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
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
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.