We boarded our tenders at 8:15 a.m. and landed at Chora, the main village on the island of Tinos. Our first destination was the village of Pyrgos (the name means “tower”). The ride to this classic Cycladic village―the most beautiful of the 61 villages on the island, in my opinion ―was through rugged mountain valleys covered with ancient terracing. Like most islands in the Cyclades, Tinos is rocky, lacking any depth of soil. The terracing allows for the concentration of soil and conservation of water. As we drove, we passed windmills and Tinos’s famous dovecotes. More than 1,000 of these massive birdhouses dot the island’s landscape. Dovecotes were used as a source of meat (from the birds) and fertilizer (from the guano), and as a system of communication. The structures are very beautiful architecturally, and families often vied with one another to build the most attractive examples.