Tour of Tilos
Kosmos Studios Tilos Information Page

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Tilos - an authentic Greek hideaway for the discerning traveller

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Livadia Bay from 'Faros'

Tilos - an introduction

Tilos is a relatively undeveloped island, lying 65km north-west of Rhodes. It is part of the Dodecanese group in the Aegean and is situated in the south-eastern region of Greece.

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.


   Traditional charcoal making

In 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 chapel

The 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!


Livadia the main village and port of Tilos now has a newly-completed harbour offering better facilities and safer docking for the inter-island ferries.

Omonia' with view to square

Along 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 Info & Rates Page).

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 -  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 evenings.


          Spring flowers of Tilos

Hopefully 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.

Megalo Horio

The 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!

Agios Andonis

Offering 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.


        Agios Andonis harbour

Eristos Bay

Eristos 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.

St Pandeleimon Monastery

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.

Monastery 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.

Around the island

There 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.

Visiting Tilos in 2017? 
Why not consider our new, spacious, quietly-situated Studios in the centre of Livadia Bay?

For more information visit our Info & Rates page or email us at
Speak to Helen or Paul direct on 0030 22460 44164

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