In the Cyclades, you’ll find a beautiful island hidden behind its religious fame: the food, surfing and wild beauty of Tinos will enchant you.
The miracle of Tinos isn’t only the miraculous icon of the Virgin, which gave the island its fame. It’s the wild beauty that excites you: rocks eroded by the wind, beaches with deep blue water, Cycladic villages that climb up the hillsides.
A thousand more miracles are just waiting to be discovered here on this island in the Cyclades: beaches – both secluded and organised – for scuba diving and surfing, local delicacies, lunar landscapes and pilgrims crawling up to Our Lady of Tinos on their knees. Some 750 chapels and churches, Catholic and Orthodox, 600 peristeriones (dovecotes) and 34 settlements, and the Temple of Poseidon, where pilgrims are purified before they continue on to the sacred island of Delos. Once you get to know the island, you too will become a believer.
What to do in Tinos
Villages like gems
Pyrgos, Kardiani, Ysternia, Ktikado, Triantaros-Berdemiaros, Falatados, Loutra, Tripotamos. The villages of Tinos are like ornaments decorating the island’s slopes and valleys. Walk among them, one by one: there is marble everywhere, in the squares, the skylights, in the fountains where you’ll cool off with a drink of water. Take a break at a traditional cafe under the shade of the sycamore trees and have a coffee or a bite to eat: Tinian cheese, louza (smoked meat), and sweet raki. Now that’s real hospitality!
Immortal Tinian sculptures
Legend says that Phidias taught the art of sculpture to the Tinians. Do you have any doubt? At the museums of Tinos – The Cultural Centre of Tinos, Museum of Marble Crafts and Tinian Artists in Pyrgos – you will admire immortal works of Neohellenic sculpture. Giannoulis Halepas, Dimitris Filippis, the Fitali brothers, Lazaros Sochos and Georgios Vitalis have all left their mark here. Learn the secrets of their art by taking classes at the marble sculpture workshops.
Dovecotes: works of art
Peristeriones are typical to the Tinian landscape, and are some of the most impressive works of art in the Cyclades: 600 dovecotes made of slate, stone and limestone that are filled with lithographs. The pigeons and doves fly around, resisting your attempts to photograph them.
Tinos: the holy of the Cyclades
Every year, on the 15th of August, thousands of believers descend upon Tinos, to accompany the procession of the miraculous icon. You can hardly make out the icon of Panagia Evangelistria, hidden as it is behind the numerous offerings that surround it. On their knees, pilgrims begin the ascent from the port to the church, overlooking Tinos town since 1880. Be a witness to this miracle of faith.
Volax: a lunar landscape in the Aegean
Surrounding the village of Volax is a peculiar plateau with huge pebbles. It’s as if they were thrown by a giant, the round boulders of all different sizes are hundreds of years old. They are not meteorites, but a geological phenomenon of global erosion. Experience the wild beauty of this lunar landscape, crossing the region of Kakovolo, from Falatado to Panagia Kaki Skala.
The peak of Exomvourgo
Some 640m above sea level, the mountain of Exomvourgo stands out among the island’s landmarks. At its base you will find the Catholic monastery Ieras Kardias (Sacred Heart), one of the most impressive attractions on the island. The fortress of Exomvourgo, at the peak, was once the highest in the Aegean, but it was besieged and destroyed by the Turks in 1715. From up high you can see not only Tinos, but also Samos, Ikaria, Naxos and Delos… breathe in the Aegean!
Hidden gems of Tinos
Extreme sports in Tinos
Mountain climbing on Exomvourgo, bouldering on Volax, surfing at Megali Kolymbithra, scuba diving… adrenaline junky heaven!
Follow the island’s old trails and encounter little miracles: ruins of old settlements, fountains, windmills, chapels and dovecotes, lithographs and green valleys.
This beach stands apart because of its sculpture-like rocks and wild water. As you leave the beach, walk as far as the lighthouse at Papargyras, and then around the highest mountain in Tinos, Tsiknia.