Greek Guide

 

Tinos Tourist Attractions Day Trips Greece Greek Travel Guide

Visitors to Tinos will find plenty of interest to occupy them by day. There are traditional unspoilt villages to explore, wonderful walks through beautiful mountainous scenery, some fascinating historic sites to visit and boat excursions to the neighbouring islands.

The top visitor attraction, certainly for the thousands of pilgrims who flock here each year, is the holy icon enshrined within the Church of Panagia Evangelistria in Tinos Town. Don't be surprised to see the Greek faithful arriving by ferry then making the one kilometre journey to the church on their hands and knees.

The icon is a portrayal of the Virgin Mary, kneeling in prayer, at the time of her annunciation (when the Angel Gabriel appeared before her and announced that she was to become the Mother of God). It was discovered after a nun, Sister Pelagia, had a vision of the Virgin Mary guiding her to the field where it lay buried. A church was built on the spot where excavators uncovered the icon which is now bedecked with gold, diamonds and pearls. The church also houses hundreds of gifts of thanks from the many who believe their "miracle" cures are a direct result of their pilgrimage to the Church of Panagia Evangelistria. Look out for the gold orange tree (near the church entrance) offered by a blind man who regained his sight.

Several museums within the church complex house other icons and various religious treasures. The crypt below the church marks the spot where the famous icon was found after lying buried for 850 years. The spot is now lined with silver and alongside it is the spring, also believed to have miraculous healing powers, which appeared when the icon was discovered.

To the north of Tinos Town you can visit the 10th century Convent of Kechrovouniou and see the cell where Sister Pelagia had her vision. You can also see the chest in which the nun's embalmed head is (somewhat gruesomely) kept. The convent is one of the largest in Greece and has a small museum of 18th and 19th century religious icons.

The island's loveliest villages are clustered around Exobourgo, the ancient Venetian fortress which lies in ruins atop a 640 metre rock. Loutra and Koumaros are both worth a visit as is the village of Volax, famed for its basket weaving skills. You can visit the weavers' workshops and see their reeds soaking in large stone basins fed by the village spring.

Pirgos, in the north west corner of the island, is another pretty village renowned for its marble sculpting. Some of the finest sculptors in Greece have trained at the village's sculpting school which hosts courses for novices and experienced sculptors from all over the world. Intricately carved marble from Pirgos adorns the houses of villages throughout the island.

See the excavated foundations of the 4th century Sanctuary of Poseidon and Amphritite (his sea nymph consort) near Kounia, to the north west of Tinos Town.

Or take a boat excursion to the uninhabited island of Delos one of the most important archaeological sites in the whole of Greece. The island was the mythical birthplace of the twins Artemis and Apollo and excavations have revealed the remains of the once magnificent Sanctuary of Apollo with three temples dating from the 6th and 5th centuries BC. There are daily excursions to the island during the summer months.