As you reach the port of Tinos, you will first notice a tall rock in the middle of the island. In the heart of Tinos, an island of the Cyclades with a religious color and a rich culture, lies Exomvourgo (which means outside the castle), an impressive hill with a magical view. On this hill stood the ancient city of Tinos, where the Acropolis of Tinos was built in the fifth century BC.
The history of this rock, goes much further back to the Bronze Age when the Cyclopean walls were built. In the year 1207 the Gizi brothers conquered the rock and called it “the castle of Saint Helena,” named after the small
chapel of St. Helena on the rock.Later on, in 1390 the Venetians came, and built the Venetian Burgundy. When the Turks conquered the island in the year 1715, destroyed the Castle of Agia Eleni, and gave the area its present
name, Exomvourgo. Another name of Exomvourgo is Xombourgo, derived from the Venetian word Sobborgo that means “near the castle.” Most residents of this municipality are Catholic. Exomvourgo is second only to Ano Syros on the Cycladic island of Syros, in terms of Catholic population. This is remarkable, because in Greece most people are Greek Orthodox.
Today, the rock of Exomvourgo is popular among rock climbers, both beginners and advanced. The highest peak of Exomvourgo is 641 meters, which is perhaps the most imposing landmark of the island. Visitors can start the hike from Moni Kardias (Monastery of Heart of Jesus), and climb all all the way to the peak of the rock as well as the remains of the castle. The climb is known for its breathtaking views of the island as well as other Cycladic islands that can sometimes be seen from the top.