Tinos’ strongest card is unquestion-ably its villages. The island’s religious profile monopolised tourism, depriving them from important opportunities, but, at the same time, protecting them from uncontrollable construction. Mountainous villages, most of them hidden in the inner land, and few hanging on the abrupt slopes over the sea, one and only fishermen-village (Panormos) and some recent settlements near the beach.
Apart from the distinction made between Pano, Kato and Exo Meri (upper, lower and outer lands), you may also hear talking of catholic and orthodox villages, even though their population is no more of one single denomination.
Smaller or bigger, white and toy-like, untouched by time, you cannot know the villages of Tinos unless you walk through them. Only in this way you can notice the details of the carved lintels, the bronze door-knobs, the lacecurtains (kopaneli) on the windows and enjoy the aroma of the night-blooming Jasmine (cestrum noctornum) and basil. Only in this way you can listen to the welcoming greetings, the older men’s stories and appreciate the shad¬ow of the arche under the noon sun or the cool water flowing from the marble fountains… Only in this way you can discover your own favourite village!