Bay from 'Faros'
- an introduction
is a relatively undeveloped island, lying 65km north-west of Rhodes.
is part of the Dodecanese group in the Aegean and is situated in the south-eastern region
The island is off the mainstream tourist route and offers a
quieter stopover for those visiting the Greek islands. It benefits
from beautiful panoramas viewed from the coastal paths and in the
Spring is the home for many species of migrating birds. The flora
and fauna is astounding early in the season with a wide variety of
rare wild flowers and herbs covering the fields and hillsides.
Fields of wild poppies and margaritas are particularly attractive
early in the year.
The island is particularly favourable for hikers, offering walks
of varying degrees of difficulty for all seekers of quiet and
solitude. There are, however, many beaches for those visitors who
prefer to take their pleasures lying in the sun and watching the
day go by.
The history of the island is varied and somewhat chaotic,
suffering the same fate as neighbouring Rhodes. Having been
settled by the Minoans, Myceneans, Dorians, Persians, Saracens,
Turks, Knights of St John and more recently by the Italians with a
brief occupation by the Germans in WWII. One of the earliest
references to ancient times is noted in the museum at Megalo Horio
where fossilised bones of dwarf elephants were discovered in 1976.
These artifacts date back to approximately 4600BC and were
unearthed in the Cherkadio Cave near Megalo Horio. The remains can
be viewed in the Museum nearby.
modern history (2001), the islanders, friends and visitors, joined
together to repel hunters wishing to destroy the tranquil ambience,
not to mention most of the species of birds which visit the island.
For the previous five years, Tilos had been protected from the
annual arrival of upwards of 300 hunters armed with guns and dogs.
Unfortunately, in 2001, the ban was due to expire which would have
meant the return of the hunters in the autumn of that year. There
followed a mobilisation of the island's population, who in the
main, were against the invasion. Leaflets were printed and distributed
and the mayor visited Athens to
gain an extension to the hunting ban and radio, television and the
media were contacted.
After a close-fought battle, an extension to the ban was granted
which meant no hunting was allowed on Tilos. It is hoped this will
be extended to a lifetime ban in the near future, ensuring the
safety and well-being of the birdlife of the island. Tilos is proud
to portray itself as a haven for wildlife which can now exist in a
beautiful, peaceful environment.
Goat on Agios Giannis
island is at present undergoing some changes, there are plans to
make parts of Tilos a National Park. It is hoped that this will
protect the habitat of the rare species of birds living and
visiting the island. Eagles, falcons, kestrels, hoopoes, rollers,
bee eaters and kingfishers are some of the birdlife visible on
Tilos. Not forgetting 'Timos', the one-legged seagull who has made
his home in the harbour!
the main village and port of Tilos now has a newly-completed
harbour offering better facilities and safer docking for the inter-island
view to square
with the increased capacity of the harbour, a small marina has
been established which is able to cater for a number of
yachts in the season. In the past, the majority of yachts visiting
the island had to moor out in the bay. With the
facilities now offered in the marina, Livadia and Tilos offer a
more convenient mooring for our nautical visitors.
The village stretches
around a beautiful bay on the eastern coast of the island with views over to
Symi and Turkey. There is now a pedestrian walkway all the way
from the harbour to the southern edge of Livadia allowing safe
access to the beach and restaurants.
In Livadia there are numerous rooms available for
rent - we are pleased to offer our own Kosmos Studios.
These are situated in a rural
setting, yet only two minutes from the main beach of Livadia, they
provide fully furnished accommodation for self-catering clients
and are offered at very reasonable rates (see
In Livadia there are around 15 tavernas and restaurants,
offering diverse menus and catering for all tastes. There are also a couple of kafeneions
where a leisurely coffee and snack may be enjoyed. For the self-caterer there are four 'supermarkets'
offering basic foodstuff with fresh supplies arriving twice-weekly from Kos and Rhodes.
In the village square there is a Post Office, open from 7.30am
until 1.30pm, Monday to Friday,
Great news for visitors to Tilos
now boasts its own branch of
Alfa Bank (formerly
Dodecanese Bank) which is
open Monday to Friday from 0830 to 1330. An ATM machine is also in
operation at the bank offering cash withdrawal facilities for
those visitors in need of Euros outside normal banking hours. The
bank is situated just off the square in Livadia.
Tickets for ferries to Rhodes and other destinations may be
purchased at Stefanakis Travel agency which is located on the
harbour. The office is usually open in the mornings and
flowers of Tilos
visitors to the island will not require medical attention, but
should the need arise, there is a doctor available on the island.
There is a surgery in Livadia next to the church which opens most
mornings from around 9.30am. There is also a surgery located in Megalo Horio with varying opening times.
Car Hire is available from three offices in Livadia and
also motorbikes can be rented in the village.
A bus service runs between the harbour in
Livadia and the other main inhabited village, Megalo Horio,
situated to the north of the island. The bus calls at Eristos, a
large, popular beach and at Agios Andonis, a small fishing harbour
on the north-east coast. During the summer the bus provides a
reasonable service for those wishing to visit other beaches,
returning at approximately 3pm and 5pm from Eristos.
For an otherwise 'sleepy' island, Tilos also caters for night owls
offering late night entertainment. Visitors can
obtain drinks and listen to music until the early hours at a
number of bars in Livadia and Megalo Horio.
Above the village, situated in Micro Horio, a deserted hamlet, is
Micro Horio Music Bar which opens its doors at midnight and
remains open until 5am in July and August. Customers can sit under
the stars listening to contemporary Greek music in an ancient
ruined village. There is a free minibus service which runs to and
from Micro Horio and Livadia.
other main settlement of Tilos is Megalo Horio, situated a few
kilometres north of Livadia. It can be reached by the local bus. The
village nestles on a steep mountain beneath the ruins of a castle
built by the Knights of St John which affords magnificent views
from its battlements. Megalo Horio offers limited tourist
accommodation, though rooms can be rented in the village centre.
In the village there are two supermarkets, a couple of tavernas, a
kafeneion, two bars, the Town Hall and a small Museum.
A stroll round the village gives a glimpse of 'real' Greek life
and for those feeling more energetic, there is a lovely church on
the hillside giving panoramic views westward towards Eristos bay.
For the masochistic visitor, a hike to the castle is a must, but
care should be taken as the castle is in need of restoration,
lacking guide rails and in some areas the walls are in need of
attention. Take care!
views northwards to Nysiros and Kos, Agios Andonis is a small,
sleepy hamlet with a tiny fishing harbour. This was the main
harbour before Livadia was established, where the visiting ferries
used to tie-up. The island bus visits this
quiet harbour on its circular trip around the island.
Bay is situated on the west coast of Tilos and comprises a large
sandy and shale beach. In the summer there are a number of campers
who make use of the shade afforded by the small trees running the
length of the beach. Accommodation can be found at Eristos and
nearby there are a couple of tavernas.
Eristos is definitely a
quiet, out-of-the-way place, at the moment, ideal for seekers of
solitude. However, transport is very limited and visitors may
prefer to visit on a daily basis.
Situated at the end of the paved road in the
north-west of the island, is the Monastery of Agios Pandeleimon.
St Pandeleimon was a physician to the Emperor Galarius and was
executed for refusing to renounce his Christianity. He was
adopted as patron saint of Tilos, there is a huge festival at
the Monastery at the end of July when Tiloans return to the
island to celebrate the occasion.
of St Pandeleimon
The Monastery is in a spectacular position, overlooking the
western coastline of Tilos. The approach to this special place
should be taken with care as near-vertical cliffs line the road
up to the final destination. Visitors may visit the partly-restored
chapel and there is also an opportunity for refreshment at a
small kafeneion in the grounds. In summer there is a bus service
to the Monastery,
leaving Livadia on Sunday morning.
are numerous coves and bays accessible by foot, Agios Sergios,
Agios Stavros, Lethra and Tholos are just some of the places for
the visitor to appreciate and enjoy.
With a decent pair of walking
shoes, an ample supply of water and an excellent map of Tilos
visitors can usually find a private length of beach for relaxation
and contemplation on this beautiful island.