On the 15th of August, Tinos is packed with pilgrims visiting the grandiose church in the harbor town and its miracle working icon.
Stall selling religious kitsch line the streets on the way there, and old women with padded hands and knees crawl from the port to the church on hands and knees. This said, don't expect to find a room in the port of Tinos around that time.
Instead, the island has some 55 villages to offer, along with some 800-1000 Venetian dovecotes, walking trails between the villages, lovely marble work from the famed local marble well suited to carving, many churches and chapels, a Venetian fortress, and some nice bays and beaches.
The island slopes are very dry in summer, with the meltemi wind striking them from the north, though there are spinrgs here and there on the island that feeds some nice green areas.
Besides the big church, Tinos Town (the port) has some art galleries, a sculpture museum displaying the work of a local sculptor, an archaeological museum with items from a sanctuary of Poseidon and Amphitrite (buses visit this site, which is quite interesting). There's also a folklore museum, and a small beach near a cave; the least crowded beach near town is Ayios Sostis.
A very unspoiled village on the north coast bus route is Karthiani, with a tiny population, and which high up over the sea, with some springs which water a very lush area with plane trees, and with water pouring from small spouts. One simple shaded kafenio is found near the springs, with views out to sea. A narrow land passes between old houses, which then descends past an area where people fill water jugs from either the same or other springs (it's hard to tell).
A little marble gallery exhibits the works of a local sculptor, including many fine carved bas reliefs, treated with minerals to give them an old appearance. The island's famous marble is quarried near the village of Pyrgos, farther up the coast, where many artisans live, with an art school there and a museum of local artists.
Most of Tinos' villages are closer to the port, encircling the 640 meter fortress of Exombourgo, within whose walls are ruins of medieval houses, three churches and a fountain.
Paths connect the villages, with dovecotes visible everywhere, made from stone slabs woven together in geometric patterns. At Loutra village there's an old wooden 17th century Ursuline school,now a public schoolhouse. The town's name means 'springs', with some of those down below the village. There's a folk art museum there open in summer. Some fine architecture can be seen in Tripotamos; Volakas has some elderly Catholic inhabitants who do some of the best basket weaving in Greece; there's a folk museum there and a theater visited by theater groups from all over Greece in summer. The 12th century convent of Kekrovouniou , in Krokos, is worth visiting, as are nearby villages. One of the two beaches at Kolymvithra is visited in May by migrating flamingoes, the other has tavernas and rooms and shelter from wind. On the east side of Tinos are some fine bays. Tinos is mostly a Greek island with good beaches few and far between. Very helpful if you have a car too!