Standing at nearly 1000 years old, the ancient Greek island of Tinos is one of the best-kept secrets in the Cyclades. Kept open all year round by a constant stream of visiting pilgrims, Tinos is kept alive and vibrant even in the depths of winter, making it just as perfect for the art-minded modern travelling pilgrim, too.
Tinos is known locally for its incredible purity of light, and as a result has become known as the Cycladic Island of artists.
Its unforgettable phenomenon of startlingly glowing light is so profound that Tinos appears almost to float apart from the rest of the world, a beautiful Greek meditation on its ancient past.
This special light also works to make the already beautiful Aegean seem all the more vast, grand and mesmerising, so much so that it seems almost holy.
Which is convenient, as Tinos is a palpably devout Greek island with an astonishing 1500 churches all perched on its little Greek land mass.
The biggest of these is the Monastery of Kechrovouni, otherwise known as the Joy of the Angels, whose its beauty and size makes it well worth a visit – posing as a profound example of Greece’s ecclesiastical joy.
Tinos’ residents appear to lead lives of singular peace and quietness, but don’t be fooled, for they carry with them incredible traditions from their ancient Greek past.
For example, Tinos is the birthplace of many Greek marble sculpture artists; and its Museum of Marble Crafts in the village of Pygros is a fantastic place to visit. As is Thierry Veyron’s age-old oil extraction workshop, where you can distil Tinos’ Greek wild flowers and plants into your very own essential oils - a lovely take-me-home gift.
Should you be wishing for something a bit more updated, however, then never fear - grab a bottle of Nissos beer, otherwise known as ‘the ambassador of Tinos in a bottle’ and let the magic of the Greek light calmly suffuse you with the splendour of the Aegean.
For a truly escapist, eco-lux design abode, we highly recommend Diles and Rinies Tinos Hotel and Villas, on the southern tip of the island, a Greek haven scented with wildflowers, orange trees and perched on the shore of the Aegean itself.
For more on sun-kissed Mediterranean dens of stylish sensibilities, have a peek at our Unwaxed Lemons Edit, and for more on artwork rooted in rustic locality - Miró's tiny art studio in Mallorca is a lovely spot for a browse.
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