Tinos

TINOS | CYCLADES

Tinos is a beautiful island of the Cyclades located between Syros, Andros, and Mykonos. Located on the northern side of the Cyclades, Tinos island is ideal for relaxing family holidays. The beaches are calm and sandy, surrounded by many tourist facilities and accommodations.

The most traditional villages are located inland, and they are famous for picturesque architecture. Pyrgos is the most characteristic village of Tinos, Greece, with a long tradition in marble carving. Apart from being a calm holiday place, the island is notable for the Greeks as it hosts the Church of Panagia (Virgin), considered the country’s protector, with a miraculous icon inside. This church receives thousands of pilgrims all year round, particularly on the 15th of August, during the Dormition of the Virgin.

Towns of Tinos

Pyrgos

Pyrgos Village is one of Tinos’s largest, most beautiful villages and the entire Cyclades. The village charms with the numerous marble creations made by the local craftsmen. Today visitors can admire the marble streets, arches, churches, and many monuments. Wood carving workshops and a School of Fine Arts also function in the village of Pyrgos.

Marble exists everywhere in the town in different forms, above the colorful doors of the houses, on the fountains, in the cemetery with its beautiful sculptures, and in the entirely marble-made buildings which make Pyrgos an outdoor architectural museum. The narrow whitewashed alleys, houses, and churches, as well as the colorful flowers decorating the house facades and balconies, uniquely match the aristocratic marble features, giving the village a superb decor.

It is worth mentioning that Pyrgos is the birthplace of many famous Greek sculptors, including Ioannis Halepas, whose house is open to the public.

Tinos Town

Tinos Town (Chora) is the capital and main harbor of the island. This settlement has had rapid development over the past few decades. The discovery of the miraculous icon of the Virgin was the most crucial factor in the town’s development. Evangelistrias Street is the oldest main street. It has a beautiful 18th-century marble fountain with impressive carvings and stones. There are also many art galleries showcasing the works of local painters. The new white apartment buildings and three- or four-story houses combine well with the traditional old houses, narrow alleys, and flowered courtyards, keeping a Cycladic touch that makes the town attractive. Tinos Town has many restaurants, taverns, pastry shops, tourist stores, cafes, bars, camping sites, and hotels.

Falatados

Falatados is a productive village with many livestock breeders that dates back to the 1400s. It forms an amphitheater opposite the town of Kechrovouni. The village displays numerous features from the past, such as working winepresses and raki distilleries. The Falatados festival usually comes in September, like most regional festivals. This celebration marks the raki-making season. The most beautiful spots of the village count on the magnificent Cycladic Megalohari (Great Joy) Square and the beautiful marble church of Agios Ioannis that stands at the top of the hill. At the northern side of the village lie numerous impressive volcanic rocks.

Kardiani

Kardiani Village is a beautiful picturesque village and the greenest town in Tinos. It lies on the slopes of Mount Pateles. Built in the shade of plane and olive trees, this lovely village has picturesque stone-paved narrow alleys, whitewashed steps, beautiful arches, and magnificent traditional whitewashed old houses with flat roofs, colorful windows and doors, and courtyards and balconies full of bright flowers. Most of those superb houses are made of marble. A stream runs through the village, and cool water gushes out of the glimmering springs that adorn the village. Kardiani is a natural marvel among the prettiest villages of Tinos.

Isternia

Isernia is a picturesque village located 20 kilometers from the main town of Tinos and close to Kardiani village. Built amphitheatrically on the slopes of Mount Meroviglia, Isernia is a small settlement with marble-paved lanes the entire town is an exquisite example of fine marble sculpture. A beautiful old marble-paved road connects Isternia with the wonderful sandy beach called Isternia Bay. The village offers a magnificent view of the neighboring Syros and a fantastic panoramic view of the Aegean.

Tripotamos

Tripotamos is one of the oldest villages on the island and lies on the foothills of Mount Exobourgo. You’ll find the village between three rivers: beautiful arches, whitewashed steps, arcades, and narrow alleys. This lovely village is the birthplace of the internationally famous modern Greek philosopher Kornilios Castoriadis.

Volax

Volax Village is located on a strange and unique site full of massive granite boulder formations, reminders of a volcanic eruption that took place thousands of years ago. Those natural monoliths have different shapes and give the landscape a unique natural charm; the village’s white houses contrast with the rocks’ deep red. Some of the few inhabitants here include basket weavers.

Kambos

Kambos is a traditional village located 7 kilometers north of Tinos Town. This village was the homeland of Saint Pelagia, who led with her visions in finding the miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary (i.e., protector of the island and country). Kambos is a flat village that lies in a green valley. Kambos offers a magnificent view of Xombourgo Hill, an impressive rock in Tinos. The recent excavations in the area have brought to significant light findings from the ancient sanctuaries of Demeter and Persephone.

Arnados

Arnados are one of the oldest villages in Tinos and are 10 kilometers from the main town of Tinos. It is built amphitheatrically. From the highest point, there is a breathtaking view of the sea and Mykonos Island. You’ll know when you’re in Arnados because of its traditional architecture, Medieval arches, and paved streets, unique characteristics that mark the area’s significance. Several churches around the medieval town, including the Monastery of Kechrovouni and the Church of Agios Nikolaos Vanos. Close to Arnados, you can visit the traditional settlement of the Mountains.

Loutra

Loutra is among the oldest and most historic villages of Tinos, located just 8 kilometers north of Tinos Town. The village was relatively prosperous in the past when the Jesuits and Ursuline monks founded some impressive monasteries there. Since it’s surrounded by nature, the villages in the island’s center are often visited as hiking destinations. Today the unspoiled village counts only 35 permanent residents who live a simple yet traditional and quiet life away from the cosmopolitan crowds of Tinos Town.

Tarabados

Tarabados is a charming, small traditional village located 4 kilometers from Tinos Town. It’s almost in the island’s center. It has beautiful whitewashed houses adorned with marble details and pretty medieval churches with unique characteristics. Right next to the village is a valley with numerous pigeon houses. It is worth taking pictures of these lovely dovecotes during your walk since they are remarkable monuments of folklore architecture.

Dio Horia

Dio Horia Village is northeast of Chora, near the village of Triantaros. It is among the most beautiful villages of Tinos, with a strong medieval character and breathtaking view of the neighboring Cycladic islands. The village is built amphitheatrically on Mount Exobourgo, offering a clear view of the southern part of the island. Dio Choria is a quaint settlement made of old white stone houses with colored windows and doors, stone-paved narrow alleys, and great stone arches and arcades. Bright-colored flowers decorate the whole village like precious ornaments. One can admire some beautiful cave fountains in the little square of the town.

Koumaros

This traditional village is 10 kilometers north of Hora, on the slopes of Mount Xobourgo, offering an exceptional view of the great ravine full of orchards. Koumaros charms with its natural colors, quaint alleys, old fountains, and medieval arches. White houses that glimmer under the sun add to the village’s beautiful setting. At the old-fashioned kafenion located at the center of Koumaros, visitors can talk with the locals and taste their local delicacies. The festival of Sotiras and Evagelistria on the 22nd of August is a unique experience for every visitor.

Xynara

Xynara is a beautiful settlement located on the northern side of Tinos, 7 kilometers from the main town. This mountainous village was built in the 19th century on the slopes of Xombourgo, an impressive steep mountain in the island’s center. Cynara was Tinos’s past cultural, educational, and industrial center.

The Archaeological Museum

It is located on Megalocharis Avenue in the capital, on the way to the church of the Virgin Mary. There are findings from excavations all over the island. They are primarily from the ancient temples of Demeter and Poseidon.

The gallery is housed in a large room in the complex of the church of the Virgin Mary. Over 100 paintings and replicas of work made by famous Greek and international artists. The exhibits in the gallery include paintings from the Italian and the Ionian Renaissance.

The Church of Panagia Megalochari

This church is not only the patron saint of Tinos but is also considered the saint protector of Greece. Megalochari means “with all graces” and is one of the names used to describe the Virgin Mary. The church is dedicated to the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary and is also the most popular pilgrimage in Greece. The church of Panagia Megalochari is located on a hill above Chora. Many pilgrims walk on their knees, from the port to the church, to keep the solemn promise to the Virgin Mary.

As the path is very rough and their knees can get injured, a long red carpet has been laid from the entrance of the church to the port only for this reason. This was a monastery complex. Initially, it was built on the site of an early-Byzantine church dedicated to Saint John, but it was built on the site of an ancient temple of Dionysus, as excavations have shown. Services are performed every day.

Dovecotes

The island of Tinos is famous for its many intricately designed dovecotes. They are fortress-like stone structures with two levels, of which the lower level is usually used to store utensils and other items. It is decorated with geometric patterns, including triangles and rhomboids, and non-geometric patterns, including cypress trees and variations of the sun. The oldest ones are believed to be from the 18th and 19th centuries.

The Venetians started systematically breeding pigeons after discovering that their meat tasted excellent, and those pigeon droppings were made for some high-quality manure. Unlike dovecotes in other parts of Greece, the ones in Tinos are much more than just simple wooden boxes set on poles. These dovecotes are usually built in the countryside at specific locations near cultivated areas and where water is readily available. They are mainly built on slopes at a certain angle, keeping the wind and the surroundings in mind to make the takeoffs and landings easier for the doves.

Ecclesiastical Museum | Tinos

This museum in Arnados was opened in 1987, next to the church. The exhibits consist of old icons from various churches in the area, different ecclesiastical items, old books, and holy vestments.

The Jesuit Catholic Monastery

The monastery is located in the village of Loutra. The first Jesuit priest, his father Michel Albertini, arrived in Tinos in 1661 and settled in Xombourgo. The Jesuits continued to live there until 1840 when they moved to Loutra. This was the year that the monastery received many pilgrims. The monks of that time were occupied with the education of the young locals and catechesis. In 1994, the museum opened its doors for the first time to the public. Today, visitors can see a rich collection of agricultural products and tools used for shoe and furniture-making as well as other activities of the monks.

Kechrovouni Monastery | Tinos

This monastery in Arnados dates from the 11th or 12th centuries and is distinguished for its architecture. This is where nun Pelagia saw a dream, which led her to find the miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary. On the 23rd of July, the name day of nun Pelagia is celebrated.

The Monastery of Agia Triada

It is located in the southeast of Tinos, near Syria village, and came into existence around 1610. It used to be a secret underground school run by monks during the rule of the Turkish Empire. Today, in addition to the church, you will also find a library and mausoleum. It works as a small folklore museum with a nice collection of folk crafts. The main church has a wood-carved iconostasis from 1764 that displays some beautiful 18th Century icons.

The Museum of Giannoulis Chalepas

The Giannoulis Chalepas (1851-1938) is probably the most famous personality in Tinos. He was a notable marble sculpture artist known for his remarkable works and exciting life. The traditional house of Chalepas, located in Pyrgos village, has been turned into a small museum with narrow rooms and a beautiful garden. Marble statues and busts are on display in all rooms, made by the artist until he died in 1938, as well as personal items, photographs, and information on his life and work. Close to the museum, there is the marbling workshop of Pyrgos. In the courtyard is a statue of the artist and a copy of Sleeping Beauty, his most famous work, housed in the First Cemetery of Athens. This work was made in 1878 and presents a young girl sleeping, symbolizing death.

The Museum of Marble Crafts

This museum outside the village of Pyrgos presents the history of marble crafting on the island from ancient times till today. Tinos is an island with rich marble quarries. It was created by the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation, the first of its kind in the country. It presents the technology of marble, a material with a special place in architecture and art in Greece. In addition, visitors can see a permanent exhibition with quarrying, cutting, and carving tools, mechanical equipment, crafting techniques, and a rich collection of sketches of old marble carvings from the entire country.

The Sanctuary of Poseidon

This place is one of the most important sanctuaries of Poseidon, within walking distance from the beach of Kionia. Tinos was the only island of the Cyclades that had dedicated an entire temple to Poseidon, the God of the Sea. The exact date of this temple’s construction is unknown, but archaeologists believe it dates from the 4th century AD. In the 3rd century, the temple was reconstructed and became an asylum for persecuted people. This sanctuary of Poseidon was first excavated in 1902 and 1905 by the Belgian archaeologists H. Demoulin and P. Grinder, respectively. Apart from the main temple, this archaeological site includes baths, an altar, a monumental stoa, and a fountain.

The Tinian Artists Museum

It is located next to the church of Panagia Evangelistria. Founded in 1930, the museum displays works of the island’s finest artists, many of whom studied with the financial aid of the Holy Foundation of Evangelistria. The Art Gallery of Modern Greek Artists is also in the same room with copies of great Renaissance works by Velasquez, Veronese, and others. Another room nearby houses the vestry, a small ecclesiastical collection, and the famous Carta of Rigas Ferries. There is also a library here full of rare books and manuscripts.

The Ursulines Monastery

This structure is located in the village of Loutra and was founded in 1862. It was an essential female educational center for children all over Greece, functioning from 1862 until 1993. This was regarded as one of the best institutions as many girls from wealthy families graduated from this private school. The monastery previously worked as an orphanage, boardinghouse, French-speaking high school, university, and Greek school. Today, the famous school is a folklore museum open to the public where visitors can see the rooms and old furniture, tools used for sewing, painting, photography, and a theater where performances used to take place.

Tinos Beaches

Agios Ioannis Porto Beach

This beach is located 7 kilometers southeast of Tinos town. Beautiful natural features like the crystal-clear waters, the soft sand, and the lush green area make Agios Ioannis one of the most cosmopolitan beaches of Tinos. It offers various facilities such as beach bars and taverns. The picturesque chapel on the beach’s left side is one of the attractions of Agios Ioannis.

Agios Sostis Beach

This beach is located 6 kilometers southeast of Tinos Town. It is one of the most popular beaches on Tinos, with excellent crystalline water, soft sand, and beautiful surroundings with trees offering plenty of shade. There are a beach bar and a couple of taverns within walking distance from the beach.

Agios Markos Beach

This beach is located 3 kilometers northwest of Tinos Town. The unique combination of golden sand and crystal-clear water attracts many visitors. In addition, the beach is protected from strong winds. You will find plenty of tourist facilities along the coast, like sunbeds and umbrellas.

Agios Romanos Beach

Romanos Beach is located 6 kilometers northwest of Tinos Town. It is a long sandy beach with crystalline blue water and soft sand below the developed settlement. Along the sandy shore are plenty of trees for natural shade and a cozy tavern some meters away. The beach offers a clear view of the neighboring island of Syros and the remote beach of Pigadia, with crystal waters accessed through a rough path.

Kolymbithra

This beautiful bay is located 15 kilometers from Tinos Town. It consists of two beaches, equally beautiful and well-protected from the strong winds. The small beach offers plenty of facilities and right on the beach is a canteen with snacks and drinks. This part of Kolimbithra is quite cosmopolitan and crowded. There is a friendly tavern serving some of the best local delicacies and a couple of guestrooms within a short walking distance. On the other hand, the large beach is ideal for those who want to enjoy peaceful swimming away from the noisy crowds. Both coasts have a unique environment suitable for swimming and sunbathing.

Kionia Beach

This beach is a long and vast sandy beach shadowed by some lovely trees, about 3 kilometers northwest of Tinos Town. Kionia offers excellent beach facilities and various water sports for children and adults. In addition, the coastal settlement is worth visiting for its archeological interest. Several excavations in the past brought to light a temple dedicated to Poseidon and Amphitrite and an ancient cemetery.

Panormos Beach

This is a fine sandy beach located in front of the village of Panormos, 34 kilometers northwest of Tinos Town. The bay can sometimes get very windy and is ideal for windsurfing. The lovely rocky beach of Rochari is also close to this bay.

Agios Fokas

Agios Fokas is one of the longest and most beautiful beaches in Tinos. The beach stretches for kilometers along the entire line of the town to the shore of Agios Sostis. Those who swim close to the city will enjoy many tourist facilities, a snack bar, plenty of restaurants, and a lifeguard tower. The most significant part of this area remains empty and unspoiled, with some trees for natural shade. Agios Fokas is an excellent place for swimming due to the crystal waters and the sandy seabed.

Isternia Beach

It is located 13 kilometers northwest of Tinos Town. Below the picturesque settlement, you will find this beautiful cove with excellent crystalline waters, soft sand, and a few pebbles. The area offers several accommodations for visitors who want to enjoy the peaceful surrounding of this secluded part of Tinos. You will also find a few taverns and a cafe within walking distance from the beach.

Kalivia Beach

This is one of the most beautiful beaches on the southern coast of Tinos. It is a naturally-protected bay. Strong winds that blow in summer can travel quickly from the main town on the road to Isernia just before Giannaki cove. The road that leads directly to this beach is a bit rough, but the view of the beach is magnificent. The sandy beach is covered with a long tuft of trees serving natural shade. This peaceful beach is popular with families. Several accommodations can be found around Kalivia.

Lychnaftia Beach in Tinos

This beautiful beach is located 7 kilometers east of Tinos Town. It can be accessed relatively easily by a dirt road from Triandaros village. The beach has no facilities, but the peaceful environment and the gorgeous surroundings are an absolute delight for every visitor. The beach is quite secluded therefore it is nice to bring your own food and drink.

Ormos Giannaki

This delightful beach is located 15 kilometers northwest of Tinos Town, below Kardiani village. There is a path that connects the village with the beach. They can also take the road from the main town. Even though some beaches are sandy and pebbled, it is still famous for their crystal-clear waters. With a few umbrellas and a couple of taverns nearby, visitors can enjoy a perfect summer day, which is ideal for families. In addition, the beach offers a fantastic view of the neighboring island of Syros.

Pachia Ammos

It is an idyllic beach located 10 kilometers from the main town of Tinos, right next to Lychnaftia beach. It is one of the most isolated and beautiful beaches. Moreover, with fantastic dunes of fine golden sand that end at the beautiful deep blue sea. The area is quite inviting for its unspoiled and peaceful surroundings. There are no beach facilities or any other kind of accommodation to disturb this wonderful experience. It is the perfect spot for those who wish to spend some moments of solitude.

Leivada

The charming bay of Levada is located on the east coast of Tinos. The wild landscape of the beach makes it unique and one of the most beautiful spots in Tinos. Surrounded by green and white rocks, Livada offers an idyllic environment for nature lovers and the ultimate diving experience with its crystalline waters. There are no beach facilities, and the area retains its unspoiled character. There is only a tiny tavern nearby. Livada will charm with its wild beauty and serene environment.

Tourists might find activities in Tino’s little swimming and hiking. The beaches of Tinos are calm and quiet. Therefore, it is very ideal for water sports centers with sea games. At Kolymbithra beach, on the island’s northern side, a surfing center offers courses and rents the necessary equipment.

A popular activity on Tinos island is hiking. The countryside of Tinos is ideal for hiking, as footpaths lead to mountainous villages, old windmills and dovecotes, abandoned monasteries, and secluded beaches. In addition, the towns of Tinos are great places to discover authentic Greek life.

Religious Feasts on Tinos

On the 25th of March

The Annunciation of the Holy Virgin at Chora. The feast is organized by the Church of Evagelistria with litanies and church services combined with patriotic celebrations for the National Anniversary. After the icon’s invocation, traditional dances and delicacies are served to the people.

On the 23rd of July

Tinos celebrates the feast day of Agia Pelagia. It is an important feast where the icon is taken to the Monastery of Kehrovouniou. Usually, visitors and nuns arrive to honor the hero. After which, it is returned to the church where it was found.

On the 15th of August

The feast day of the Virgin Mary attracts thousands of pilgrims and visitors from all parts of Greece. The feast lasts for two days, including various ceremonies in the glorious church of Panagia Megalochari and a litany of the miraculous icon, accompanied by the marching bands of Tinos. This is a massive celebration as the Virgin Mary of Tinos is considered Greece’s protector.

Cultural Events in Tinos

Tinos Jazz Festival

The first Jazz music festival in Tinos was organized by and held at the Cultural Foundation of Tinos in 2009 as the “Tinos Jazz Festival.” The combined efforts of the staff, musicians, volunteers, and inputs from director George Kontrafouris and his associates were very significant. The festival was then established as a major event in the Aegean.

Tinos World Music Festival

The Tinos World Music Festival was founded in 2013 by the Cultural Foundation of Tinos, aiming to include the island of Tinos in a broader intercultural network and become the meeting point for significant Balkans and East Mediterranean musicians.

Tinos Festival

Generally, the celebration of the Tinos festival is in July, August, and September. However, other exciting events are celebrated throughout the year as well. The festival takes place in many villages and in Chora. This is ideal for all ages, from music concerts to theatrical plays and book fairs.

The revival of Trawl

The Revival of Trawl is organized in the village of Kionia. Visitors usually gather at the beach and fish for hours. Wine and food are served.

All a part of the Cyclades Islands of Greece.

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