The island of dwarf elephants
Tilos is an island that uniquely combines nature with tradition and its ancient past with the unsurpassed island life. The virgin natural scenery and the tranquility of the island mesmerize every visitor. It is an ideal destination for the lovers of nature and adventure, with the mapped paths, the museum of dwarf elephants, medieval castles and the enchanting deserted village of Mikro Chorio.
A touch of Mythology
Tilos was named after Tilos, the son of Alias and Apollo. When Alia got sick, Tilos visited the island to collect herbs to cure his mother. After treating his mother Tilos returned to the island and built a temple in honour of Apollo and Poseidon to thank them.
It is the capital of the island, 7km. away from the harbour, spread around the mountain slopes of Agios Stefanos. The Medieval Castle is located at the top of the hill, built by the Knights of St. John. The view from this point is breathtaking. Within the walls of the castle used to be the famous temple, dedicated to Pythion Apollo and Athena Polias. On the ruins of the temple the church of Taxiarchis Michail was built. Megalo Chorio is distinguished for the island architecture with stone buildings. There you can visit the Paleontological Museum, which exhibits findings from the Cave of Arkadio with bones of dwarf elephants and admire the architecturally magnificent buildings of the Town Hall, the Primary School, the library and the medical practice.
From Megalo Chorio you can easily visit the Church of Agios Panteleimonas which is 7km. away. The Church is located on a steep hill slope of the island named “Kriallos”, 270m. above the sea level. There you can admire the woodcut altarpiece and the magnificent byzantine murals that decorate the dome.
A visit in Mikro Chorio is worth having to meet the older centre of the island. Today, it stands stark and deserted to remind the glorious and long past. Between the destroyed houses, an atmospheric stone bar is open during summer with a view to the vast blue of the Aegean.
Walk in the island’s harbour and the settlement that stretches at the foothills of the hills, guarded by the medieval Castle of Agiosykia and view the vast blue up to the coasts of Turkey and Symi. The settlement’s beach is big with pebbles and crystal waters and is extended up to Agios Stefanos where the medieval harbour used to be located. Also, the Church of Agios Nikolaos is worth visiting.
Sunset in Agios Antonios
At the north coast of the island you will find the settlement of Agios Antonios, the smallest settlement of Tilos. It is a beautiful fish village, with a scenic beach and a harbour for the fishing boats. In the past this was the first and main harbour. From this point, you will enjoy the most beautiful sunset!
Visit in Cave of Harkadio
In 1971, bones and fossilized teeth of dwarf elephants and deer were found, who lived there 45.000-4.000 years, as well as archaeological and paleontological material, such as stone tools and shells of clay vessels. Above the cave you will find the Castle of Mesaria, built by the Knights of St. John in 1336. In the church foundations various buildings are found, as well as a small church dedicated to Profitis Ilias or the Holly Cross.
Explore the rocky islets
Around Tilos there are 16 islets, from which the biggest is Antitilos on the southeast and Gaidaros on the northwest. You can visit those islets with your own yacht or rented boat from Livadia and meet the rare species of birds that nest there and discover the isolated beaches of the island, as well as the close by islands.
Explore the island through its mapped paths. While crossing them you will meet the natural wealth, since you will be found at the heart of the nature of Tilos. In the island hunting is prohibited and that is why you may find partridges who are very familiar with humans.
- Agios Antonios: one of the most scenic beaches of the island, with dainty beach, palm trees, tamarisks and clear blue waters. The beach is with pebbles and is ideal for those who seek tranquility. Restaurants are available in the beach.
- Erystos: it is the biggest and most famous beach of the island with gold sand and clear blue waters. The shore is covered with thin gold sand and tamarisks, impressive grey-red rocks in both sides. On the one side of the beach free camping is allowed, while in the remaining beach there are umbrellas and sunbeds scattered.
- Plaka: a beautiful bay with crystal waters located in the gulf of Agios Antonios famous for the eucalyptus trees and pigeons who wander free exhibiting their colorful feathers. It is a non organized beach, allowing free camping that offers moments of unique relaxation.
- Lethra: a distant pebbled beach with clear waters. This beach is accessible through hiking from a sea path or through sea. Ideal for tranquility and lonely dives.
- Βoats sail daily from Livadia and take visitors to the beaches Skafi (accessible through a path also), Tholos and Agios Sergios.
Local products & delicacies
- Kid with lemon sauce in the oven
- Tsouvras ( tomato soup)