Tinos (Cyclades - Central Aegean)


Tinos is a Greek island situated in the Aegean Sea and more specifically near the geographical center of the Cyclades archipelago. It is famous among Greeks for the Church of Panagia Evangelistria, its 80 or so windmills, about 1000 artistic dovecotes, 50 active villages and its Venetian fortifications at the mountain, Exomvourgo. On Tinos, both Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic populations co-exist, and the island is also well known for its famous sculptors and painters, such as Nikolaos Gysis, Nikiforos Lytras and Yannoulis Chalepas. The later has his own museum on the island, which is host to numerous pieces of his artwork as well as personal belongings.

Throughout the year, the island enjoys numerous visitors (local and tourists) which participate in perhaps the most notable and still active yearly pilgrimage in the region of the eastern Mediterranean. Many pilgrims make their way the 800 meters from the ferry wharf to the church on their hands and knees as sign of devotion. 
Aside from the Church of Evangelistria, in Tinos you can also marvel at the many traditional dovecotes that adorn the island. They look like little fortresses and are decorated with geometrical shapes that attract doves. Typical Cycladic beaches can also be found all around Tinos, with the most prominent being Agios Fokas, Agios Sostis, Kiona and Agios Romanos.

The best time to visit is in late spring – the sea has warmed up to feasible swimming temperatures and locals outnumber tourists – and early autumn, when most of the tourists have departed and the sea is at its warmest.

Tinos is only accessible by ferry from Athens (5 hours) as the island is too small to have its own airport. However flights to nearby islands and the connection via a local ferry might prove a much faster way to reach Tinos and experience all that the island has to offer.

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cyclades aegean Islands