37:32.25N 25:09.69E Tinos

Ariel of Hamble
Jim and Valerie SHURVELL
Sun 9 Jun 2019 04:39

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

in Greece.

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!!!




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