TINOS | THE HANDMADE

It’s pretty obvious why the 20th-century Greek philosopher Cornelius Castoriadis called Tinos the “handmade island”. In the 50-odd villages of this 75 square-mile isle in the northern Cyclades, marble sculptors have transformed every lintel, doorway, and fountain into a work of art: Gyzis, Lytras, Chalepas, Filippotis and Sochos are some of the renowned great artists of marble carving. According to the legend it was Fidias, the famous sculptor of the ancient times, that taught the secrets of his art to the locals.

The dry stone walls that corrugate the valleys, the intricate dovecotes and the gaping quarries sprinkled around these sage-scented hills are evidence of hard labour, as well as an artistic sensibility.

Since anyone arriving on here has to come through the Chora, Tinos is an island whose powers of seduction are not immediately apparent, but venture beyond and you will soon fall under its spell.

The mountains here are steep, the distances between villages on the tortuous roads are vast, and nature has largely been left to its own devices. All this gives the island a wild, untamed feel. While the landscape is heart-stopping in its beauty, the villages enchanting and the beaches lovely, Tinos is an island for people looking for elegance, simplicity, tranquility and seclusion.

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Tinos is undoubtedly a culinary paradise. Some of the top-quality traditional greek products can be found here:

_The Tinian sausage, seasoned with fennel and garlic _Lousa is pork meat, cooked in sweet black wine, wrapped in intestine and then, after drying in the air, being served, finely sliced _The sysira or syglina are small pieces of pork preserved in fat and arranged in clay pots, called creases or glinera. Frequently used in the froutalia (traditional omelette) _Pichti (jelly) thick broth with pieces of pork meat and spices, forming a gel _The famed for its taste Tinian beef from the local breed cows has long been one of the main export products _The breeding and export of pigeons was one of the main commercial activities on the island. It is not a coincidence that there are more than one 1,000 pigeon houses on the island. The squab cooked in tomato sauce is one of the most typical dishes of Tinos _The so called savori (fish), covered in must syrup, is a traditional Tinian recipe.

Experience Tinos

Blue Mosaic Villas in the area