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There are many reasons we have chosen Tinos as one of the main Greek destinations for our Summer and Easter Greece Photo Workshops. These include, but are not limited to, the artistic spirit of Tinos, its magnificent landscapes, distinctive Greek architecture, long tradition in the marble arts, and the abundance of Greek light.

An unparalleled photo destination

There is a part of Greece with a fascinating and unspoilt, solid character; delicious, traditional cuisine; an authentic sense of hospitality; friendly and welcoming people; original, outstanding architecture; and unusual geological phenomena.

All of these can be used to describe Tinos, a fascinating place for photographic explorations: a Greek island sure to awaken each and every one of your senses, along with your camera lens, an unparalleled photo destination.

A Brief History of Tinos

The "handmade island" as philosopher Cornelius Castoriadis called it, has a long history that begins in the Neolithic Period. It was first inhabited by Ionians (residents of Asia Minor) and was named after Tinos, the first King that settled on the island. According to myth, the island was protected by Poseidon, the god of the sea, who sent a flock of storks to help the residents get rid of snakes. To show their gratitude to Poseidon and his wife Amphitrite, the islanders built two temples in their honor, making Tinos a religious center of the time. A different myth relates Tinos with Aeolus, the god of wind. Since antiquity, Tinos has been famous for its marble crafts and tradition in sculpture. The "hard stone", as locals used to call marble, along with the water, wind and fertile soil, are the natural elements that shaped the character of the island and its residents.

Between the 13th and 18th centuries AD Tinos was under Venetian rule; then, it was the last place in Greece to be conquered by the Turks, who occupied the island for ‘only’ 100 years –compared to 400 years in the rest of Greece.

In 1831 the emblematic church of the Virgin Mary was completed at the location where a nun dreamt the miraculous icon of Mary was buried, providing Tinos with yet another point of reference. Ever since, it has never ceased to attract countless pilgrims. For some, this is just a continuation of the ancient religious tradition...

Architecture and the Arts

Tinian architecture has been influenced by its assorted conquerors and constant threat of pirate invasions: settlements built densely to flank a central alley, villages hanging from slopes, or hidden in the mountains with houses at level height to facilitate escaping from the roof in case of invasion; large storage rooms for food, and dormer windows for more natural light. Nevertheless, the most authentic element of local architecture are the Tinian dovecotes, which originated in the early 18th century to breed pigeons, and can still be seen in over 800 locations around the island.

Pyrgos village is another wonder of local architecture. Built on the northeast side of the island in the Middle Ages, it has been the hub of modern Greek sculpture and painting from the 18th century on. As commerce flourished, the first marble-sculpting ateliers began operating near the marble quarries. The restless creative spirit and intense artistic activity gave birth to great artists who became famous in Greece and abroad. Among them the sculptor Yannoulis Chalepas, the composer Nikos Skalkottas and the painters Nikiphoros Lytras and Yannis Gaitis. Today, Pyrgos is home to the Museum of Marble Crafts and to various galleries. Furthermore, an annex of the Athens School of Fine Arts provides annual preparatory training for 20 select students who will go on to work in the restoration of the Parthenon.


With a long tradition and history, Tinos' cuisine has its own homemade recipes maintained with a “religious” deference until today, all based on fresh local products: caper, crithmum, fennel, amazing wild artichokes, eggplants cultivated in dry soil, various kinds of cheese (sklavotiro, kalathata and kopanisti), louzes (a kind of cooked meat made from pork), sausages with fennel, pastry made from almond
and excellent honey. No one can leave the island without having tasted fourtalies (omelets) with siglina (corned pork), rabbit stew or rabbit in tomato sauce, cock cooked in wine or with tomato sauce, and in general the veal or pork, the famous marathotiganites (something like spring rolls with fennel), fried or raw sun-dried tomatoes and codfish with garlic dip. All these delicacies are accompanied by local raki, ouzo and more recently, a local beer.