Tinos Town (also known as Chora), is the capital city of the island and Greece’s top pilgrimage destination. At first glance, Chora is not the most picturesque part of Tinos. A few old two-story buildings lined in the waterfront are big enough to hide the back streets which are a labyrinth of shops, homes and small businesses. Chora is the largest town on the island and has been the administrative capital since the destruction of the former town and fortress of Tinos, on the Exobourgo mountain.
Due to its small size, Tinos Town can easily be crawled within an hour or two at a slow pace. Traffic is prohibited on the waterfront in the evenings of summer, and the street with the pavements become a nice walk with hundreds of pedestrians, walking from one end to the other. Along the road, there are dozens of cafés, taverns and pastry shops where you can relax with a Greek coffee, an ice-cold beer or just enjoy an authentic Greek meal. The coastal road ends at the port with the old shipyard. Tinos town has two ports, the new ferry port just to the left with many ferries to come and go every day, and the old port, used mainly by speedboats.
The town is the site of the Church of Panagia Evagelistria, a site of pilgrimage for Greeks and the island’s most significant attraction. The imposing church of the Virgin was founded on the spot where the icon of the Annunciation was found, during excavations, following a nun's vision. Many Greeks visit this Church regularly and pray or give thanks before the Holy icon, as it is known to be a source of numerous miracles. There are two primary streets that lead up to the Church of Evagelistria. Cars go up the wide avenue of Leoforos Megalocharis with the narrow carpet on the right for people who go up the hill where the church is situated on their knees. Big holidays like the 15th of August there will be hundreds of them. On the way up, there are a number of beautiful buildings to enjoy and a few sights to visit, like the Archaeological Museum, the church of St. George of 1691, the Cultural Center, the Tinian Artist Museum and the Mausoleum of the Elli, the Greek ship which was torpedoed in the harbor by the Italians in World War II.
The main shopping street is Evagelistrias street, which runs parallel to the avenue. Throughout its length are lots of shops, selling religious items, while the bottom of the street is dominated by cafés and shops selling souvenirs, jewelries, traditional sweets and other local products. A few Art galleries and the Weaving School of Tinos are also located on its side. The district of Pallada is probably the most picturesque part of the town, with typical Cycladic alleys, the catholic church of Saint Anthony, taverns and nightclubs, the “pelican” square and the cathedral of the Archangels with a marble bell tower of 1803. Although in Tinos Town, you won’t get to see many of the white-washed houses with the blue doors and windows or many blue-domed churches like in most Cycladic islands, is still a lively place of glare and glamor worth discovering.