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Pilgrims, wind, marble and dovecots

The dovecotes of Tarambados of Tinos. Greece.

If Délos was the sacred island of the ancient Greeks, Tínos, the Lourdes of Greece, occupies the same place in the hearts of their Orthodox descendants. Ancient Délos probably had much the same atmosphere as Tínos Town—a harbour with a permanent carnival atmosphere and merchants selling holy pictures, incense, candles, votive offers and backscratchers to throngs of pilgrims.

Religious items store, Tinos town

Beyond the pilgrims, Tínos is an exception island in many ways; dramatically beautiful and often windy, and increasingly hip and foodie, and filled with more museums per inhabitant than any island in Greece. Its slopes are dotted with 1,007 Venetian dovecotes, ornate little white towers that look as if they were embroidered, inhabited by clouds of white doves.

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Text © Dana Facaros

Images by John Winder, Marcin Bajer, Olfert Dapper , PD Art, Silvie June, Stepanps