The food is better if you get away from the waterfront restaurants. As you might imagine, there are many places meant to feed and house pilgrims in Tinos Town.
See our Greece hotels for a complete look at accommodations available on this island..
The island's name comes from the Phoenician for snake. Tinos was originally infested with vipers. By the 4th Century BC a sanctuary to Poseidon was founded there. Poseidon sent a flock of storks to the island to gobble up the snakes. The first pilgrims began coming here to be cured at the December festivals of the Poseidonia.
Following the fourth Crusade, the Venetians built the fortress of Santa Elena at Exombourgo out of the stones from the ancient acropolis and city. This fortress withstood eleven assaults by the Turks only to be surrendered to the Turks by a Venetian captain in 1715. The Turks promptly blew up Santa Elena.
In 1822 a nun named Pelagia from the Moni Kechrovouniou had a vision of the Virgin Mary directing her to a rock. Excavations of the rock began in 1823. Revealed was the icon of the Annunciation of the Archangel Gabriel. It had been buried for over 850 years. This icon is credited with amazing healing powers. The icon is known in Greece as the Magalochari, or the Great Joy. Panagia Evangelistra was built on the spot and quickly became the most important pilgrimage spot in Greece. It is a national shrine.
There is more than one ferry quay in Tinos Town, so be sure you know which quay your boat leaves from when you buy your ticket.
Many shops here sell religious wares, but this is also a good island to buy that charm to keep away the evil eye, the blue stones you often see hanging around someone's neck. More pictures of Tinos.