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,, Tilos is small, shaped like a serpent, and a little under 15 kilometers long. It's a typically Greek island with a population of a little under nine hundred people as permanent residents with the usual influx of tourists in the season but not so many that the place feels packed.

The island has a mountainous interior, volcanic lowlands. It is pretty green fertile and well-watered in areas, and for those of you not concerned about skin cancer, beaches to lie on while waiting for a water nymph to carry you off.

There are also the obligatory castles, cool houses, churches, tavernas, and so on. There is a monastery to look at in the north-west end of the island. The Monastery of Áyios Pandeleímon, (also the island's patron saint), sits on the slopes of Mount Profítis Ilías (654 m). The monastery features fresh cold water springs as well as an enormous loquat tree (called Musmulla in Greek, Medlar in English).

(Alan Durant, 2021)

Tilos - b.t. photo

Practicals

Transport

The island has no airport.


,, How to get there? There is a ferry connection to Tilos from Piraeus (Athens). They go to Tilos about three times a week. The trip is quite long, and it lasts approximately 17 hours.
You will know how good a sailor you are, but even if it is quite calm, those Mediterranean swells can leave you hanging over the rail and presenting the seagulls with a partially digested meal.

You can fly to Rhodes or Kos and then travel to Tilos by ferry, a mercifully shorter trip. In any case, Tilos is also connected by ferry with other islands of the Dodecanese, like Simi, Leros, and Patmos. It's unlikely you might have to lash yourself to the mast or anything of that nature, but you can never be sure."
(Alan Durant, 2021)

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In the high season, the island's public bus regularly runs (about every two hours) between Livadia, Megálo Horió, and Eristos (ticket costs 1,60 EUR). During this high season, several times a week, the bus goes to the relatively distant Panteleimonas monastery.
The bus timetables are coordinated with the schedule of the day boat excursions from Rhodes.

There are no taxis on Tilos. There are several car and scooter rentals at the port of Livadia.

The police presence is very low on Tilos, but so is the alcohol limit of 0.5. The frequency of accidents to the number of inhabitants is very high. Therefore, a defensive driving style is recommended. Goats can be expected on the road between Livadia and Megalo Chorio's towns at any time of the day or night.

Donkeys are another means of transport on Tilos. You can rent one of them to make it easier and more enjoyable to get acquainted with the island's beauty.

Another type of transport is the sea taxi. You can rent a small boat to take you to the island's picturesque beaches, as many of them are only accessible from the sea.



Tilos - public bus - m.t. photo

Tilos - road - c.r. photo

Tilos - the road to Lethra - e.e. photo

Tilos - bus services round the island - h.s. photo

Tilos - Blue Star Ferries- s.n. photo

Tilos - ferry schedule - Saturdau -2021

Accomodation


Most of the accommodation facilities, studios and pensions, and hotels are in Livadia. They are mostly concentrated around the port or along the entire beach.

Many visitors prefer to stay in Megalo Choriò, the island's administrative capital, a friendly and quiet village in the hinterland.

Tilos - Livadia - Hotel Irini&Ilidi Rock aparts-suites-studios - s.n. photo

Food

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Tilos - Calamari with cucumber salad and Kalamata olives - c.a. photo

Tilos - chicken with zucchini, eggplant, spinach, and homemade pasta - c.a.- photo

Tilos - taverna in a square - m.t. photo

Tilos - stuffed sweet peppers - v.h. photo

Tilos - lunch with view - d.j. photo

Shopping

Tilos is not the most suitable place for shopping. However, this is not a disadvantage, but rather the opposite - an advantage! After all, how often you want to take a break from all these brands, bright advertisements, trade in all its forms?  Tilos is an ideal place for this.
If you still want to buy something local, then pay attention to the local thyme honey. This delicious and very useful product will be a wonderful souvenir and gift for your loved ones.

Tilos - Livadia - little clothes&accessories shop - c.a. photo

Fun

There is only one nightclub on Tilos.

Public safety

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Tilos - police - h.e. photo

Others

About the beaches:

The beaches on Tilos are mostly quiet and have no services. Therefore, a paradise for those who want to relax without crowds of tourists. Plaka Beach, even at the height of summer, remains a quiet corner of Tilos. The seabed is rocky here, but the abundance of greenery around the beach compensates for this small disadvantage.

The longest beach on Tilos is Agios Antonios. The coast is strewn with pebbles and sand, and the sea is immaculately clean. The advantage of this beach is its proximity to the village of the same name.

Background

Tilos - idyll - c.a. photo

Destination in brief

Population (in 2021): about 600 - The vast majority of the population are natives of the island.

Tilos did not know Islam. During the Ottoman yoke, not a single mosque was built here. This means that the island has retained all its cultural purity. All residents are Orthodox Christians, and the most important holidays are religious.

The island of Tilos has 19 beaches, twelve mountains, seven medieval castles, a Byzantine monastery, and around 200 Orthodox churches and chapels.

Tilos is less suitable for mass tourism because of the kind of beaches it has. The tourism concept is focused on the environmentally friendly activities.  
To protect the birds, hunting was banned on Tilos as early as 1992, so the island is an undisturbed resting place for migratory birds.

So if you are interested in nature and are looking for quiet and enjoy hiking, you will find ample opportunities.

Geography

Tilos is located between the two islands of Nisyros and Chalki, has an area of ​​64 km², and is just 16 km long in the north-south extension. In the center of the island, there is a very fertile valley. The rest of the ground is rocky and barren.

,, For me, one of the best things of all about Tilos is the discovery of a large assembly of bones of 1.2-to-1.6-metre-tall (3-foot-11-inch-to-5-foot-3-inch) dwarf elephants, carbon-dated to between 400 0 and 7000 BC (some now in the museum).
It has been suggested that these animals coexisted with humans, possibly into the historic period. This seems to indicate that some time in the past, there must have been a land bridge with the Turkish mainland unless those elephants were even better swimmers than I thought. Think how much fun it would have been to ride one." (Alan Durant, 2021)

Climate

Tilos has a mild Mediterranean climate. The sun shines brightly for most of the year. A refreshing breeze blows the island, but the quiet bays provide an opportunity to enjoy the calm sea. It often rains from November to April, a strong wind blows, and a storm often rages on the sea. This is the least popular time to visit the island. The most suitable time to relax in Tilos is from May to October when the air warms up to 27-30 Celsius and the water up to 22-26 Celsius.

History

,, Tilos is strategically placed, not very far off Turkey's coast, between Kos and Rhodes. Almost everybody has occupied it at some time.

Excavation has identified Pelasgian masonry, as well as suggesting Minoans, Mycenaeans and Dorians successively dominated Tilos.
Also, the Persians, Egyptians, and Romans but, rather than getting themselves all slaughtered, they seem to have been able to come to an accommodation to a greater or lesser extent with their overlords.

The Venetians and Turks took it on the turn to occupy Tilos for a while; The Franks also popped in a while passing, and of course, we should not forget Byzantium.

Tilos followed Rhodes into the Byzantine Empire following Theodosius I's death and was a member of Samos's naval Theme between the 9th and 14th centuries.

The Knights of Saint John took control of Tilos from 1309, restoring the Byzantine castles and building new ones to defend against pirate raids. It was evacuated in 1470 as the Ottomans began the Siege of Rhodes and control passed to Suleiman I in 1522 when Rhodes fell.

Suppose you don't read up; it's hard to have many ideas of the toing and froing between competing powers. Just as a side note Suleiman the Magnificent seems to have got everywhere, eventually dying while laying siege to Szigetvar in Hungary, a long way away, especially by boat and horse unless he was carried in one of those sedan chair things, which has to be really slow. Still, I suppose if you take your sherbet and dancing girls could be OK." (Alan Durant, 2021)

People

Thanks to the small number of residents (about 600), it becomes possible to immerse yourself in the unique atmosphere of a real Greek hinterland, see island life without embellishment, and of course, take a break from the hustle and bustle of modern megacities.

Tilos - locals in a cafe of Livadia - r.f. photo

Tilos - local with locals - e.v. photo (October 2020)

Attractions

Livadia and its beach

This is the main port of Tilos. Ferries and other ships come here; small cozy hotels and traditional taverns are located here. Livadia is situated in a beautiful bay, stretching along a picturesque pebble beach. The gentle sea and the refreshing shade of tamarisk trees beckon travelers tired of a hot day.

Livadia beach is located in the bay of the same name on the east coast. The most easily accessible as it is in the immediate vicinity of the port. The beach has medium-sized pebbles, as well as tamarisk trees growing near the water.



Tilos - Livadia Beach

Eristos Beach

One of the most spacious beaches on the island. Located on the west coast and crowns the largest and most fertile valley of Tilos.

Churches

Tilos - the church of Taxiarchis with its pebble floor

Megalo Chorio

Why do people on the island of Tilos live so long?

A few places in the world are called “Blue Zones.” The term refers to geographic areas in which people have low rates of chronic disease and live longer than anywhere else. Tilos is among these. There are a great many theories as to why the people of Tilos and some of the surrounding islands have […]...

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