According to tradition, the oldest names of the island were Hydrousa, because of its abundant springs, and Ofiusa, from the many snakes, which, according to the myth, were removed by the god Poseidon. The name Tinos probably comes from the eponymous leader of the considered first inhabitants of the island, who were Iones from Caria in Asia Minor. It is also believed that her name comes from the Phoenician word "Tanoth", which means snake.
Tinos has been inhabited since the Proto-Cycladic period (3rd millennium BC), while the vaulted tomb of Agia Thekla (13th-12th century BC), on Cape Agios Ioannis, indicates the influence of the Mycenaean culture on the island.
For the transitional period between prehistoric and historical years (11th-8th centuries BC) the archaeological discoveries on the hill of Xoburgos bear witness to a thriving society. In the 6th century BC Tinos belongs to the Eretrians and in 505 BC it passes into the hands of the tyrant of Milos Aristagoras. The Persians force the island to join them against the Greeks, but Panaitius, the leader of the Tinian trireme, defectes and informs the Greek fleet at Salamis of the Persians' plans. Due to the contribution of the Tinians to the victory, their name was included in the list of cities that participated in the fight against the Persians at the Delphic tripod. Then, the Tinians also helped in the naval battle of Plataea (479 BC), as a result of which their name was also written this time on the pedestal of the statue of Zeus in Olympia.
During the hegemony of Athens (5th century BC), Tinos participates in the Athenian Alliance. Subsequently, it was the subject of a dispute between the Successors of Alexander the Great and in 314 BC it was included in the Council of the Islanders, whose seat it became at the beginning of the 2nd century. BC, developing into an important and active cultural center of the Hellenistic era. After the occupation of the Cyclades by the Romans (146 BC), Tinos, like most of the islands of the complex, declined and was used as a place of exile for Roman politicians.

We do not have enough information about the Early Christian and Byzantine years, except that the island was often subject to pirate raids by Arabs and Saracens (6th-8th centuries AD), while it did not develop any notable cultural activity. From the 9th century CE belongs together with the rest of the islands of the Cyclades to the administrative subject of the Aegean. After the capture of Constantinople by the Franks (1204) and the establishment of the Duchy of the Aegean (1207), the Doge of Venice, Henry Dandolos, ushering in a long period of prosperity and prominence of the island, grants it to the noble brothers Andreas and Jeremiah Gizi as in 1390, when it falls under the administrative jurisdiction of the Peaceful Republic. The Frankish administration grants privileges to the Tinians and allows the development of community institutions of self-government, resulting in the transformation of the island into one of the most important cultural centers of the Latin-dominated Aegean. During this period, a large part of the population became Latinized, resulting in the creation and flourishing of the Catholic Christian Community, which led to the establishment of the Latin Diocese of Tinos and Mykonos. It is the only island of the Cyclades, which, even after the occupation of Crete (1669) by the Ottomans, remains under Venetian rule. During the five centuries of Frankish rule, Tinos developed into the most populated island of the Cyclades, due to its central location. The Ottomans, after the occupation of the island in 1715, maintained the privileges of the Venetians and did not interrupt the upward progress of the island.
During the Revolution of 1821 the contribution of Tinos to various battles (Styra) and the sending of expeditionary corps were important. Also, the financial support of the fight and especially the use of the island as a refugee shelter complete the image of Tinos' offer. Tinos, like the rest of the Cyclades, joined the territory of the Greek state in 1830.
The most important event in the recent history of the island is the famous torpedoing by an Italian submarine of the destroyer "Elli" anchored in the port of Tinos, on August 15, 1940, which was the prelude to the Greek-Italian war of 1940-1941 and is therefore remembered every year at the same time as the feast of Panagia Megalochari. In 1941 Tinos initially joined the Italian administration in the context of the occupation of the Greek territories by the Axis Powers. After the capitulation of Italy in 1943, the island experienced German occupation until its liberation in 1944.
During the post-war years, Tinos was affected by the population growth of the large urban centers, suffered demographically and was on the margins. Today, however, things have changed, as the pilgrimage to Megalochari and the natural beauties of the island have turned it into one of the most popular destinations.