It’s that time of year again…
Everyone loves the spring and the chance of renewal it brings. It’s that time of the year that stirs your spirit, when nature grabs you by the hand and gives all your senses a vigorous shake-up. On the Aegean Muse, Tinos, intoxicating fragrances fill your nostrils, the refreshing breeze ushers out the winter doldrums and emboldened rays of sunshine promise long warm days to while away doing exactly as you please. But, here on the island, undoubtedly, the most spectacular part of spring is its colours. Luscious canopies of emerald gather thirstily around babbling blue spring waters. In the fields, crops have begun to take on a golden hue. Daises already carpet the slopes, daubing the rugged, umber terrain with thousands of tiny radiant splashes of yellow and white from nature’s own paint box.
Trailing through the spectrum
Could there really be any better place for exploring nature and yourself at the same time. Why not lace up the walking boots or strap on the cycling helmet. The M4 trails and the designated biking routes provide plenty of incentive to become joyfully entwined in these wonderful ribbons of colour which gift-wrap the island for you. You’ll pass directly through stunning natural scenery, adorned with the famous decorative dovecotes.
The great granite outcrop of Exomborgo, a fortress carved by the elements, and the enigmatic boulders of Volax seem to glow in a brilliant new light. A soothing sight to accompany your exercise is the inviting white-washed villages ranged along every route, kept in impeccable, pristine condition by their inhabitants.
And now we come to the flowers. A bold botanical fireworks display…gold, scarlet, ochre, fuchsia, burgundy… bursting into full bloom and tumbling teasingly over meandering paths that lead to solitary cliff top chapels; scrambling over beautifully crafted stone walls, arches, bridges, hidden doorways and stairwells.
An Easter to fill your heart
Easter is close now and on Tinos it has its own special colours to make it a truly unique experience for you, the visitor. Mother Nature plays her part with her own dazzling portfolio, lending a helping hand to the locals who bustle to and fro decorating the streets to herald this most marvellous of celebrations. In the spirit of togetherness that lasts all year round, the Orthodox and Catholic churches subtly balance the observance of Holy Week traditions between them.
Alongside the solemnity and serenity of these rituals, you’ll see housewives scuttling into each other’s homes preparing delicious pies made from a local white cheese and young children fashioning chains and wreaths from wild flowers.
On Good Friday everyone flocks to the main town where the processions of seven Holy Biers, garlanded in flowers and flanked by the faithful holding red and white candles, all meet up. The Holy Bier of Saint Nikolas is then taken down to the seashore and in the water the priest conducts prayers for the sailors, a scene illuminated by large crosses on the islet of Handra.
Look out too for the lemon leaves scattered onto the floor of the Church of Our Lady on Easter Saturday, not to mention the sky-busting pyrotechnic show as soon as the clock strikes midnight on the day of The Resurrection. The following morning, you will awake to a day of feasting, dancing and singing in which you are warmly invited to join in.
While a succulent lamb turns on a spit, excited youngsters are eager to see whose dyed red egg smashes first. Finally, particular to Tinos, in the village of Ktikados on Easter Monday, yet another joyous gathering takes place, ‘The Feast of Love’. At a large marble table, islanders of both pillars of the faith sit to share a meal of soup, roast beef and other delicacies, symbolizing the unique bonds that the Aegean Muse has forged between her people.
Has your 2018 been a little drab and gloomy so far? The colourful springtime ambience of Tinos can cure all that. Its ebullient, resourceful inhabitants welcome you for Easter and beyond; to come and be inspired to paint the island in the colours of your own choosing.