Tinos is one of the culturally richest islands of Greece. Last possession of Venice in the Aegean and thus last bastion of the Western World in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Tinos boasts a wealth of cultural treasures, set in an exceptional landscape. The church of the Virgin Mary in its port became the main pilgrimage of Greece and thus saved the treasures of the hinterland which remained unknown to the wide public.
Tinos is situated in the Aegean Sea and it belongs to the Northern Cyclad complex. It is the third biggest island of the Cyclades after Naxos and Andros.
The history of Tinos is rich and dates back to the ancient years. Neptune was worshiped and Aeolos was believed to be living there.
Because of its geopolitical position, the inhabitants have suffered from many conquerors until the Middle Ages. The architecture of Tinos is highly influenced by the period of Venetian domination.
Τhe island was the last part of Greek territory conquered by the Turks, after repeated failed attempts. Even then, life conditions had nothing to do with the conditions of subordination in other parts of Greece.
The discovery of Virgin Mary’s holy icon in 1823 has been a blessing for the island ever since.
During the liberation war, Tinos contributed significantly to the revolution. More than 12 Tinians were members of the “Society of Friends” (“Filiki Eteria”), while the island served as a valuable refuge for the persecuted Greeks and refugees seeking asylum.
In late 1823, the discovery of Virgin Mary’s holy icon was considered by Greek Orthodox Christians as a truly sacred sign for the rightfulness of the revolution.
The torpedoing of battleship “Elli”, which led to the outbreak of the Second World War in Greece, was another milestone in Tinos’ history. The German Occupation was devastating for the inhabitants of the island which served, once more, as an important base for the Revolution.
They are more than 45, all beautiful with original traditional Cycladic elements. Some interesting villages are :
Volax : This is a unique landscape worldwide, an internationally recognized geological paradox: round rocks are scattered on barren land. This constitutes a unique lunar landscape, which you shouldn’t miss.
Pyrgos : It is the largest village in Tinos, and is considered as the most beautiful village of the island and the Cyclades. It is an outdoor museum of folk art, which preserves the traditional Cycladic architecture and a village where the marble craft tradition remains strong and survives to this day.
You can visit the Museum of Marble Crafts which is a unique example presenting the technology of marble , the house of Giannoulis Chalepas, the museum of Tinian Artists exhibiting works by Giannoulis Chalepas, Filippotis, Sochos, Vitalis etc. and the cemetery with the marble masterpieces.
Before leaving take a rest in the village’s square, where you can enjoy a greek coffee and the traditional desert “galaktompoureko”, under the magnificent plane tree at the « Café Platanos ».
Loutra : Loutra has a long history, since Jesuit monks and Ursuline nuns have built their monasteries here. The Ursuline complex was one of the most important girls’ schools in Greece (1860 – 1940).
Kardiani : One of the most beautiful villages of the island that you should not miss. 16 kilometers away from Chora, it is the first village of Exo Meria. It is situated on the mountainside “Pateles” and has a spectacular view over the sea.
Before arriving at the village a road leads to the beaches: Aghios Petros, Kalivia, Ormos Giannaki.