Tinos still feels like one of the most Greek larger islands in the Cyclades. A few foreigners have discovered its beaches and unspoilt villages, but most visitors are Greek, here to see the church of Saint Mary- Panagia Evangelistria, a grandiose shrine erected on the spot where a miraculous icon with healing powers was found in 1822. Today, there are two major annual pilgrimages, on March 25 and August 15, when Tinos is inundated by the faithful, and at 11am, the icon bearing the Virgin’s image is carried in state down to the harbour. Tinos Town is large and commercial, its unique mixture of religion and commerce aimed mainly at a unique type of modern pilgrim.
Like Naxos, Tinos was ruled by Venice for several centuries and, like Naxos, Tinos still has a sizeable Catholic population. You’ll see signs of Tinos’s Venetian heritage in the number of fine old Venetian mansions (locally known as pallada, the word also used for the harborfront), located on the streets off the harbor.
The villages of Tinos are some of the most beautiful in the Cyclades. Many of the most picturesque are nestled into the slopes of Exobourgo, the rocky pinnacle crowned by a Venetian castle that is visible from the port. Many villages are connected by a network of walking paths that make this island a hiker’s paradise. In these villages and dotting the countryside, you’ll see the ornately decorated medieval peristerionades (dovecotes) for which the island is famous, as well as elaborately carved marble lintels, door jambs, and fan windows on village houses.
There is also a strong artistic tradition on Tinos, especially for marble sculpting, as in the sculptors’ village of Pyrgos in the north, near the marble quarries. The food, made from local produce (cheeses, sausage, wild artichokes), is some of the best you will find in Greece.
Tinos is located 13 miles northeast of Mykonos and 16 miles northwest of Syros. The specific geographic coordinates 37°32’50.1″N 25°11’25.3″E in Aegean Sea.
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