Tinos is an ideal destination for every traveler, because it combines various contrasting natural elements such as: hills and plains, mountain and sea, fertile and infertile soil…The mild climate of the island favors any kind of activity, while the strong summer winds justify the naming of Tinos as “The island of Aeolus”.
Tinos got its name from King Tino, the first resident of the island and chief of a group of Ionians from Karia of Asia Minor, which first inhabited the island during pre-history. Subsequent reports want the island to have been also named as “Hydroussa”, due to the multitude of sources and waters on the place, but also “Ofioussa”or “Fidoussa”, from the big number of snakes (fidia) existing. According to some scholars, the last appellation has been wrongly interpreted, due to the fact that
“Fides” or “Efides” is some kind of cedar, that was growing on the island (today we can find it only in the area of Panormos), and not reptiles. The special status this plant holds in the life of the Tinians can be ascertained by its wide use in buildings, like houses and stables, since it is solid and resistant to termites and dampness.
In ancient times, Aristophanes referred to Tinos as “Skordoforos” for its prime quality garlic (Skordo), Callimachus refers to it as “Agathousa”, Aristoteles as “Hydrousa”, and from Demosthenes and Echinus comes the appellation “Erousa”. Today, Tinos is also called “The island of Aeolus” because of its strong northern winds.
The first thing one comes across when arriving at the port of Tinos on a boat, is the bell-tower of the church of Virgin Mary’s Annunciation and the marvelous church, dominating the image of the hill above the town. Aslo Pilgrimage is of course not the only reason for going to Tinos. It is a beautiful island, with many little villages well worth visiting. For example Moundatos, Ktikados, Hadzirados, Kardiani, Volaka, with its huge rocks, Isternia, Kambos, Steni and Pyrgos, which is the largest and perhaps prettiest village.n Pyrgos you can visit the workshop of the sculptor Giannoulis Halepa as well as the museum of artists from Tinos.
The cave of Gastrion outside Kionia is quite fascinating with inscriptions dating back to antiquity. Here, there are also ancient remains of a temple to Dionysus and Roman baths.
The local specialty on Tinos island is a kind of omelette with sausages and cheese. There are also many kinds of sweets. There are a lot of taverns on the island. You’ll find most of them in Chora, but there are also many places by the beaches and in the villages.
You can buy various religious objects such as icons, crucifixes, komboskinia (something like a rosary) and candles. For more secular shopping, in the village Volaka you can get handmade baskets and in Pyrgos you can get various souvenirs made from the local marble