Kardiani is a village located on steep slope of Pateles mountain with amazing view over Yiannaki bay that you can find a nice pebble beach and some restaurants (we preferred a picturesque small café where we had an iced tea). You can admire the view from many spots, from top of Agia Triada church (pic 5) or from Kiouras square (pic 2) where the marble frogs are. We didn’t go down to the beach but it was already too hot and we wouldn’t dare to walk back with the sun over our head ready to kill us…
But the village is amazing, one of the most picturesque villages of Tinos island with numerous alleys, arches and some beautiful churches, orthodox and catholic (Kardiani is mixed). Another impressive thing to notice is the use of marble in many of the buildings all over the village.
The village has about 100 inhabitants but during our visit we didn’t see people around, only the friendly lady with the small café in the middle.
Not far from the village excavations made by archeologists at Sparta spot. They found some six ancient graves that date back from geometric period (Greek Dark Ages between 900 to 700BC). Most of the items that were founded there (amphoreas, cups, axes, jewelry etc) can be seen at Tinos Archeological Museum
In Kardiani you can visit a different museum, the Historical and Folk museum that houses items that locals donated, mostly daily items that show how was life during 20th century.
St. Pelagia that had the vision of the miraculous icon was born in Kardiani.
Tinos can be the sacred island for all the Orthodox people, but at the same time, is the sacred island for the Catholic Greeks, as well!
The Catholic Sanctuary of "Panaghia i Vryssiotissa" or "Our Lady of the Fountain" is dedicated to the Virgin and celebrates on the 15th of August.In the 17th century A.D. , around 1600-1619, a miraculous icon of the Virgin was found, after digging the ground at Vryssi location, as a result of a nun's vision.In the beggining, there was only a small church, but in 1880 a big church was built.Most of the masses happen outdoors, thanks to a specially arranged place with an altar in the center.
The most famous pilgrim of the Sanctuary, used to be the then Pope John the 23th.
Tinos is famous for the Dovecots that dot the landscape, often sited with the lesser known terracing.
The dovecots were introduced by the Venetians, as they found the doves were useful for food, feathers and fertiliser. Obviously the latter was very important given the sheer scale of the terraced farming that has taken place on Tinos.
What is surprising is just how big and intricate the dovecots are - typically with two levels - I was told the lower level was used like a storeroom or shed.
There are apparently one thousand dovecots still surviving on the island, and the good news is they are being maintained rather than be left to fall apart.
Interestingly, I hadn't noticed until I looked at our pictures of Mykonos, but there is actually a building that is designed to look like a Venetian dovecot sited near the windmills in Mykonos Town, just near Little Venice.
Tinos has many miles of terraces that cover the landscape, even high up into some of the mountains. These must have taken hundreds of years to build - the sheer effort that was required to do this all by hand is staggering.
Tinos supplied food to Athens, with the terraces being used for Olive trees, cereals, grapes, figs and vegetables. Tinos was known as the most cultivated island in the Aegean.
Pyrgos is one of the largest and prettiest villages on Tinos, with great architecture and a long tradition in sculpture. Since 1955 a marble sculpture school works in the village, supports this craft as evidenced by the marble on the churches and houses of the village as well as its two museums. The fountain in the village centre is dedicated to the Greek revolution of 1821 - unfortunately the road behind it was being repaired so it was a bit messy and partly cordoned off. The centre has several cafes and bars where drinks and pasties are popular.
The road winds its way up from Tinos to Monastiri with amazing views over the Chora on the way.
A visit here to the convent of our Lady of Angels, which is situated on Mt. Kechrovouni at an altitude of over 500m. It was here that Sister Pelagia, the nun, was. Its said that the Virgin Mary appeared before her in a vision in July 1822 and showed her the location of where Her icon was buried. Hence the church in Tinos, made of fine marble was later built. Today about 50 nuns live here. Monastiri is close to the highest village in Tinos.
This rocky crag with its fortress atop dominates the surrounding area, Tinos is only a small island so it can often be seen. Xobourgo was the capital of Tinos during its venetian occupation.
Its worth climbing the cobbled path for the views over the island. At the foot of the rocky outcrop is a church with a statue in the forecourt - a small replica of of the one in Rio de Janerio. We saw a group of ramblers here hiking the paths over to the beach. Apparently quite a few treks around the area but even in May it was a bit warm for hiking long paths. They were heading over to the beach at Kolymbithra and we were the only other tourists they had seen since their arrival on the island!
Tinos Town, or Chora, is the capital of Tinos and is the main port of the island. Several cafes and bars line the promenade by the harbour and the main square has more traditional tavernas. At the far end of town, on aslight hill, is a memorial park area with good vantage point over the town centre.
Kardiani is a picturesque, verdant, village on the slopes of a mountain, offering lovely views down to the Aegean Sea. Lots of steps DOWN into the village which had to be climbed back in the heat They said there was a path to the sea from here - but looking at the views it would be heck of a climb back! it looked miles away, the view was beautiful though. Springs in this area keep the vegetation green. There are two churches here, the top one had a terrace to enjoy the sweeping panorama.
Kambos and Tamrambados are tiny villages, hamlets almost. They are surrounded by many traditional dovecotes, scattered in the landscape of the island. The venetians bred doves during their reign, it was a delicacy for them, so hence dovecotes became a tradition on Tinos - they can be seen in various styles, each with their own personality.