Summer Vacation in Tinos
Tinos is the island that has, for several decades, been identified as the home of the Virgin Mary, and every year on August 15 it is flooded by thousands of worshipers who make the journey to venerate the Mother of God. However, despite its strong religious element in August, in recent years Tinos has acquired its very own "fan club" of loyal tourists who chose to spend different holidays throughout the year visiting the island. Just sixty nautical miles off the coast of Attica and with regular daily services from the ports of Piraeus, Rafina, and Lavrio and the surrounding islands (Andros, Mykonos, Syros, Paros), Tinos is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the Cyclades.
Come discover the beauty of Tinos and see why it is considered an ideal destination for families who want to spend a pleasant summer vacation with their children while combining both the island's recreational and educational aspects.
The island's ancient history has been lost in time and lies with the thousands of past generations of its inhabitants. There is some uncertainty about the identity of the first settlers as some say it was the Pelasgians or the Phoenicians, Phrygians or Lelegians and were later followed by the Ionians, Athenians, Macedonians, and Romans. Many explanations have been given regarding the origin of the name Tinos but according to the prevailing version the island got its name from the first settler, the leader of a group of Ionians from Caria in Asia Minor who arrived on the island around 1130 BC while running from the Dorians.
Tinos has many attractions and those who visit the island must see them up close in order to understand where its unique beauty derives from. The Church of the Annunciation, composed of a group of buildings that surround an enclosed patio at the end of the uphill Megalohari Avenue, is flooded annually by the faithful who come to receive a blessing. The miraculous, wooden icon of the Annunciation, which bears "scars" from an earlier fire, is covered in countless of jewelry donated by grateful pilgrim. Some believe that the icon was painted by the Evangelist Luke, while others state that it was created later. The buildings surrounding the church house the art collections of the Foundation of the Annunciation: the Museum of Tinian Artists (with works by the Fitali brothers, George Vitalis, Dimitri Philipotis, Nikiforos Lytras, and Nikolaos Gyzis), the exhibition of icons and relics, as well as the art gallery and sculpture exhibition of the works by Antony Socho.
In the heart of the island's mainland, on the main road leading to the church of the Virgin Mary, is located the Archaeological Museum, with exhibits of rare findings such as storage jars from the Sanctuary of Demeter and Kore, as well as statues and architectural elements from the temple of Poseidon and Amphitrite in Kioniaas. In the Cultural Foundation of Tinos you can enjoy a varied program of concerts, screenings, and exhibitions of the famed collections of sculptor Giannoulis Halepas, a native of the island.
At this point it is worth noting that the island's history is closely linked to a particular building material, marble, which has made Tinos the top representative of Greek sculpture.
At the Museum of Marble located in Pyrgos you will see, unfolding before your eyes, the history and technology of marble through a rich presentation that will fascinate children and help them understand the process behind the mining and processing of marble.
For those of you who are enchanted by the strange games that nature plays, a walk in Volox will open your eyes to the magnitude of the secrets of the universe. The landscape is bizarrely studded with round, smooth stones and the stories and myths that try to explain the appearance and composition of this "monument" date back to the island's first inhabitants. Geologists, however, consider this the result of a series of intense disruptions that date back to when the Earth was shaping its terrain. To these granitic rocks up close, follow the path that leads to the village of Sklavochorio, where you can visit some traditional workshops of native basket-weavers.
Finally, you should not fail to visit the famous pigeon houses which are excellently built and finely decorated stone houses which confirm, in the most manifest way, the artistic mindset of the locals. The pigeon houses are two-story rectangular building measuring 3x4x5 meters, usually built in open spaces with plenty of water and protected from the winds. They had a door for the owner, who used the downstairs as storage while the pigeons dwelled on the top floor. The pigeons were bread not only for their meat, but also for their droppings which served as excellent fertilizer.
The pigeon houses and the tradition of pigeon breeding arrived in Tinos by the Venetians during their rule and served as a symbol of noble origin as only the very wealthy were able to build and sustain them. You will find any two pigeon houses that are identical and this makes them unique to Greece.
The beaches of Tinos will astound you with their beauty and offer you unforgettable moments of relaxation in the clear blue waters. At Pahia Ammos the turquoise waters and thick golden sand provide an ideal location for both enjoyable swimming and games on the sand. Livada enchants every visitor as well. Equipped with huge rocks that have been shaped by the wind and waves and tiny pebbles, the beach is ideal for days that are not windy as the water deepens abruptly.
After a pleasant ride through the meadow of Tinos we reach the beaches of Kolympithra. The place has been designated as a protected habitat, since several rare bird species pass through here. The largest beach is quiet and not crowded. In its vicinity there is a pond with ducks, turtles and other freshwater animals. The smaller beach is the most popular. It is shielded from winds, ideal for sports on the sand, and deepens abruptly; a favorite among visitors.
Finally, the beach of Saint Phocas is one of the most beautiful on the island. It is only a few minutes on foot from the mainland and has everything one could possible want for an enjoyable beach day. Half of the beach is covered in fine sand, while the rest has pebbles, and certain areas have both. One can also find shade under the pine and tamarisk trees along the coast.
As far as local food go make sure to taste the island's famous artichokes, sundried tomatoes, cheeses (Tinian cheese, graviera, and spicy kopanisti), and sausages (pork sausage and louza).
Regarding Your Stay:
In the town of Tinos, behind the Cape of "Pasha" located at the roots of the stone pier of the harbor lies the Gulf of Agkali. The Agali Bay Hotel, promises a warm welcome and a stay that will make this vacation the experience of a lifetime!
AGALI BAY HOTEL