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Best known as the home of the Church of Panagia Evangelistria, the Greek Orthodox version of Lourdes, peaceful Tinos also has some of the most graceful architecture in the Cyclades. A wonderful legacy of this island's historic inhabitants, the Byzantines and the Venetians. The best places to stay in Tinos can be found in the main town and have easy access to the main sights of the island.
The Church of Panagia Evangelistria is in the main town, also called Tinos (or Hora) which doubles as the main port. The church's sacred icon, a statue of the Virgin Mary, is said to have been discovered by a nun who was instructed in a dream by the Virgin where to dig to find it. The beautiful neoclassical church was then built on that spot.
Later archaeological excavations proved that this spot has actually been a place of worship for centuries - it was initially where temples of Poseidon and Dionysos stood, and later a Byzantine church was built in the same place. So many pilgrims feel there's something very special about this location, and that the icon itself, displayed draped in jewels, has healing powers.
As well as being a church, monastery and home to the icon, the Panagia Evangelistria also has three excellent museums, housing religious artefacts and secular art.
Many pilgrims don't venture beyond Hora and therefore the island's other fifty or so villages are quite peaceful. Dotted in amongst the rolling, terraced hills and undulating coastline, these aren't your usual Cycladic villages, they've got a far more ornamental design to them, with marble sculptures and flourishes added to the neat white sugar cubes.
This legacy of sculpting comes from the Venetians and is still a strong tradition on the island. The Venetians are also responsible for the hundreds of ornate dovecotes dotted all over Tinos. Pyrgos, in the north, has the most famous sculptors - it's near the marble quarries. As well as sculpting, Tinos is known for its artists, whose work you'll see in many of the island's churches.
What Not To Miss
- A trip to Tinos would be amiss without visiting the stunning Panagia Evangelistria. This is a breathtaking spot, even if you're not remotely religious.
- Head around the Museum of Marble Crafts if you want to learn more about this longstanding Greek tradition.
- Alternatively, the Chalepas Museum is another fascinating spot.
- Livada Beach is a great spot to spend a day soaking up the sun.
Don't forget that if your planning a visit ot the island in the peak summer months, the best places to stay in Tinos will be very busy. You'll need to be organised and book well ahead.
The Best Places to Stay in Tinos
- With its pretty jumble of balconies overlooking the harbour, behind which are twelve comfortable rooms and suites, Voreades is one of the best places to stay on Tinos if you want to be close to, but not in, the island's capital. All the rooms have mini kitchens and four-poster beds, so this is a good choice for families, romantics and pilgrims who want to pilgrimage in traditional style.
For rustic chic
- Aeolis Tinos Suites boasts rustic-chic suites with exposed stonework, fabulous views, and contemporary furnishings. Spend your days lounging by the pool or for the more energetic, the island is just begging to be explored.
For an apartment or villa
- If you fancy the privacy of a self-catering option then browse through the wide variety available online with our partner, Booking.com.
- You'll find the best weather during the summer months, with the average temperature reaching 26°C in July and August.
- Fly into Athens Airport before taking a ferry across to Tinos.
- If you'd like the freedom of having a car with you then browse through the selection available with our partner, Rentalcars.
Still not sure?
Best Hotels in Tinos
Aeolis Tinos Suites Cyclades, Tinos 17 rooms from £117
Aeolis Tinos Suites enjoys a quiet location on Tinos. It offers a variety of rustic-style suites with plenty of exposed stonework, contemporary furnishings and fabulous views. Relax by the pool and spend your days tanning, or head off exploring the island. A superbly relaxing spot.Great walks - Wander around the island getting your bearings or stroll along the coast at sunset and take in the wonderful viewsSights nearby - Be sure to see the stunning Armenistis Lighthouse and the Monument of ElliSeaside - Ideal for a seaside holiday.Swimming Pool - Indoor/outdoor
Charming whitewashed rooms with balconies off a series of appealing courtyards in this charming seaside hotel. This home-hotel offers great views and reasonably priced self-catering options. Close to the port and local Taverns. The perfect stay for families and groups.Families - An ideal spot for your family holiday, self catering, pet friendly plus books, DVDs and games to keep the kids happy.Full of characterViews - Great views from hotelTraditional