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You are in:  Top  →  Europe  →  GREECE  →  Cyclades  →  TINOS

TINOS

Tinos one of the islands of Cyclades in the Aegean Sea lies very close to the southern tip of Andros, a few miles north of Mykonos.

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Tinos

Tinos is the the fascinating island of Our Lady, which in August is swamped by pilgrims who come to pray in the church of Evangelistria, the Greek equivalent of Lourdes.

As Our Lady's feast day on 15 August approaches, the church and the town of Tinos become crammed with people.

A line of mountains, whose highest peak is Mt Tsiknias (in the myths, the home of the wind-god Aeolos), runs the length of the island. On its lower slopes, walls like the fortifications of old castles divide the terraced fields. The coast of the island is mostly steep, but there are numerous coves with sandy or pebbly beaches.

Among the special characteristics of Tinos are its dovecotes. These structures developed from simple roosts for pigeons into works of art. The stone-built fountains to be seen in the villages evolved in a similar manner.

Tinos, capital of the island and its port, is where most of the population lives. A broad paved street leads from the harbor to the low hill on which stands the church of Our Lady. Built in marble from Paros and Tinos itself, the church stands overlooking the town on the site where a miraculous icon of Our Lady was discovered.

Next to the church is the Gallery of Tiniot Artists and Modern Greek Painters, which has a very interesting collection. Close by is the Archaeological Museum of Tinos. It houses finds from the temple of Poseidon and Amphitrite (at Kionia beach) and from the Geometric burials of Exo Meria.

At Xombourgo, we can admire the ruins of the medieval castle, on the south side of which is a sanctuary of Demeter and Persephone.

The interior of the island has been little affected by tourism, and the 45 villages have retained much of their traditional character and distinctive vernacular architecture. Among the most interesting villages are the large settlements of Falatado, Steni and Pirgos, the latter of which has a museum dedicated to the sculptor Halepas, the house of the artist Lytras and numerous marble sculptors' workshops.

Among the monasteries of the island, many of them built on superb sites; we could single out that of Our Lady of the Angels at Kehrovouni (Panagia ton Angelon), which has the appearance of a Tinos village in medieval times.

There are plenty of good beaches, too, notably at Agios Fokas near the town, Kionia, Porto, Panormos bay, Kolimbithra, Agios Sostis and Pahia Amos.

The lunar landscape at the spot known as 'Volax', with its pecular boulders, is probably unique anywhere in the world.

The beauties of Tinos are gradually making a name for themselves. Although amenities for tourists outside the town are scanty, they are constantly expanding.



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