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Tinos

Of the larger islands in the Cyclades, with a permanent population of eight thousand, over sixty villages and a prosperous air about it, Tinos still feels relatively undiscovered by tourists and retains an authentic Greek ambience. Tinos has plenty of the quiet, traditional villages and undiscovered beaches that make this part of the world such a refreshing escape from life in the real world back home but it is most famous for the church of Panayia Evangelistria, a shrine of great fabulosity erected on the site where a miraculous icon with healing powers was found in 1822.

The discovery was made by a local nun just as the War of Independence was getting off the ground. Some historians have observed that the timing was fortuitous, serving as it did to underscore the longstanding ties between the Greek Orthodox Church and the cause of Greek nationalism. The icon is buried under a display of dazzling jewels at the top of a massive marble staircase.

There are two annual festivals – on March 25th and August 15th – when the icon bearing Virgin’s image is carried in state down to the harbour and the island is inundated with pilgrims.  The landscape of the island is dotted with bell towers, the legacy of a persistent sectarian rivalry between Catholic and Orthodox parishes to build the tallest.

The island has a flourishing folk-art tradition using the abundant local marble and the shops of Tinos town do a roaring trade in religious paraphernalia. After mooring your Tinos yacht charter in the harbour, you can either walk up the hill to the church or crawl on your knees to Magaloharis, the street which has been specially padded to facilitate the most devout.

Hikers with stamina might think about continuing on past the shrine up the stone stairway that climbs through appealing countryside for ninety minutes to the village of Ktikadhos where there is a lovely taverna, Drosia, with a good sea view. Tinos Town itself has a scattering of bars and tavernas – Epineio, Metaxis Mas and Palea Palladha come recommended - and there is an Archaeological Museum which houses an amazing sundial from the local Roman sanctuary of Poseidon and Amphitrite a few kilometres northwest of Tinos Town. There is a farmer’s market in the main square every morning.
 

 

Mooring:

  • Berth stern-to on the town quay at Tinos. There are good anchorages at Aspros Yialos and Kolymbithra, a wonderful double beach – one part wild and windswept (home to migrating pink flamingos in May), the other cosy and sheltered.

To Do:

  • Visit Panayia Evangelistria
     

Facilities:

  • Power
  • Water
  • Provisions
  • Bars and restaurants
  • Bus service
  • Car and motorbike rental