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Tinos is one of those sleeper hit islands. This 75 square-mile isle in the northern Cyclades, is known widely for its Greek Orthodox pilgrimage site: the Church of the Annunciation, in the port and main town, Hora. But as soon as you leave the throngs in town, Tinos is a wonderland of natural beauty, dotted with more than 40 marble-ornamented villages found in hidden bays, on terraced hillsides and atop misty mountains. Also scattered across the brindled countryside are small churches and 1000 ornate dovecotes, a legacy of the Venetians.

There’s a strong artistic tradition on Tinos, especially for marble sculpting. The food, made from local produce (cheeses, sausage, tomatoes and wild artichokes), is some of the best you’ll find in Greece.


Cornelius Castoriadis called Tinos the “handmade island”. Exploring Tinos you will soon agree with the Greek philosopher, and ardent admirer of the island, and find yourself be amazed by the distinct architecture of the villages where marble sculptors have literary transformed every lintel, doorway, and fountain into a work of art! Villages in Tinos are usually amphitheatrically built on meridional slopes of mountains and hills to avoid piratic raids back in the day. Marble paved alleys usually lead to the main square, while orthodox or catholic churches are scattered around the settlements. There are distinctive bows (so called volta) made with a kind of slate called voltopetra. Windows and doors are often decorated with marble frames on which beautiful embossed jewelry (lintels) often represent plants or birds. Admirable are also the semicircle or square marble skylights. They feature perforated ornaments and beautiful decoration often of Byzantine or Venetian influence. Roofs are ornamented with chimneys called kapasi.


A legacy of the Venetians, dovecots remain a trademark of Tinos and ornaments reminiscent of hand made embroidery make them unique in the Aegean! It is estimated that they were about 1000 all over the island and 600 of them -although abandoned- are still standing. Doves lived in the second floor and ornaments were created by talented local artisans. Venetians carried doves with them during their travels. According to unwritten law, only they had the privilege to breed doves and own dovecotes during their occupation of the island. After their departure, dovecotes passed into the ownership of Tinians and became symbols of wealth and power. To admire some well-preserved dovecotes you may visit Agapi, Tarampados, Potamia or Tripotamos villages, but you will also see many of them near the main roads, or when trekking on the old paths.


Around 600 country churches are scattered around Tinos, in fields, on mountains, on the beaches, near ravines… Their minimal architecture and the marble bell towers -some of which are true works of art-, are admirable. The most common type is one aisled basilica with a flat roof. Their owners or keepers honor the saint each one is devoted to, by organizing festivals all year round. Family, friends and tourists are always welcome to eat, drink, enjoy local music and dance.


Very popular is the corned food of Tinos, such as louza, sausage, skordato and gammon. In all restaurants and taverns you will taste the Tinian cheeses such as gruyere, kopanisti, stroggylo, petroma (cheese without salt), cream cheese and malathouni. Famous are also the sweets called amigdalota, xerotigana (diples), psarakia (skaltsounia), bezedes, sweet cheese pies, loukoumia, etc. Finally, it is worth trying the Tinian raki, paired with appetizers. A community of locals in the food and hospitality sectors founded Tinos Food Pathsin order to network and expand the island's gastronomic scene. The group organizes several events during the year, with the most anticipated being its food festival in May. Organized by locals and expats, this interactive food festival celebrates Tinian traditions, cuisine and lifestyle, inviting chefs from all over the country to come experiment with local ingredients and flavors.



This route crosses the entire southern part of Tinos island and it is a must for all visitors. Your starting point will be Tinos town and you will take the new road leading to Pyrgos (Τower) village. You will pass by Tripotamos and Ktikados, and then move to high altitude in an amazing route parallel to the coastline, offering fantastic views of the Aegean Sea. In Kambos village you will see the church of St. Aikaterini built during the Russian occupation and then you will pass by the picturesque villages of Smardakito and Tarampados. The later features rare complexes of impressive dovecotes -so make a stop to get a closer look and take photos. Your next stop will be at Kardiani village, one of the most beautiful on the island, that seems like hanging on the slopes of the Pateles mountain. In a few kilometers you will arrive at Isternia, also worth exploring. It features marble alleys and extraordinary old houses, marble squares and churches, as it was birthplace to many famous Tinian sculptors. Your final destination, Pyrgos, is the biggest village of the island, hiding true miracles in its marble alleys and museums worth visiting. Pyrgos’s haven is a few km away and it is called Panormos. There you can taste fresh fish in the tavernas by the sea.
If you are in a mood for more exploration, on your way back you may take a bypass to discover the small seaside villages called Marlas and Mamados and the old monastery of Kyra-Xeni.


Numerous paths cross the inland and coastline of Tinos since the medieval days. In recent years plenty of them are marked and maintained mainly by volunteers, the Municipality, or companies specialized in thekking. So it is quite safe to cross them, enjoying the unique nature of the island and discovering amazing hidden gems. We suggest the paths leading from the city of Tinos to Ktikados or from Kionia to Ktikados, the path from the city to Xombourgo and from there to Volax, the one leading from Agios Sostis area to Triantaros village, and that leading from Falatados to Livada beach. For the most trained we suggest the trails around Tsiknias mountain, the highest on the island.

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