Tilos, a reclusive island with hospitable inhabitants, is an ideal destination for those seeking peaceful holidays. Located between Nisyros and Chalki, the island with the seven castles covers a total area of 63 sq.km and has a population of about 400 people.
History - Culture
As proven by the findings in the cave of Charkadio, the island has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Its course through history begins in the Mesolithic period, as the evidence of human presence ?found in the aforementioned cave- suggests. Minoan influence was followed by the age of Mycenae, while an era of prosperity can be noted between the 7th and the 4th century BC. At this time, it had developed into a strong naval force, was able of issuing its own currency, and even managed to found a colony in Sicily jointly with people from the neighboring city of Lindos in Rhodes. Tilos was famous throughout antiquity for the production and export of perfumes and textiles. After a period of obscurity, the island prospered once again during the Byzantine years. At that time, many castles were built to fortify the island and ecclesiastical art flourished. As the power of Byzantium faded, a period of successive occupations began; the knights of the order of St. John in 1310, the Turks in 1522, and the Italians in 1912. The island was finally liberated in 1948, at last rejoining the Greek Nation.
In addition to a majestic landscape, the island is rich in archaeological, medieval, and recent monuments. The imposing castle, towering protectively over the capital town of Megalo Chorio, holds well-preserved frescoes on its walls dating back to the 16th century and the remains of many historical periods, beginning in the Neolithic Age and all the way through classical antiquity to post-medieval times. This settlement was abandoned and its people moved lower to Megalo Chorio, the capital town of today. The Charkadio cave is also impressive with the beautiful scenery surrounding it, as is the "Castle of Misarias" which stands on the hill on top of it. The monastery and the church of Aghios Panteleimonas, built over the ruins of an ancient construct, is situated in an area adorned with beautiful flowers, just 10 km away from Megalo Chorio. Furthermore, the island offers beautiful natural scenery, which is complemented by churches, monasteries and chapels, ancient ruins, and medieval castles. The comely sandy beaches ensure calmness and relaxation under the bright sun, while crystal waters offer a refreshing respite whenever this is desirable. The coasts of Erystos, Plaka, Lethra, and the islets of Gaidouronissi and Antiilos are best suited for such purposes.
The tourist infrastructure of the island may not be as fully developed as in more popular tourist destinations, but many will find this advantageous rather than discouraging. Visitors have the opportunity to enjoy the sun, the sea, and the services offered on this remote island, which are offered heartily, in a genuine manner forgotten in too many other places. There are taverns, coffee shops, bars, a well supplied market, a road network of good quality, and water sports facilities on the main beach of Erystos. A visit in Tilos, offering quiet residence in traditional houses within picturesque villages populated by friendly inhabitants, is intended to help in rediscovering the lost feeling of serenity and balance in life.
There are morning flights carried out to Rhodes from where access to Tilos is easily made by ferries. Ferryboats depart from the port of Piraeus throughout the year.
There is a ferryboat connection with Kalymnos, Kos, Leipsoi, Patmos, Leros, Nissyros and Rhodes all year round. In the summertime, there is an additional connection with Syros, whereas in winter there are connections with Megisti (Kastelorizo) and Symi. Speedboats link Tilos, Rhodes, Kos and Nissyros all year round.
There is an impressive Paleontological collection from the findings in the cave of Charkadio.
Ecotourism, archaeology, sporting (trekking, water sports, windsurfing, scuba diving, sailing).
Useful Telephone Numbers:
Tilos Area code: 22460-
Police Station: 22460-44222
Port authority: 22460-44350
Greek Telephone Company: 22460-44099
Health Center: 22460-44210