The island of marble sculpture (art)
Tinos is one of the rising island destinations in the Cyclades. An ideal destination for nature lovers, architecture and art aficionados or gastronomy enthusiasts! You will enjoy your jaunts in the beautiful beaches and in the picturesque 40 or so villages, built according to the local traditional architectural style. You will be impressed by its culture and tasty cooking, as well as by the locals’ way of life.
Tinos is the homeland of great Greek artists of marble carving such as Gyzis, Lytras, Chalepas, Filippotis and Sochos. These artists were famous for their creations, which raised the island’s marble-carving tradition to new heights.
The religious celebration in honour of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary on August 15th are accompanied by other festivities such as Tsiknias (the leavetaking of the Dormition, the mother of God, held nine days after); Exοmbourgo (a religious feast in honour of Jesus); as well as the culinary feasts featuring: artichokes and raki in Falatados, and honey in Kampos.
The scenic villages of Tinos
Tinos is renowned for its striking villages but at the same time it’s hard to choose which one to visit. If your journey on the island is limited to a couple of days then take note of our shortlist.
Kardiani is a must see village located in the centre of the island. Enjoy its surrounding green landscape, the creeks and streams that travel throughout the town, the traditional architecture of the houses and the stunning view of the turquoise hues of the sea below. Walking around its charming alleys you’ll discover the locals’ love for art as well as their welcoming hospitality. Pay attention to the beautiful fountains and the staggering decorative lintels (resembling needlecraft) all made of marble, which lend this stone and marble village (materials from the surrounding area) a one of a kind character. Stop by Agia Triada Church (Holy Trinity) as well as the church of Genesiou Theotokou (Birth of the Virgin Mary) and take a look at its fountain. Don’t miss the traditional kafeneio (cafe) or the eateries offering delicious local meze (appetisers) within the village as well as at Giannaki Bay, where businesses are open during summer.
Leaving Kardiani behind, you’ll come across the charming town of Isternia – home to marble craftsmen – on Meroviglia slope with spectacular views. The village is located on the western side of the island 20km from Chora town. Wander around the alleys of Isternia where you’ll see marble workshops as well as the Isternia’s Artists Museum, which will give you a closer look to the islanders’ love for art.
Marble paved streets will lead you to the inner-village where you’ll admire two-storey houses with marble lintels, charming courtyards and astonishing arches. The village of Isternia is famous for its mind blowing view of the Aegean sea and the neighbouring islands. There is a single road that leaves the village behind and reaches the sea at Isternia Bay, which is a renowned destination with a beach, accomodations and fish-tavernas. This marble road is also appreciated by hikers.
Pyrgos is one of the largest villages on Tinos Island. This year round busy town is home to the Art School for Marble Sculpture as well as the Chalepa Museum and the Museum of artists from Panormos based around the central square. Take the road down to Panormos, a fishermens’ village, where you can enjoy fresh fish, quench your thirst at a cafe and enjoy amazing walks by the sea.
The town of Volax is definitely the most attractive one on the island. It has a unique landscape thanks to the big granite boulders that surround the village, which makes it ideal for climbers to explore. Leave your car behind and walk among these large rocks where during spring the land is covered with yellow wildflowers. We suggest you visit in the afternoon to enjoy one of the most astonishing sunsets on the island. Wander around the town and purchase your souvenirs from the workshops where basket makers create their art in front of you!
Tino’s highest village, Arnados, is located on the south flank of Mount Kechrovouni. Visit the Monastery, the Church museum, see the breathtaking views to the Aegean Sea and enjoy the local cuisine. Don’t leave the area before paying a visit to the monastery of Kechrovouni (10th century), a big structure that looks like a fortified village. Take a moment to see the museum showcasing icons from the 18th and 19th centuries, as well as other important heirlooms.
Kalloni is a village surrounded with olive groves and gardens filled with artichokes, citrus fruits and vegetables. Enjoy a walk up to Agios Zacharias church with its marvellous pebblestone courtyard from where you can admire the view of the village and Kolymbithres beach.
The town of Komi marks the beginning of a fertile plain that stretches down to the sea. Two churches and picturesque squares adorne each of the two entrances to the village. From here you will find a trail path that will lead you to the neighbouring Perastra town.
All little picture perfect villages are somehow connected with paths ideal for hiking lovers. When you have finished exploring the villages, visit the island’s beautiful beaches, enjoy the sea, the sun, the charming landscapes and other interesting sights on the island of Tinos.