Evagelistria. The buildings around the church house the Museum of Tinian Artists, an exhibition of icons and religious relics, an art gallery and an exhibition of works by Andonios Sochos.
The archaeological museum features finds from the excavations at the temple of Dimitra in Xobourgo, as well as statues and pieces from the temple of Poseidon and Amfitrite.
Tinos boasts 40 villages, each with its own distinct character. Visit the traditional village of Koumaros to have a coffee at the traditional kafenio - you will probably have to prepare the coffee yourself and then leave money at the wooden desk because there is no landlord.
Head to the charming mountain villages of Volax, Xinara, Smardakito and Falatado. Krokos is a diminutive village with an eerie atmosphere and Xobourgo is home to the Convent of Sacred Heart.
Being a religious centre, Tinos has countless churches and monasteries that are scattered around the island. Visit the convent of Agia Pelagia close to Arnados, the convent of Ursulines in Loutra and the monastery of Jesuits the shrine of Agios Iosif has closed down, but you can visit the folklore museum with objects from island’s everyday life.
Aside from sightseeing, Tinos has a local cuisine that is among Greece's best, as well as an array of colourful bars where you can sip cocktails under the stars. For outdoorsy types, Tinos has a long network of hiking trails and two excellent surfing spots.
There are ferries to Tinos leaving from the ports of Piraeus (5 hrs) and Rafina (3 hrs). Alternatively, you can fly to Mykonos and catch a ferry from there the trip lasts 30min.
Either within its popular Chora or scattered throughout its untouched extend, all luxury villas in Tinos will make guests dive deep into the spiritual serenity of the island. A destination well suited both for families and adventure lovers, Tinos is all ready to welcome visitors through a superb selection of holiday villas to rent.