Featuring rugged terrain and a diverse ecology, Tílos is a small Greek Island in the Dodecanese group, with picturesque villages and beautiful beaches to explore. It is situated midway between Kos and Rhodes and surrounded by the alluring waters of the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas.
There is evidence of human occupation on Tílos dating back to the Neolithic period and it was here that the last European elephants, the dwarf elephants, roamed some 4,000 years ago. Today it is inhabited by numerous species of rare birds, including Bonelli’s eagles and nightingales, as well as four hundred different species of flowering plants and herbs.
Livádhia is the island’s main port and largest settlement, located at the southern end of Tilos. The ancient capital of Mikró Chorió overlooks the bay, having been established by the Knights of the Order of St. John and with beautiful frescoes to admire in its Byzantine churches.
Be sure to visit the Monastery of Áyios Pandeleímon that lies in the northwest of the island. It is situated on the slopes of Mount Profítis Ilías and renowned for its freshwater springs and huge loquat tree. Be sure to wander the streets of the capital, Megálo Chorió, then explore the ruins of the ancient acropolis of Telos that sit perched above.
Don’t miss the opportunity to visit Kharkhadió Cave in the west of the island where Neolithic artefacts and dwarf elephant bones were uncovered in 1971. Above the cave lie the house and church ruins of the medieval fortress of Mesaria that once protected the road leading to the island’s fertile plains.
Tilos is often visited on gulet yacht cruises from Rhodes, the largest of the Dodecanese islands, which is home to a UNESCO-listed medieval Old Town and the ancient cliff-top acropolis of Lindos. To the northeast is the picturesque island of Symi where traditional stone houses and historic churches cluster. Discover the island’s sponge fishing history at the Naval Museum, then venture into the rugged interior or along the dramatic coastline. From Symi it’s just short hop to the Turkish seaside town of Bozburun, which is within a stone’s throw of vibrant Marmaris and where traditional gulet yachts are crafted.