A gloriously tranquil island of flowers, birds, green valleys and beautiful beaches, perfect for nature-lovers and ramblers.
A gloriously tranquil island of flowers, birds, green valleys and beautiful beaches, Tilos is the ideal place to go, to strip away the cares of modern life and really relax. Pack a picnic and set to explore by day, taking in a tucked away beach or two. Walk, hire a bicycle or moped, or chug along the main road by bus. Then return to the pretty harbour town of Livadia to sit back and unwind with a glass of retsina and mouth-watering mezze. Enjoy a taste of traditional Greece on holidays to Tilos and lap up the picturesque setting in an unhurried atmosphere.
Named after a mythical character who came to the island to look for herbs to cure his mother’s illness, Tilos embodies the phrase: ‘Good things come in little packages’. An S shape, it is about nine miles long and no wider at any point than five miles. With an interior of limestone, volcanic lowlands, pumice beds and red lava sand, it is supplied by numerous springs which make Tilos an unusually fertile island. So it’s no surprise this mythical character chose Tilos, when you see the abundance of wild flowers and a biodiversity which attract birdwatchers and nature lovers from all around the world. With some rare species to be found here, the island is now a protected area.
Fundamentally, Tilos is all about scenic beauty, peace and tranquility. You can spend time equally well exploring via a network of trails which will take you through green valleys, over mountains and through meadows, or enjoy the seclusion of a deserted sandy beach lapped by a clear blue sea. You may even catch sight of a seal or sea turtle as you do so.
Chill out in Livadia, a pretty harbour-side resort with a tree-lined main square, where locals and holidaymakers mingle in the tempting tavernas.
Try the Kleftiko at the Taverna Trata with a view of the mountains turning amber in the sunset. Other options are octopus, mussels, shrimps or veal. At Mikro Kafe you’ll find salads, sandwiches and meatballs, and Omonoia cafe offers seafood, salads, grilled meats and other temptations - for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Spitico, overlooking the main square offers coffee, pies and local sweets. In Megalo Horio, visit Kastro Tavern for organic pork dishes, fresh calamari and whitebait. At Michalis tavern enjoy a meal in a beautiful garden area, a wide menu and a speciality of lamb or goat on the spit, with a good range of quality Greek wines for lunch or dinner.
Tilos is a perfect place for nature lovers and ramblers to discover vistas new, or just somewhere to unwind away from the pressures of daily life - a back-to-nature destination to die for. It delivers plenty of wildlife for certain, just not of the dancing ‘til dawn variety.
Things To Do
Hiking: The paths used by farmers to tend their hard-to-reach crops now offer a variety of fascinating trails to hikers and ramblers.
Birdwatching: A number of rare species can be spotted flying over the fertile valleys and mountains. Visit the Tilos Park Association for assistance in identifying the long-legged buzzard, Bonelli’s eagle, peregrine falcon, Mediterranean black shag or any other of the 155 species identified in Tilos.
Beach life: Livadia and Eristos Beaches are the best known. However, Plaka Beach is a cove with naturally warm water, some afternoon shade and some rocky areas which are good for snorkelling. Visit Lethra Beach, an undeveloped mixture of pebble and sand and not a great deal of shade. Or, go exploring and find your own little patch of paradise for the day.
Things To See
Potami Gorge: A picturesque rocky valley on route between Lethra Beach and the island’s main road.
Megalo Horio: Pint-sized capital of the island, this little town is made up of narrow streets wending their way up the hillside through little cubed dwellings. There is also a small museum containing the bones of a mastodon (miniature elephant).
Mikro Horio: This is the original settlement on Tilos, now abandoned, built as protection against pirates. It is situated close to Livadia.
Medieval Knight’s Castle: Located on top of a steep mountain, right above Megalo Chorio, it was constructed by the Knights of Saint John.
Monastery of Agios Panteleimon: The Monastery of Saint Panteleimon is the most important church on Tilos and the protector of the island. It is located at the end of the main road in Megalo Horio.
Bus: With the first bus leaving Livadia at 8am, there are 7 island end-to-end trips per day, the final return departure from Megalo Horio being at 10.15pm. On Sundays is a special excursion to Moni Agiou Panteleimonos (monastery), allowing one hour to look around. In summer there are excursions to hidden away beaches.
Cars: can be rented for your holiday, but bear in mind that there are not that many roads to make it worthwhile.
Ferry: There are regular ferries to the island of Rhodes as well as other of the Dodecanese islands, and also to the mainland port of Piraeus.
Hike or Bike: The best way to enjoy the beauty of Tilos is by scooter hire.