Tinos is the third largest island in the Northern Cyclades after Andros and Naxos. Its architecture is characteristic of the beautiful Cycladic aesthetic, with numerous picturesque villages and scattered chapels throughout the island. Dominating the town of Tinos is the imposing temple of Panagia Megalochari (Our Lady of Great Grace).


History of Tinos

The History of the Finding of the Miraculous Icon of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary.

The Holy Church of Evangelistria was built at the spot where the Icon of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary was found, following a vision by the nun Pelagia. This Icon is considered miraculous by the faithful and is associated with powerful accounts of faith and redemption in difficult moments of their lives when they pray before it.

The history of the Holy Church is intertwined with the more recent history of Greece. The discovery of the Holy Icon in 1823 was regarded as a miracle and a sign of success for the Greek Revolution against Turkish rule, while the construction of the impressive church marked the first major architectural project of the newly established Greek state.

In 1821, the Virgin Mary appeared to an elderly gardener in his dream and instructed him to go to the field of Antonios Doxaras to dig and find her icon. Although the attempt was fruitless, this event was seen as a divine omen for justice and the success of the Greek Revolution.

Two years later, nun Pelagia had a vision of the Virgin Mary for three consecutive weeks, urging her to organize excavations to unearth and renovate the buried church in the field of Antonios Doxaras. Metropolitan Gabriel of Tinos was informed of this and called upon local officials and the people to assist as much as they could for this purpose.

The people willingly started the excavations in September 1822 and discovered the ruins of the old church of Agios Ioannis Prodromos. Initially, however, no trace of the icon was found, which led to disappointment and the abandonment of the project.

The excavations continued, and on January 30, 1823, the ax of a volunteer worker from the village of Falatados, Dimitris Vlassis, touched the miraculous icon of the Annunciation, dividing it in half between the depicted Virgin and the Archangel. Immediately after the discovery, the news spread rapidly throughout the entire Greek population. People from every corner of Greece arrived to humbly worship the Divine Icon and pray for the liberation of the Nation. The Greeks now felt confident in their liberation. The event was seen as a sacred message of the Greek Orthodox Christianity, affirming the justice of the revolution. Important figures of the revolution, including Kolokotronis, Miaoulis, Nikitaras, and Makrygiannis, arrived on the island to pay their respects. The church celebrates on January 30 (the day of the finding of the icon), March 25 (Annunciation of the Virgin Mary), July 23 (vision of Agia Pelagia), and August 15 (Dormition of the Virgin Mary), with the most splendid celebration of the day in the entire Aegean.

Beaches in Tinos

  • Livada: The remote bay of Livada in the Upper Parts of Tinos is characterized by wild beauty. The black sand, fine pebbles, and crystal-clear water that deepens abruptly make it unique.
  • Pachia Ammos: Its name suits it perfectly. Remote, quiet, and low-profile, this beach is ideal if you can't stand crowds but can tolerate the wind. With impressive golden sand dunes reminiscent of a desert, cliffs shaped by the salty air, and turquoise waters melting onto the shore, you'll love it. It is located 10 kilometers away from Chora.
  • Santa Margarita: Santa Margarita is a secret for a few and is located near Steni, in the eastern part of Tinos. You won't find umbrellas, sunbeds, or other amenities here. On this secluded sandy beach with its azure waters, you can reach either from Potamia or by kaiki (traditional boat).
  • Lychnaftia: The road starting from Triantaros leads to a serene beach in the southeast of Tinos. This beach features white and black pebbles, clear seabed, and tamarisk trees for shade.
  • Agios Romanos: The chapel at the left edge of Agia Romanis Bay is the "godfather" of the vast sandy beach in the southern part of Tinos. Nature has blessed this beloved spot of Tinos with shady trees, crystal-clear emerald waters, and unlimited views towards Syros.
  • Apigania: Apigania remains untouched by mass tourism and is close to Agios Romanos Beach in the Lower Parts of Tinos. It has a special appeal to solitude seekers and those who don't hesitate to embark on a brief adventure to reach this exotic place. If you want to swim in its turquoise waters next to green and white natural sculptures, you'll need to follow an 11-kilometer dirt road, descend a slope, and climb down cliffs!

Sights in Tinos

  • The Holy Church of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, a symbol of Greek Orthodoxy.
  • The Church of the Taxiarchs (Archangels).
  • Agios Nikolaos of the Catholics.
  • The Church of Malamatenia.
  • The settlement of Pyrgos.
  • The School of Fine Arts in Pyrgos, Panormos Community.
  • The Church of Agia Ekaterini in Kampo.
  • The granite formations in Volax and Voliakas.
  • The archaeological site of Kionia (Temple of Poseidon).
  • The Traditional Settlement of Moundados.
  • The Church of the Ascension of Christ in Arnados.
  • The Church of Agia Triada in Falatado.
  • The Church of Timios Stavros in Ktikado.
  • Panagia of Rodaria in the village of Xynara.
  • The "Faith and Culture Center" (the "Despot's Palace") in Xynara.
  • The settlement of Ysternia, a place and residence of marble sculptors.
  • The settlement of Kardiani.
  • The parish churches of the Nativity of the Virgin and Agioi Anargyroi in the villages of Plateia and Marla, respectively.
  • The Peristeriones, the majority of which are located behind the 18th and 19th centuries. Most of them are built in the Tarabados valley.
  • The Monastery of Kyra Xeni and the Lower Monastery, where there are signs and findings from the prehistoric era (a vaulted Mycenaean tomb and a Geometric period tomb).
  • The area of Evangelistria and Grammatiko, where a 4th-century BC inscription referring to a "Sanctuary of the Earth" was found. It was discovered that there was a settlement there since Roman times.
  • The Artistic School, which has been operating since 1898 with the purpose of learning the art of weaving. It was founded by Nikolaos and Eleni Zarifi and the Holy Foundation of Evangelistria. The students must be Tinos residents and attend free of charge. It is housed in privately owned premises on Evangelistria Street and belongs to the Ladies' Association "Evangelistria". Adjacent to the room with the looms, there is an exhibition space where various notable woven goods, produced at the School, are sold.
  • The Ecclesiastical School, which has been operating since 1966, at the upper end of Megalocharis Avenue, opposite the Holy Foundation. The students attend, reside, and are fed at the School as state scholars. The hundreds of its graduates have served in churches throughout the country.

Activities in Tinos

The first known historical inhabitants of Tinos were the Mycenaeans. The island was also inhabited by the Ionians. A large number of soldiers from Tinos fought against the Persians in the famous Battle of Plataea, the Battle of Salamis, and the Battle of Marathon. After the death of Alexander the Great, Tinos came under the rule of the Macedonians. In 146 BC, Tinos, like the rest of Greece, became part of the Roman Empire, and after the Christianization of the island, the pagan sanctuaries gradually fell into oblivion.

In 1207 AD, Tinos came under the rule of Venice. During the period of Ottoman occupation, Tinos enjoyed many special rights and developed into an important economic center of the Aegean. On March 31, 1821, in the village of Pyrgos, the revolution against Ottoman rule was declared for the first time in the Cyclades. Approximately 5,000 people from Tinos left to participate in the liberation struggle. Tinos also played a significant role in coordinating the resistance.