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Tinos; the Island of Megalochari

Tinos is a beautiful island of the Cyclades located between Syros, Andros and Mykonos. It is famous for its spiritual pilgrimage. Thousands of people flock to the island to venerate the Holy Icon and worship Panayia of Tinos, also known as the Megalochari of Tinos (Great Grace) or Evangelistria of Tinos (Our Lady of Good Tidings), which is the declared national patron saint of Greece. Every year on the 15th of August the celebrations are carried out in an intense emotional ambience.

The Church of Panayia Evangelistria in Tinos is dedicated to an icon discovered in 1823 after the vision of Sister Pelagia. The art-style of the Holy Icon is considered older than the Byzantine period. Those who studied the origin of the icon reached the conclusion that Megalochari of Tinos is the work of Apostle and Evangelist Luke.

The Church was built immediately after the discovery of the Holy Icon and its construction (including iconography and the surrounding buildings) was concluded eight years later, in 1830. The Church is actually a monastery complex. Excavations showed that it was originally built on the site of an early-Byzantine church dedicated to Saint John, which was previously built on the site of an ancient temple of the ancient god Dionysus.
A number of experienced artisans and gifted artists worked tirelessly to carve the marbles and design the breathtaking interior of the Church. Moreover, the generous gold and silver offerings to the Theotokos by Christians, the big chandeliers and the hundreds of icon-lamps hanging in rows compose a magnificent work of Christian art and architecture.

The spiritual atmosphere created by the sacredness and greatness of the Church and its surroundings, are heightened by liturgies held every day of the year from the Church’s inauguration to present day.

Panagia Megalochari
is celebrated four times a year: on January 30th, the date when the Holy Icon was found; on March 25th, the day of the Annunciation of the Virgin; on July 23rd, the day when Sister Pelagia had the vision of Panayia; and on August 15th, the day of the Assumption (or Dormition) of the Virgin Mary.

A Charming Destination
Tinos Island is well worth a visit; the inland as well as its capital, Chora, both have numerous natural beauties and significant sights you can explore. Known as an island with fierce winds, which have consequently altered its scenery into an art piece, it has served as an inspiration to numerous local artists (such as Gyzis, Lytras, Halepas, Philippotis etc.).

Don’t miss:
Take a walk in the town of Chora with its narrow alleys. Gaze admiringly at the well preserved mansions and numerous churches. Pay a visit to the Archaeological Museum; the building that houses the Foundation of Tinos Civilization and the memorial of Elli, a Greek battle cruiser that was torpedoed in 1940.
Discover over 40 villages and their cultural treasures.
Admire the Tinian scenery up close; the agricultural terraces, the churches and chapels made out of marble, the dovecotes, the windmills and many more that will make you want to see even more of the island.

Enjoy the island’s clear waters and beaches. The most renowned ones are: Kolymbithra, Agios Ioannis Porto, Agios Sostis, Panormos, Isternia and Kardiani.
Explore the island’s hiking paths. The most interesting ones are: Chora - Exomvourgo (8km), Exomvourgo - Agapi (5.2km), Tripotamos - Agapi (12.5km) and Tripotamos - Pyrgos (21.5km).
Try out the local delicacies: louza (spicy smoked pork meat), a large variety of cheeses, sun dried tomatoes, honey and local wine.

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