Tilos, a small and quiet island in the Dodecanese, mesmerizes the visitor with its original atmosphere and unspoilt nature. “As the tongue starts reciting the special beauty” of the island, to paraphrase a traditional song, we understand why it has been a source of inspiration for lyrical poets and painters.
Various herbs and flowers grow on its mountainous, yet lush, elevations, hills and valleys with flowing springs, adding heady aromas to the air. A refuge for rare bird species, with abundant sea life, it constitutes an eco-park protected by international treaties.
The culture of Tilos has also left its mark on time with Byzantine monuments, medieval castles, caves, churches and rare iconography. The locals, sensitized and open minded, play an extremely active role in the preservation of their cultural and natural heritage. They are hospitable and warm to visitors, willing to give you any information on Tilos you want, as they want your stay on the island to be unforgettable. With connecting ferries from Pireaus, Kos and Rhodes, Tilos awaits your arrival. Its magic assails your senses. Gazing out to sea, you’ll experience a floating sensation; the beginning of a voyage towards the Aegean infinity.
Things to do in Tilos
It is the capital of the island with authentic Aegean architecture. Visit the Paleontological Museum, exhibiting findings from the Cave of Harkadio with the bones of dwarf elephants and the church of Taxiarhis with the impressive crossed domes. Follow the path that leads to the Castle of the Knights at the top of the hill. The amazing view will reward your stamina and resolve.
This is the harbor of the island with numerous rooms for rent, taverns and cafeterias. The beach of the hamlet is large with pebbles, salt cedars and crystal clear waters. It spreads all the way to Agios Stefanos, which used to be the harbor in medieval times. The church of Agios Nikolaos is also well worth a visit.
The Monastery of Agios Panteleimon
This historic monastery, dating from the 15th century, is one of the most important sights of the island. It overlooks the sea from the hillside, in a location of exceptional natural beauty. Admire the carved wood icon screen and magnificent frescos of the Almighty on the dome. Cool down in the shade provided by the cypress, plane and walnut trees in the courtyard of the Monastery. In memory of the Saint, there is a three-day celebration in July with pilgrims arriving from all over the Dodecanese.
Discover the beaches of Tilos island
- Agios Antonios, with distinctive palms, salt cedars and a chapel, is a beautiful lattice work beach.
- Eristos is the most popular beach on the island with golden sand and cool, blue waters.
- Plaka, in Agios Antonios bay, is special due to the eucalyptus trees and the peacocks parading around showing off their colourful plumage.
- Lethra is a small, secluded pebbly beach with calm, clear waters.
- Finally, Skafi, Tholos and Agios Sergios can be reached by caique from Livadia. For Skafi, in particular, there is a footpath.
Hidden treasures of Tilos
Built in the 15th century on the hills above Livadia, it was abandoned by its residents during World War II. Today in this ghost village, the walls of the houses still stand and their arrangement is a testament to quite a high level of town-planning that originally went into the hamlet. The domed church of Agia Zoni, built in 1861, is maintained in very good condition. If you visit the village by night, you can enjoy a drink in the single bar under the silver moon.
Touring the island requires exploration along its footpaths. If you follow them, you will find yourselves at the heart of the nature of Tilos. You will see fertile valleys with abundant crops and wild flowers, cypress, oak and almond trees. You may come across partridges well accustomed to human company since hunting is forbidden on Tilos. Other paths will take you to beaches inaccessible by car. Whatever trail you follow, you will enjoy the serenity of nature.
- Mikro Horio, Tilos
- Livadia, the harbor of Tilos
- The Monastery of Agios Panteleimon
- Megalo Horio