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CHURCH OF THE ANNUNCIATION. It is one the most important Orthodox pilgrimage sites in Greece. The discovery of the image of Virgin Mary in 1823, in a field just above the initial church of Zoodochos Pigi, concluded to the erection of the great pilgrimage of Virgin Mary, in the city of Tinos. According to tradition, a nun, now St Pelagia, received visions from the Virgin instructing her where to find the icon. From the start it was said to have healing powers and the timing of its discovery has also inextricably linked it with the rebirth of the Greek nation, thus encouraging mass pilgrimage. Till now, thousands of pilgrims believe in the miracles of Virgin Mary of Tinos and seek healing by visiting the church all year round -and especially in August the 15th.

The church is made of marble and many residents contributed to its building by personal work and money offers. The image depicts Virgin Mary kneeling with her head bowed, in front of a low lectern and it is almost obscured by precious jewels. Hundreds of silver lamps hang from the ceiling, each dangling a votive offering: a ship, a cradle, a heart, a pair of lungs, a chainsaw. Beneath the church is a baptistery comprising three interconnected vaulted chapels, marking the site where the famous icon was discovered. The complex also features several Museums (see the Culture section).

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Hora (also known as Tinos) is the island’s modest capital and port. For the non-devout, its most appealing aspect is the little warren of narrow lanes, peppered with bars and cafes, set back from the waterfront.

During summer evenings, the seaside road crossing the old port of the city of Tinos becomes a very popular pedestrian street, always full of people. Opposite the harbor there are cafes, restaurants, shops, supermarkets, bookstores etc. During your stroll you will come across the impressive marble podium made in the 1920s.

Two main streets lead up to the church of the Annunciation. The, so called, Old road of Virgin Mary, is lined with shops and stalls crammed with souvenirs and religious wares, while Megalocharis avenue has a carpeted strip down the side, used by pilgrims crawling towards the church and pushing long candles before them.

Along the marble avenue is the church of St George (1691), the town hall, the municipal library and the Archaeological Museum.]The old road remains the most popular to the pilgrims. At the beginning there is Kato Vrysi, the central fountain of the city in the end of the 18th century. Some 19th century buildings still stand around it.

Walking to the west of the Cultural Center, you will find yourself in a beautiful area called Perivolia, featuring stone houses built in the beginning of the 20th century.

Other neighborhoods worth visiting are those of Taxiarchon (Brigadiers), named after the eponymous metropolitan church built in 1803, the old Pallada neighborhood with the church of San Antonio, the neighborhoods of St Nicholas, Malamatenia and Vatikiotika.

On the east side of the port stands the Tinian Culture Foundation (see the Culture Section). Next to the Foundation is the area called Agali and then Pasha Akrotiri featuring panoramic views of the city.

SANCTUARY OF POSEIDON & AMPHITRITE IN KIONIA. From the 4th century BC to the 3rd century AD, the area adjacent to the beach at Kionia (3km northwest of Hora) was a major religious sanctuary devoted to sea god Poseidon and his wife Amphitrite. The sanctuary of Poseidon and a purgatory were built in the center of the sacred grove. From the 7th to the 4th AD. century they honored the "Doctor", as they called Poseidon, son of Zeus and Rhea. In the 3rd century BC. the sanctuary was upgraded and gained even greater splendor, honoring also Amphitrite. The ancient temple was destroyed by the Christians at the beginning of the 4th c. Destruction was completed by Venetians and Turks. Excavations during 1903-1905 revealed, among others, the propylaea, the altar, the fountain of Poseidon, the baths and the ruined sanctuary. Some findings are exhibited in the Archaeological Museum (see the Culture section). Open 08:30 -15: 00. Closed on Mondays and public holidays.

KEHROVOUNIOU MONASTERY. It was founded during the 11th or 12th century, but first written testimonies regarding the monastery of Our Lady of the Angels, as it is also known, is dated in 1614. It is not only the oldest, but also the only active monastery of Tinos. It is located at the top of a mountain, reminiscent of a Venetian fortified settlement featuring also elements of the Cylcadian architecture. The katholikon was renovated in 1774. Walking through the narrow alleys you will come across the lodging of St. Pelagia who, according to tradition, received visions from Virgin Mary instructing her where to find the icon now kept in the church of the Annunciation, in Hora.

XOMBOURGO.This impressive rocky hill and the ruins of the castle built on top dominate the inland at the southern side of Tinos. The castle was built by the Venetians to protect Tinians from the piratic raids and enclosed houses, shops and churches. Later on another settlement was built just outside the castle, on the slopes of the hill, named Xombourgo after the Italian word soborgo that stands for suburb. The oldest fortification in Xombourgo though, is a cyclopean wall, part of which is preserved at the NW side of the hill. It was built around the 12th century B.C. The larger wall was built in the 6th century B.C., when the settlement had developed, and surrounded the whole southern and western side of the hill. It was abandoned during the classic era, when Tinians founded Poles (nowadays Hora). Xombourgo was repopulated during the Byzantine era. In 1207, when the island was conquered by the Gizi brothers, they immediately began refortifying the rock, by building a truly impregnable fortress including 650 houses and shops, 5 churches and housed 1.000-2.000 people! In 1715 Turks belatedly conquered and completely destroyed the castle. By the beginning of the 20th century it was abandoned. Nowadays, only a few remains of the houses are preserved. You can follow the path leading to the top of the hill and admire the panoramic view. At its roots are the orthodox chapels of Agios Minas and Eleousa, as well as the significant catholic shrine, the monastery of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In recent times climbing and bouldering enthusiasts visit Xombourgo specially during Spring or Fall, to try some of the 98 secured climbing routes.

VOLAX & KAKOVOLO. An amazing drive through the granitic fields is in the area called Kakovolo starting from the neighboring village of Falatados. Locals go there with their families during the festivities that are organized in the country church of Panagia Kaki Skala. The whole place will remind you of an open-air geological museum. The rounded granites come in many different sizes and some, in fact, are cut open in half as if thrown from above! Among them you will discover threshing floors and "cells" (corals) for the animals.

An amazing drive through the granitic fields is in the area called Kakovolo starting from the neighboring village of Falatados. Locals go there with their families during the festivities that are organized in the country church of Panagia Kaki Skala. The whole place will remind you of an open-air geological museum. The rounded granites come in many different sizes and some, in fact, are cut open in half as if thrown from above! Among them you will discover threshing floors,churchs and "cells" (corals) for the animals.

PYRGOS & PANORMOS. The marbled village of Pyrgos is a unique town to discover. Located on the northern part of the island it boasts a great legacy in marble craftsmanship. It is the largest village on the island and the most popular among visitors. It is a model of the authentic Cycladic architecture and an open-air museum of folk art. Almost all buildings have a multitude of architectural details (lintels, margins, embossed decorations, fountains) all worked in marble. Strolling through the narrow whitewashed alleys, lined with colorful bougainvillea, you can pop into a sculptor’s studio, a craftsman workshop or a shop that sells all type of Greek marbled décor. It is worth visiting the Museum of Marble Crafts to learn the history of marble starting from Ancient Greek times. Also, the Museum of Tinian Sculptors, next to the home of the famous sculptor Giannoulis Halepas. Must visit is the marble square featuring cafes and restaurants in the shade of the giant plane tree near an ornate marble fountain. Also, the Aghios Nikolaos and Aghios Dimitrios churches and the old cemetery of Pyrgos featuring works of famous sculptures.
At a distance of 3.5 km from Pyrgos you will arrive at Panormos, a small port with fishing boats and taverns. During the Venetian rule, Porto Palermo (Panormos Bay) was the only natural port on the NE side of the island, so it had special military significance and was one of the four guarded bays. Opposite Panormos there is a small rocky islet called Planitis (planet) featuring a lighthouse.

KARDIANI & ISTERNIA. Kardiani is considered my many as the most beautiful village on the island! It is amphitheatrically built on the slope of the mountain Pateles among rich vegetation, and boasts impressive views to the Aegean Sea. You may wander around to admire the amazing, restored houses, the old fountains and the vaulted galleries, the catholic and orthodox churches, such as the famous Panagia Kioura (Virgin Mary of Kioura), the catholic church of the Assumption of the Virgin, the orthodox of Aghia Triada. The icon of Panagia Kioura dates back to the end of the 16th century. In the marble central square of Kyra, shaded by cypress trees, there is a fountain with marble frogs: Locals use to gather here in the evening to chat and admire the amazing view to the sea. On the cobbled path that leads to the east side of the village you will see a fountain created in 1777.

Isternia, the famous birthplace of many Tinian marble sculptures, is also amphitheatrically built on a slope facing the sea. It has beautiful houses of Cycladic architecture and white marble is used as main material, not only in houses, but also on the alleys, churches and squares. Following the main road starting from the upper side of the village you will pass through the old Glini square and then reach the imposing church of Aghia Paraskevi, built during the Byzantine times. Its marble courtyard offers a wonderful view to the sea and the Isternia bay. At the upper part of the village, in the former craft school, there is a small museum displaying works of Isternian sculptors. Isternia bay features a small sandy beach and some excellent restaurants -one of which is considered the best on the island.

TRIANDAROS & BERDEMIAROS. Almost joined together the two settlements must have been built in the 13th-14th c., on a slope invisible from the sea, to avoid piratic raids. Berdemiaros features amazing complexes of houses built in the Cycladic architecture. They remained desolate until 1981 when they were bought and restored. Triandaros, known for its skillful stoneworkers, is a large and lively village, offering beautiful views, taverns and many newly built Cycladic style buildings to buy or rent. It is worth walking around to see the marble fountain of 1905, the church of Aghios Apostolos of 1887, the old olive mill. Near Berdemiaros there is the monastery of Aghios Nikolaos (Vani), one of the first Orthodox of Tinos.

LOUTRA. The word means baths, and the village probably took its name after the ancient baths that operated on the outskirts. Among the Cycladic whitewashed houses dominate the impressive four-storey building of the Monastery and School of the Ursulines, as well as the Jesuit Monastery. The Ursulines monastery was founded in 1863. The organization of the French school in there started in 1877 and at the beginning of the 20th century it came to accommodate 300 interns -daughters of wealthy Greek families. Nowadays their pianos, embroideries, books and other items are exhibited in the impressive halls of the Ursulines building.
The Jesuit Monastery was built in 1846 and the monks moved here from their oldest monastery, founded in 1670 in Xombourgo. It flourished until the 1960s. Today it houses a small folklore museum and library with 6-7,000 titles.

TRIPOTAMOS & KTIKADO. Tripotamos is considered a medieval, οr perhaps a Byzantine settlement. The houses stand out among the greenery and the ravines. You may wander around to see the sights and admire the church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary (1853) where the icon of the Nativity of Christ is kept.
Ktikados, one of the most beautiful villages of the island, features admirable Cycladic architecture. The catholic and the orthodox churches are equally impressive. The first, called the Cross, has an ornate bell tower dating from 1621. The second, the Ypapanti, or Megalomata, offers an exceptional view from its courtyard. In the village alleys you will see restored houses, fountains and old stone plistaria (public laundries). Make a stop in one of the taverns for good local food. Or, even better, go downhill the path towards Hora of Tinos and enjoy the view and the beautiful nature.

XINARA & FALATADOS. The Cycladic style houses surround a large building with modern glass dome that houses the services of the municipality. Attached to it there is the Seat of the Catholic Archdiocese featuring an exhibition of ecclesiastical relics and documents. As is the case in Tinos, the main attractions of Xinara are the churches -and in particular the catholic ones called Panagia Rodariou (1860-1870) and Apostolos Petros and Pavlos (1836).
To get acquainted with Falatados you have to walk around. From the main cobbled path you will reach Panagia Megaloharis square and the church of Aghios Ioannis-Agia Triada, in the style of a basilica, built at the end of the 19th century, with a 18m. dome and icons dating from the 17th century. It is one of the largest on the island. Also worth seeing are two more old churches: Aghia Paraskevi and the Assumption of the Virgin.
Make a stop to the cafes and taverns serving local food. From Falatados you may reach the area of Kakovolo with the impressive granitic formations, or follow the path leading to Livada beach.

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