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This article is about the Greek island; for the font family, see Croscore fonts.

Περιφερειακή ενότητα / Δήμος
Regional unit
Panagia Evangelistria, landmark of the island
Panagia Evangelistria, landmark of the island
Tinos within the South Aegean
Tinos within the South Aegean
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Country Greece
Region South Aegean
Capital Tinos (town)
 • Total 194.6 km2 (75.1 sq mi)
Population (2011)
 • Total 8,636
 • Density 44/km2 (110/sq mi)
Postal codes 842 xx
Area codes 22830
Car plates EM
Website www.tinos.gr

Tinos (Greek: Τήνος [ˈtinos]) is a Greek island situated in the Aegean Sea. It is located in the Cyclades archipelago. In antiquity, Tinos was also known as Ophiussa (from ophis, Greek for snake) and Hydroessa (from hydor, Greek for water). The closest islands are Andros, Delos, and Mykonos. It has a land area of approximately 194 square kilometres (75 sq mi) and a 2011 census population of 8,636 inhabitants.

Tinos is famous amongst Greeks for the Church of Panagia Evangelistria, its 80 or so windmills,[1] about 1000 artistic dovecotes, 50 active villages and its Venetian fortifications at the mountain, Exomvourgo. On Tinos, both Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic populations co-exist, and the island is also well known for its famous sculptors and painters, such as Nikolaos Gysis, Yannoulis Chalepas and Nikiforos Lytras.

The island is located near the geographical center of the Cyclades island complex, and because of the Panagia Evangelistria church, with its reputedly miraculous icon of Virgin Mary that it holds, Tinos is also the center of a yearly pilgrimage that takes place on the date of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary (15 August, "Dekapentavgoustos" in Greek). This is perhaps the most notable and still active yearly pilgrimage in the region of the eastern Mediterranean. Many pilgrims make their way the 800 metres from the ferry wharf to the church on their hands and knees as sign of devotion.


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Map of Tinos by Giacomo Franco (1597).
Volax village, postcard of 1907

Following the capture of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade, Tinos was one of several islands ruled by private Venetian citizens and belonged to Geremia Ghisi, whose heirs held it until 1390 when the last member of the family branch bequeathed both Tinos and Mykonos to Venice.[2][3] It was ruled by Venice until 1715, when Tinos was captured by the Ottoman Empire (see Ottoman–Venetian War), and became known as İstendil. The Ottomans held Tinos until 1821 when the inhabitants joined in the Greek War of Independence.[4]

The tumult of the period gave raise to an increase in piracy in the region. In 1825 HMS Cambrian was lead vessel of a small squadron in anti-piracy operations in the Archipelago, at Alexandria, and around the coasts of Syria. On 27 July 1826 Cambrian's boats captured a pirate bombard and burnt a mistico on Tinos. Five pirates were killed and several wounded.

The date of 15 August also commemorates the 1940 sinking in Tinos's harbour of the Greek cruiser Elli, during peacetime, while she rode at anchor, by the Italian submarine Delfino. The Elli was participating in the celebrations of the Feast of the Dormition. One of the three torpedoes fired hit the Elli under the one operating boiler and she caught fire and sank. Nine petty officers and sailors were killed and 24 were wounded. The same submarine attempted to torpedo the passenger ships M/V Elsi and M/V Hesperos anchored in the port. This attempt failed and the torpedoes only damaged only a section of the port's wharf.


Landscape of the island
View of Tinos town
Kardiani village
The entrance of the church

Tinos has a varied landscape. From the shores of Panormos and Kolimbithra on the North Shore to Kionia, Agios Yannis O Portos, and Agios Sostis on the Southern Shore, Tinos has many beaches, just to name a few. Tsiknias is the highest mountain on the island at 750 meters and hides the quaint village of Livada. The mountain of Exobourgo is quite distinct, and unlike its more rounded Cycladic neighbors, has a more jagged appearance that would be more at home in the Alps. Between Tsiknias and Exobourgo lies the fruitful plain of Falatados. This area is unique on the island as its relatively flat (yet with an elevation of ~ 300 metres) terrain is rare on the island. This made it a strong candidate for an as yet unbuilt airport on the island. The Meltemi winds and valid concerns of local villagers of the towns of Falatados, and Steni have all but halted the project. The area around Volax is a surreal and very unusual landscape with giant boulders some the size of multi-storey buildings. The village of Volax lies at the center of this amazing landscape. To the west, the mountains surrounding Pyrgos are full of some of the most beautiful green marble in all of Greece.

All around the island of Tinos, the islanders have made the most unusual things out of stone. The hills are all terraced with stone walls; every little village is connected to its nearest neighbors by stone walkways set between a parallel set of stone walls.

The island's mineral resources include marble, Verde antico, asbestos and a granite mine near Volax (also known as Volakas).


Tinos is a separate regional unit of the South Aegean region, and the only municipality of the regional unit. As a part of the 2011 Kallikratis government reform, the regional unit Tinos was created out of part of the former Cyclades Prefecture. At the same reform, the current municipality Tinos was created out of the 3 former municipalities: [5]


The province of Tinos (Greek: Επαρχία Τήνου) was one of the provinces of the Cyclades Prefecture. It had the same territory as the present regional unit.[6] It was abolished in 2006.


Tinos experiences a Mediterranean climate and has warm and dry summers and mild and wet winters. In the island you come across the etesians (also known as meltemi winds) the strong, dry north winds of the Aegean Sea, which blow from about mid-May to mid-September. They are at their strongest in the afternoon and often die down at night, but sometimes meltemi winds last for days without a break. Meltemi winds are dangerous to sailors because they come up in clear weather without warning and can blow at 7-8 Beaufort.

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High 14°C 15°C 16°C 19°C 22°C 26°C 28°C 28°C 26°C 23°C 19°C 15°C
Low 10°C 10°C 11°C 13°C 17°C 21°C 23°C 24°C 21°C 19°C 15°C 12°C
Precipitation 8 7 5 5 3 0 0 0 2 2 6 11
Winds in km/h 29 30 26 20 21 23 23 26 23 26 23 28


Tinos has three ports, one for passenger speed boats, and two for ferries and highspeed boats which carry passengers and cars to other ports, including Mykonos (35 min), Piraeus, Rafina, Andros and Syros.

There is a heliport close to Aghios Fokas beach, some 2 kilometres (1 mile) from Tinos town.

There are regular buses linking Tinos town with other villages on the island.

Towns and Villages

Notable people

Nikolaos Gyzis (1842–1901), an important Greek painter



  1. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  2. William Miller, The Latin Orient (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1920), p. 39
  3. D. Jacoby, La féodalité en Grèce médiévale. Les « Assises de Romanie », sources, application et diffusion (1971), p. 237
  4. http://www.gefad.gazi.edu.tr/window/dosyapdf/2009/4/40.pdf
  5. Kallikratis reform law text PDF
  6. Detailed census results 1991 PDF (39 MB) (Greek) (French)

External links