This beautiful island in the Dodecanese was the birthplace of the poetess IRINA, whose history dates from the ancient period of the Aegean. With crystal clear seas, green fields and impressive mountains, ancient and Byzantine monuments, traditional architecture and a living tradition, Tilos constitutes a paradise for ideal vacations. Ideal for walks with its seven castles,Tilos is 63 square kilometers in area and lies between the islands of Nisiros, Sami and Chalki, 22 nautical miles north west of Rhodes.Two miles away from the island is the small island of Antitilos.

  • BY ferry boat from Rhodes {contact TILOS port, tel. 0241-44350} BY ferry boat from PIREUS, 222 nautical miles and 24 hours. (contact Pireus port 422-6000}

    All the year round Tilos is connected by ferryboat to all the islands of the Dodecanese. Rhodes can be reached either by ferry boat or by airplane from Athens.

  • THE island was first inhabited in the early neolithic period 8000-7000 b.c. as finds in the cave of Harcadio show.There was contact both with the Minoans and the Mycaeneans who seem to have settled on the island. From excavations carried out Pelasgian walls were also found. However the island's most important period was the 7th century BC when Tilians together with Lindians settled in Sicily and built the well known city of Gelas. The tyrants Gelon and Ieron were from Tilos.The island flourished during the classical era also having its own coinage and being famous for clothing and perfumes.Thereafter, the history of Tilos followed that of Rhodes to which the island was united. In Byzantine times, together with Nisiros, Kos,and Samos it constituted the Samos Issue. It was inhabited by the Knights of St John who either reconstructed or built three of the island's castles.At this time ecclesiastical wall painting was developed. In 1522 the island was conquered by the Tuks who occupied it until 1948 when it was reunited with HELLAS.



    This is the island's capital with 200 inhabitants and is situated 6 kilometers north east of the island's port, Livadia. Its traditional stone buildings are stone close to each other around the church of Taxiarchis.The castle is next to the village. The old village, now in ruins, was built higher up for fear of the pirates who ravaged the Aegean in the Middle Ages.


    A. The Castle. This is where the acropolis of the ancient city used to be and where stood the sanctuary of Pythios Apollo and Pallas Athina. In the ruins of this sanctuary the church of Archangel Michael with wall paintings from the 16th century AD now stands.The best time to visit the place is in the afternoon where the view and the sunset are unique.The castle was repaired by the Knights of St John.

    B. The Church of the Archangel Michael is situated in the village where the big silver icons were brought from the church of the castle.The wood carvings are from the 19th century.

    C. The Harcadio Cave, where in 1971 neolithic tools were found dating as far back as 8000-7000 BC.The area is covered by volcanic lava.

    D. The Castle of Misarias , built in the middle ages by the Knights of St John (1366).

    E. The Monastery of Ayios Panteleimonas built in 1470-80 and repaired in 1703 and 1824. The wood carving is from the 18th century. There is a good possibility that this monastery was built on the ruins of the sanctuary of Poseidon as according to Strabon such a sanctuary existed here.

    F. The small archaeological collection

    G. The beach of Erystos
    ideal for swimming.

    2. LIVADIA

    The island's port now has 120 inhabitants and in recent years there has been tourist development here with hotels and tavernas etc. being built. The port is a must.

    A. Kastellos a rocky hill with a ruined medieval castle where Mycaenean finds were spotted.

    B. The Church of Ayios Panteleimonas/font> who is the patron saint of this island, which explains why so many churches bear his name.

    C. The Castle of Agrosykias

    D. The Mikro Chorio.


    Although there are two hotels in Livadia and rented rooms in Megalo Chorio, Livadia and Erystos, it is advisable to book before you go. For further information there is a tourist information office on the island. The phone number is 0241-44384.


    Like all unexploited islands of the Aegean you will definitely find peace, beauty and serenity. You will meet with warm, friendly and hospitable people. And although the island has been discovered in recent years by tourists, it remains unspoiled, natural and quiet, and the sea is clear and inviting. There is a good bus service and good roads. All in all make your choice an unspoiled small island and allow yourself to feel the hospitability of the Aegean people, the warmth of their sun, the cool loving embrace of their sea.

    by Lelia Mitsides
    Copyright: Hellenic Electronic Center
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