If you are looking for a break from Mykonos, the hip “jet set” and party island, to experience a more authentic and traditional Greek island atmosphere – an excursion to the island of Tinos is probably what you need! The island, just off Mykonos, offers wonderful beaches, bars and restaurants! While it is also home to various historical, archaeological sites, traditional villages, a marvelous mountain site, thousands of dovecotes and, last but not least, to the Church of Panagia Evaggelistria, the country’s most-visited Greek Orthodox pilgrimage shrine.
If you happen to visit Tinos on the 15th of August, the contrast to Mykonos couldn’t be bigger:
It is the day of the Dormition of the Mother of God (the Assumption of the Virgin Mary into heaven). The whole island of Tinos comes together, with thousands of devout pilgrims arriving at the island to make the journey from Tinos port to the church on their knees, as a sign of their faith and devotion to the Virgin Mary in return for Her miracle. According to tradition, Sister Pelagia, a nun from the nearby Kechrovouni Monastery, had a vision of Virgin Mary, guiding her to a spot where Her holy icon was discovered afterwards and is believed to have had divine healing powers. The amazing Renaissance style Church of Panagia Evaggelistria was built on the site of the discovery, with the icon as its centerpiece.
Before catching the boat back to Mykonos, head out of Tinos town and explore one of Tinos’ beautiful seaside villages, e.g. Agios Sostis, with its pristine beaches and take a dip in the crystal clear waters. Taste the island’s specialties in a picturesque little tavern, such as baby artichokes, capers, “louza” ham and spicy “kopanisti” cream cheese, and grab a glass of the local “Nissos” beer as you watch the sun go down…