Tinos, the third largest of the Cyclades Group of Islands, is located very near Syros, Myconos and Andros. It is the “island of Faith and the Arts”.
The discovery of the miracle-performing icon of Panagia Evangelistria (Our Lady of Annunciation), following the vision of Sister Pelagia, transformed the island into the most venerable pilgrimage of Hellenism, the land where the faithful experience their contact with God and His Holy Mother. Each year, the faithful gather by the thousands to make a pilgrimage to Her icon, which is housed in the Church dedicated to Her.
Tinos was also a major marble sculpting centre in Greece. A multitude of anonymous masters, mainly marble workers, as well as builders, woodcarvers, sacred icon painters and others, have left their mark on the chapels, houses and dovecotes. The flourishing of marble sculpting bore masters such as Halepas, Philippotis, Vitalis and Sohos, painters such as Gyzis, Lytras and many other important artists. It is therefore no wonder that Tinos is considered to be the cradle of contemporary Greek Art.
Tinos is an island of many secret beauties for those who wish to discover them. For the most part, her villages have retained their traditional architectural beauty and village life of the people with the celebration of local festivals.
Clinging to mountainsides or hiding in ravines, these many whitewashed villages represent a fine example of Cycladic architecture. At every turn one discovers the narrow cobble stoned passages, blooming gardens, fountains and chapels. Many of the villages have been given the status of traditional settlements.
The dovecotes, a thousand or more, each with an infinite variety of geometric designs made of slithers of slate, and the hundreds of private chapels built in a variety of architectural styles, give the island its most famous aesthetic character.
Tinos does not lack in natural beauty. An unexpectedly varied landscape unfolds in light and shadow, boulders, lush valleys, and hidden sandy beaches. The highest mountain peak of the island, Mount Tsiknias was the mythological home of Aeolos, the god of the winds. The medieval capital, with ruins of the old castle, can be found on the imposing granite mass of Xombourgo.
Truly stunning, the lunar landscape near the village of Volax features huge, precariously balanced, rounded granite rocks strewn over the barren earth.
Tinos has many inviting beaches: the most popular are Aghios Fokas, Kionia, Porto, Aghios Sostis, Panormos, Kolymbithra, Lyhnaftia, Aghios Romanos, Yiannakis and Ammos Ysternion.
The harbour town of Tinos is a lively and colourful port. Its streets are lined with shops, tavernas and cafes to sit and watch the continuous flow of fishing and sail boats coming in and out of the harbor. There are daily and frequent ferryboats connecting Tinos to the Greek mainland and other islands.
There are many museums and art galleries on the island. Several of them belong to the Sacred Foundation, such as the Icon and Heirloom Gallery, the Vestry, the Art Gallery, the Tinian Artists Museum, the Antonios Sohos Museum and the Yiannoulis Halepas Museum. There is also the Archaeological Museum of Tinos with exhibits from the Temple at Poseidon in Kionia and the rest of the island’s archaeological sites, the Jesuit Folk Museum at Loutra, the Tinian Artists museums at Pyrgos and Ysternia, the museum housed in Halepa’s home at Pyrgos, the Ecclesiastical Art Museum at the historical monastery of Kechrovounio and library and museum of the Catholic Archidiocese in Xinara.