Tinos is something like a Lourdes of the Orthodox. Every year,
thousands of pilgrims from all over
the island and the church of the Virgin Mary, hoping that she will do
miracles for them. The island also has many Catholics.
With its relatively green, mountainous landscape, where tiny chapels and
dovecotes are scattered everywhere, Tinos is a very beautiful island.
There are many villages, and exploring the surroundings with a car is
definitely worth it. It is quite a windy island, so the sea can get
rough around Tinos. Perhaps that's why the ancient Greeks believed the
God of Winds lived here.
The people traditionally live off agriculture, stock breeding and the
green marble that has been important for the economy since antiquity.
This marble was used when building the Louvre in Paris and Buckingham
Palace in London, as well as Athens in the 19th century.
There is not much archaeological proof, but it is believed
Tinos was inhabited in the 2nd Millennium BC, perhaps with
people from Asia Minor. The Ionians settled here in the 10th
According to mythology the island was originally called "Snakeisland",
Ofioussa, because of the many snakes.
Poseidon chased them all away and was therefore a special
god to the locals.
In the 5th century BC, Tinos fought with the Athenians against
the Persians, and was to become a member of the Delian League.
After this, the Macedonians invaded, only to be succeeded by the
Romans in the 2nd century BC. Together with Delos, this was
considered on of the holiest of islands, and the ancient Greek
would come here to worship
Demeter, and drink from its holy, healing water.
Just like most of the islands in the Aegean sea, Tinos was
constantly attacked by pirates, and as a consequence, the people
moved up in the mountains for protection.
The island became part of the Venetian Duchy in the 13th
century, with Naxos as the centre. The Turks conquered the
island late, in 1715. People from the surrounding islands sought
refuge here because Tinos stayed under Venetian rule for a long
time, and even after
the Turkish invasion, only few Turks actually settled there.
Since Tinos was relatively autonomous, the economy flourished in
the 18th century, and was sometimes called "Little Paris" since
it was a cosmopolitan place with people living here from all
over Europe. Nevertheless, Tinos fought hard against the Turks
when the war of Independence broke out in 1821. Many were killed
and the island was flooded with refuges.
The worst time ever for Tinos was during the second World War,
when the island was isolated and many starved to death. In 1940
the Greek warship Elli was torpedoed by an Italian submarine the
"Delfino" that was based in the port of Lakki in Leros, one of
the largest Italian naval bases in the Mediterranean during
world war 2. Each year on 15th of August, Greece is honouring
the dead sailors and officers of the cruiser Elli, with
ceremonies and wreaths in the sea area where the ship was sank.
What to See The most dominating
feature of Tinos is its basilica Panagia Evaggelistria (Virgin Mary
Evangelist). It was built after a nun had dreamt of an icon in 1823, and
after searching and digging in the area, it was found, as well as a well
of fresh water. The church is situated on a hill in Chora, with steps
leading up to it. In antiquity, there used to be a Dionysus temple here.
One of the most common reasons for pilgrimages here is childlessness.
When a woman visits the island for this reason, she promises the Virgin
that she will name the child after her if she becomes pregnant. When the
child is old enough, it is taken to Tinos in order to be shown to the
Virgin. Therefore, there are hundreds of Marias and Despinas and
Panagiotas all over the country, not because their grandparent was named
so, but because they have been promised to the Virgin Mary of Tinos.In
Chora there is also an archaeological museum.
Pilgrimage is of course not the only reason for going to Tinos. It is a
beautiful island, with many little villages well worth visiting. For
example Moundatos, Ktikados, Hadzirados, Kardiani, Volaka, with its huge
rocks, Isternia, Kambos, Steni and Pyrgos, which is the largest and
perhaps prettiest village. In Pyrgos you can visit the workshop of the
sculptor Giannoulis Halepa as well as the museum of artists from Tinos.
The cave of Gastrion outside Kionia is quite fascinating with
inscriptions dating back to antiquity. Here, there are also ancient
remains of a temple to Dionysus and Roman baths.
On Mt. Exobourgo used to be a Venetian citadel , until it was blow up
by the Turks in 1715. The Jesuits used to live here, and there is a
Catholic, as well as an Orthodox church here.
The nunnery Kechrovouni is definitely worth a visit. It dates back to
the 11th century, and allegedly it was built after three sisters had
dreamt about it. This is where lived the nun Pelagia, the one that dreamt of
the Evaggelistria icon . There is also a small museum here.
What to Do
:Tinos is the perfect island to explore on your own. The many villages,
750 churches and dramatic nature makes Tenos one of Greece's most
The most popular beaches of Tinos are probably Agios Fokas and
around Porto. Around Kionia you'll also find some beaches, and
there are many bays on the East coast.
Nightlife: Just like anywhere
else in Greece, the nightlife on Tinos has quite a few things to offer.
The most places are in Chora, but don't expect any wild partying. Tinos
is first and foremost an island for Greek holidaymakers, and they have a
much more relaxed attitude towards alcohol.
Food-The local specialty on Tinos island
is a kind of omelette with sausages and cheese. There are also many kinds of
sweets. There are a lot of taverns on the island. You'll find most of them
in Chora, but there are also many places by the beaches and in the villages.
Shopping: You can buy various
religious objects such as icons, crucifixes, komboskinia (something like a
rosary) and candles. For more secular shopping, in the village Volaka you
can get handmade baskets and in Pyrgos you can get various souvenirs made
from the local marble
Getting Around There is a
quite extensive local network of buses, but you can also rent cars and
bikes, which is highly recommended if you really want to explore the
island. There are also quite a few taxis.
Getting There :The best
way is to fly to Athens or maybe Mykonos, and take the ferry boat from
there. From the port of Piraeus you can get ferries to Tinos as well
from Rafina. From Rafina, during the summer, there are many ferries and
fast catamarans that go to Andros, Tinos, and Mykonos. You can get the
KTEL bus to Rafina from the area of Pedion Areos at Alexandras and
Patission street in Athens.
Tinos is located in the Cyclades and is very near to
Andros and Syros. Every year in August the island has many
thousand of visitors mainly Greeks who are coming here for
the celebration of the Assumption of Mary. The island of
Tinos has developed its accommodation standards many years
ago because of the massive tourism during the last weeks of
Tinos is not one of the main tourity islands of Greeks for many
foreign tourists, but it is a quiet nice island where you can relax and
enjoy your holidays especially in low season when you will find many
cheap accommodations in Hotels, rooms and self catering apartments.
Tinos is only a few hours journey from Piraeus or Rafina and half an
hour from Syros and Mykonos.
Vincenzo Family Hotel Tinos.
delightful family run hotel, with its slate floors and wooden
beams, is full of character and charmingly decorated in sympathy
with its beautiful rustic
surroundings. It is situated in the religious district of Tinos,
within walking distance of the port and close to the famous
Panagia Evangelistria (Our Lady of Trinity). The Hotel Vincenzo
offers a wonderful holiday location that makes an ideal base for
exploring the island. The hotel offers a mixture of
well-appointed rooms and apartments, a delightful flower filled
courtyard and outdoor breakfast terrace.
At the Hotel Vincenzo you can also take advantage of their
relaxing spa facilities that include Jacuzzi, Turkish steam bath
and soothing massages. The hotel also benefits from free
wireless internet services.
Tinos Beach Hotel, Tinos
This spacious hotel has been a popular holiday destination for
35 years and many famous artists and politicians have enjoyed
the facilities Tinos Beach Hotel has to offer. Its 180 spacious
rooms and suites are all fully air-conditioned and include
refrigerator and cable/satellite TV as well as room service and
breakfast included in the price. The hotel’s lobby has a 24 hour
reception and a safe deposit box where valuables can be securely
kept. The comfortable lounge bar is an excellent place to relax
after dining in our excellent restaurant. Leisure facilities
include a swimming pool, tennis courts and playground. The hotel
also boasts Conference Rooms and high-speed internet facilities.
Pets are welcome at the hotel and there is ample free parking as
well as a shuttle service to and from the airport.
Anemoessa Hotel, Tinos
This delightful newly built complex of apartments are
beautifully designed in a traditional Aegean style and are
located a mere 70 metres from the sea at Hysternion Bay. The
serene location of sea and mountains will make your stay magical
and unforgettable. All the rooms have air-conditioning, TV,
bath/Hot Tub and kitchenette comprising refrigerator, and coffee
and tea making facilities. The hotel also offers room service, a
24 hour reception, a business centre and free parking
|Facts about Tinos*
|Size: 195 sq. km
||International code: 0030
||Local code: 22830
|Population: about 8000 :
||Health center: 22210
|Cash machine ATM: Yes
||Port Police: 23770
|Price rate: Average
*The info displayed may be inaccurate. If changes have been made, please let us know.