Tinos Town is a typical Cycladic island capital, with a busy little port and narrow streets zigzagging through blindingly whitewashed buildings. There are several ferries a day to Tinos from the mainland port of Rafina. Tinos has an Archaeological Museum with a very rich collection for such a comparatively small island that lacks any major sites. The major one is the Sanctuary of Poseidon and Amphitrite, a few kilometers west of Andros Town and built in the 4th century BC.
To all Greeks Tinos is known for just one thing: the Church of the Panagia Evengelistria, or the Annunciation. On August 15th, the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin and a national holiday in Greece, Tinos is packed full of pilgrims who come to pray to a miraculous icon. Many of them crawl on hands and knees up the main street that leads to the church and is lined with stalls and shops selling candles, icons and votive offerings. The icon is paraded through the streets, which also happens on the Feast of the Assumption, March 25th, another national holiday and also Independence Day.
The Nun's Vision
A nun at the convent of Moni Kechrovouniou, in the hills above Tinos Town, had visions of the Virgin Mary in 1822, the Virgin telling her where an icon lay buried. When the nun’s directions were followed, an icon showing the Annunciation of the Archangel Gabriel was found, which had lay buried for 850 years and yet remained in good condition. It was believed to have healing powers, hence the many pilgrims include people in need of healing, with Tinos being a Greek Orthodox equivalent of the holy shrine at Lourdes. If you want to be on Tinos on either March 25th or August 15th, you will need to plan well in advance as ferries and accommodation will both be fully booked.
Ferries from Rafina
There are several fast ferry connections per day between Rafina and Tinos.
TINOS ON YOUTUBE
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If you're going to Corfu take a look at our travel guide for the Kindle: Corfu and Beyond. This is what one US 5-star review said: 'Just back from our trip to Corfu and this was by far the most helpful of the travel guides we read.'
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