Tinos (Greek: Τήνος; Italian: Tine) is a Greek island situated in the Aegean Sea. It is located in the Cyclades archipelago. In antiquity, Tinos was also known as Ophiussa (from ophis, Greek for snake) and Hydroessa (from hydor, Greek for water). The closest islands are Andros, Delos, and Mykonos. It has a land area of approximately 194 square kilometres and a 2001 census population of 8,574 inhabitants.
Between 1207 and 1715, Tinos was in Venetian hands. From 1715 to 1821, Tinos was ruled by the Ottoman Empire before joining in the Greek War of Independence. It was known İstendil during Ottoman rule.
Tinos is famous amongst Greeks for: the Church of Panagia Evangelistria, its 80 or so windmills, about 1000 artistic dovecotes, 50 active villages and its Venetian fortifications at the mountain, Exobourgo. On Tinos, both Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic populations co-exist, and the island is also well known for its famous sculptors and painters, such as Nicholaos Gysis, Yannoulis Chalepas and Nikiforos Lytras.
The island is located near the geographical center of the Cyclades island complex, and because of the Panagia Evangelistria church, with its reputedly miraculous icon of Virgin Mary that it holds, Tinos is also the center of a yearly pilgrimage that takes place on the date of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary (August 15, "Dekapentavgoustos" in Greek). This is perhaps the most notable and still active yearly pilgrimage in the region of the eastern Mediterranean. Many pilgrims make their way the 800 metres from the ferry wharf to the church on their hands and knees as sign of devotion. The day also commemorates the 1940 sinking of the Greek cruiser Elli by an Italian submarine on August 15, 1940 at Tinos's harbor.
The island's mineral resources include marble, Verde antico, asbestos and a granite mine near Volax (also known as Volakas).
Tinos has a varied landscape. From the shores of Panormos and Kolimbithra on the North Shore to Kionia, Agios Yannis O Portos, and Agios Sostis on the Southern Shore, Tinos has many beaches, just to name a few. Tsiknias is the highest mountain on the island at 750 meters and hides the quaint village of Livada. The mountain of Exobourgo is quite distinct, and unlike its more rounded Cycladic neighbors, has a more jagged appearance that would be more at home in the Alps. Between Tsiknias and Exobourgo lies the fruitful plain of Falatados. This area is unique on the island as its relatively flat (yet with an elevation of ~ 300 metres) terrain is rare on the island. This made it a strong candidate for an as yet unbuilt airport on the island. The Meltemi winds and valid concerns of local villagers of the towns of Falatados, and Steni have all but halted the project. The area around Volax is a surreal and very unusual landscape with giant boulders some the size of multistory buildings. The village of Volax lies at the center of this amazing landscape. To the west, the mountains surrounding Pyrgos are full of some of the most beautiful green marble in all of Greece.
All around the island of Tinos, the islanders have made the most incredible things out of stone. The hills are all terraced with stone walls; every little village is connected to its most proximate neighbors by stone walkways set between a parallel set of stone walls.