Enchanting yet still unknown to the majority of tourists, this Cycladic island mostly attracts Greek pilgrims travelling there twice a year, on March 25 and August 15, to visit the church of Panagia Megalochari (the Blessed Virgin Mary). From all over the country, people come here to fulfill their vows and to seek comfort. Tinos is the most important Orthodox centre of worship in Greece but, in the same time, an important Catholic centre too; this so rare in Greece mix of religious traditions gives to the island a particular character.
But a pilgrimage is not the only reason for getting to know the amazing island of Tinos, with the beautiful beaches and the 40 traditional villages, or, according to the philosopher Kastoriadis, the “hand-made Tínos”.This island is the homeland of renowned great artists of marble carving such as Gyzis, Lytras, Chalepas, Filippotis and Sochos, who have been the last famous names to have held the baton of the island’s marble-carving tradition. According to the legend, the famous sculptor of the ancient times, Fidias, had taught the secrets of his art to the locals. Their admirable craft is displayed in chapels, fountains, arches and pigeon lofts. In the village of Pýrgos the Marble Art Museum is worth a visit as much as the Gallery of Tinian Artists right next to the church of Virgin Mary.