37:32.25N 25:09.69E Tinos
Thursday 6th June, 2019.
We left Foinkas (several spellings) and headed for
Tinos town marina. No wind so of course we had to
motor. We saw one sword fish sun bathing in the sea
surface. We lunched and showered before we arrived.
Luckily there was a couple of spaces on the wall which
we accepted very happily as the meltemi is going to
blow this weekend. Better to be safe and sound
Like Syros (Siros) Tinos has it own charm. It is very
mountainous but also a green island. The first settlers
were in Archaic times. In the 4th century BC it became
known for its Sanctuary of Poseidon and Amphirite.
Under Venetian rule from medieval times Tinos became
the Ottoman Empire’s last conquest in 1715. Tinos has
over 800 chapels and in the 1960’s the military Junta
declared it a holy island. Many Greek orthodox pilgrims
come to the church of the Panagia Evangelistria
(Annunciation) in Tinos town.
The church of Panagia Evangelistria is situated at the
top of the Megalochari the main street that runs up from
the ferry and harbour. It dominates the town and many
shops in the surrounding roads are packed with icons to
buy. Built in 1830 it houses the islands miraculous icon.
During the Greek War of Independence Sister Pelagia
nun at Moni Kechrovouniou had visions of the Virgin
Mary showing where an icon had been buried. In 1823
acting on the nuns directions excavations revealed the
icon of the Annunciation of the Archangel Gabriel
unscathed after 850 years underground. Known in
Greece as the Megalochari (the Great Joy) the icon was
found to have healing powers and the church became a
pilgrimage centre for Orthodox Christians. Tinos
becomes very busy during the festivals of the
Annunciation and the Assumption when the icon is
paraded through the streets. The devout often crawl up
the carpet from the bottom of the road by the quay to
the church at the top. On special occasions red carpet is
laid the whole length of the road but on normal days it
is just a dusty looking grey one.
The church has received over the years offerings from
people who are delighted that their prayers have been
answered. One item is a orange tree made of gold and
silver. The icon itself is covered in gold and jewels and
it is very difficult to see the painting underneath. The
crypt where the icon was found is know as the chapel of
Evesis or Discovery. Where the icon is now laid it is
lined with silver and there is a holy spring called
Zoodochos Pigi which is said to have healing powers.
The vestry has gold threaded ecclesiastical robes and
valuable copies of the gospels. Within the grounds is an
museum and an art gallery showing a Rubens, a
Rembrandt and works by 19th century artists.
We didn’t venture to Kechrovouniou where Sister
Pelagia had her visions to see the chest where her
embalmed head is kept. It is one of the largest convents
Friday 7th June, 2019.
The wind has started to blow and the forecast for the
weekend is very windy so we decided to take a car
today to see the island.
Amazing scenery and the island is covered in yellow
broom which is a sight to see. The roads are very
twisty and often along a steep cliff but we were very
pleased we did as the scenery was something else. We
stopped at Panormos for lunch and we could not have
been more pleased. Traditional food and wonderful
fresh fish run by a family born and bred in Tinos. The
small port with a small quay probably not for us as very
open to the north winds but beautiful and amazingly
deep. Definitely a “Shirley Ballantine” moment to
remember for quite awhile.
We stopped at Pirgos and walked around the village
enjoying seeing the marble carvings surrounding the
front door and above the door. Many of the houses
have balconies which also have carvings around them.
The school of sculpture is famous for being the finest in
the islands. The green colour marble is very popular in
One of the last villages we visited was Volax. It is a
village built among large rocks. They are considered to
be a unique geological phenomenon. Nowhere else did
we see these round rocks.
One of the most unusual sights is the 1300 dovecotes or
peristeriones as they are known to the Greeks spread
over the island mostly beautifully decorated. There have
two storeys, one for storage and the other for the birds.
On the top of each dovecote are mock doves or winged
We visited the beach at Fokas and stood in the water in
swimwear but with the cool breeze it was not to warm
so we just enjoyed paddling.
The Meltemi has increased and we have experienced 40
plus winds blowing from behind us. Several boats have
come in to shelter and nothing is now moving. Monday
is suppose to be our worse day. We must not complain
as we have had several weeks of no wind to worry
The backstreets have beautiful shops and around the
harbour is a amazing amount of restaurants with several
large supermarkets nearby.
On Saturday we were just at the start and finish line for
the annual Tinos running experience. Running for
everyone, disabled, children as young as 3 and some
even younger in pushchairs to the 5 km and 10 km races
and joining them was the half marathon group starting
in Volax. Lots of very happy people milling around
with music all day and it wouldn’t be Greece without a
few fireworks. Promptly at 10.15 p.m. the music
suddenly stopped and everyone went home. We had
fun watching from Ariel and cheering on our French
neighbour who took part in the 10 km race. He did very
well and came in near the front of the group.
We watched a youngish lady crawl up the hill to the
cathedral with her little boy, husband and Dad
watching. No knee pads!!!