Tilos is a quiet island with few inhabitants and a genuine atmosphere. It
is great for relaxing and spending a nice, romantic holiday without high
demands on nightlife and lots of activities and facilities.
The locals live traditionally off fishing, some farming and stock-breeding, and to a certain extent tourism. Some speak English, others don't but they are friendly and warm and like to make you feel welcome.
:Tilos was, according to
mythology, the nephew of the men that educated god Zeus during his
upbringing on Crete. He desperately sought for a cure for his sick
mother, and after traveling widely, he finally found some herbs on this
island that made his mother well. He then returned to the island and
built temples to
Poseidon and became their priest.
There is archaeological evidence that the Minoans, Cretans, had a settlement on this island around 1500 BC. It was a member of the Athenian League in the 5th century BC, and was conquered by the Romans in the 1st century BC.
The Knights of Rhodes took over the island in 1306, and was occupied by the Turks in the 16th century. The locals would then live up in the mountains to protect themselves from pirates and enraged Turks, and did not move further down until the 19th century.
In 1912 the island belonged to Italy, and there were also German soldiers here during the last two years of World War II. It became part of Greece in 1948. Tilos became suddenly very popular in the summer of 2008 when the mayor of the island permitted the marriages of homosexuals in Tilos.
What to see
: The 15th century
monastery Agios Panteleimon is abandoned, but worth a visit, since it is
very beautiful and has some interesting icons.
You can also visit the Castle of the Knights, where the Knights of St. John had a base in the 15th century.
There are many little churches on the island, and the church of the Archangel Michael is probably the best known. It is situated in Megalo Chorio. One of the main attractions of the island is the Park of Tilos with many areas of amazing flora and fauna. Another interesting place is the cave of Charkadio where the visitor can see remains from the dwarves Elephants that lived on the island 45000 years ago. The fossilized bones where first discovered in the 70's. The dwarves Elephants disappeared from Tilos island 4000 years ago.
What to do
:The island is very quiet, but a lot of people like windsurfing, fishing and snorkelling here. Taking walks in the dramatic and wonderful nature is also quite popular, but don't forget to bring water with you. Visit the museums with the prehistoric remains next to the Charkadio cave where there are on display fossilized bones of Elephants, deer and turtles 70 centuries old.
:There are both pebble and sand beaches on Tilos. You can find your own little bay if you like walking, but most people prefer to go to the ones that are more accessible. Eristos Beach is sandy beach with lovely surroundings. Nudists go to Lethra beach, but is not exclusively for them.
:You'll find a few bars in Livadia, and there is even a disco that opens during high season. Otherwise, it is a very quiet island.
The food served on Tilos is traditional, good Greek food. Ask for mezedakia, small dishes, and try out some of the local specialities.
:The local stores sell traditional souvenirs, as well as handmade ceramics and textile. There are also a few local sweets you could bring home, as well as wine and honey.
If you don't want to rent a moped or walk, there are a couple of taxis in Tilos and a boat that can take you to some of the beaches
Most people that travel to Tilos prefer to fly to Rhodes Greece and take a boat from there. Another alternative is to take a flight to Athens, and take a ferry boat from Piraeus. There are not daily ferry connections with these places, so be sure you leave in good time for your departure. If it gets windy the boats are cancelled!!!
Facts about Tilos
TilosSize: 63 sq. km
International code: 0030
Population: c. 300
Local code: 22410
Internet cafe: no
Tourist Office:43310, 53259
Port Police: 44350