Other Islands of the Dodecanese.


Map of Tilos.
Map of Tilos.


Stephen of Byzantium and Hesychios tell us that the earliest name for this island was Agathousa.

Strabo (1, 5, 15) tells us that it "lies along the coast of Knidos" and that it "provides a safe refuge for ships". Pliny (Natural History IV 23,3) reports that Tilos was famous for its myrrh - a point confirmed by Callimachos, who calls the island Anthousa and relates that the name Tilos came from a later colonist. The island is also mentioned by Herodotus (7, 153), Agathias (4,18), the anonymous author of Stadismos of the Great Sea (272), Skylax (99), Souidas (under 'Erinna'), Thucydides (6, 3) and Pausanias (8, 46). In the time of the Knights of St John, it was called Episkope after the headland of that name.

The first inhabitants of Tilos were Pelasgians and Myceneans, as can be deduced from the ruïns of a Pelasgian wall, from the Mycenean burials which argcheologists have discovered and wich yielded numerous vases, from inscriptions and from other evidence. After the Trojan War, Ionians and Dorians arrived on the island, developing its civilisation. At the height of its power, Tilos helped the people of Lindos to found Syracuse, among whose tyrants was one Telon, a descedant of the colonists from Tilos. In later times, the history of the island is similar to that of Rhodes and the rest of the Dodecanese.

In antiquity, Athena Polias and Zeus Polieus were worshipped on Tilos, and we know from fragments of a poem called ' Ilakate' that the poetess Erinna was from the island.


The Island Tilos:
Tilos has an Area of 59,10 km² and a coastline of 62,7 km. It lies between Nissyros and Chalki and is 290 nautical miles from Piraeus, 15 from Nissyros and 65 from Rhodes.
It is fertile, though mountainous, its highest peak being Prophitis Ilias (612 m). It has fine beaches, villages in the traditional style, and presents an authentic picture of island life. Tilos has a population of 172 persons.

This new village, the chief port of the island, stands in a green landscape and has all the necessary facilities for visitors: hotels, travel agents, tavernas, restaurants. Apart from the building wich houses the police station and port authority, which was built under italian rule, the rest of the village has followed the traditional style of architecture. The pebble beach is to the right of the bay. Megalo Chorio is 6 km north east of Livadia.

A pebble beach, 40 mins on foot from Livadia: after 5 mins an aert road starts out on the right from the road to Magalo Chorio and climbs a hill above the bay where its becomes a footpath which descends as it gets closer.

Mikro Chorio:
Until the Second World War, Tilos had two villages: Megalo Chorio and Mikro Chorio. No one lived down at the port because of the danger of pirates. The local people began to leave Mikro Chorio, which is 3 km from Livadia, after the War, until there was only one woman living there, until 1974. Today, Mikro Chorio is deserted, though there is a bar open there in the summer. To the north-west of the village there are the remains of a medieval tower.

A ruïned medieval castle survives here.

This was the summer resort for the people of Mikro Chorio. To reach it, we set out on a footpath from Livadia; after 20 mins this passes the church of St John and after another hour's walk, the abandoned wooden-roofed houses of Gera can be seen on the left.

Megalo Chorio:
The capital of the island, it stands on the slopes of the Stephen hill. In among the whitewashed houses of Megalo Chorio, parts of the ancient wall can be seen. The church of the Archangel (Taxiarchis) - 19th century - is worth a visit. On the top of the hill above the village there are the ruïns of the castle of the Knights: parts of the wall, the gateway (almost intact), and a small chapel with interesting wall-paintings. In the cemetery of Megalo Chorio, wich is on the site of an ancient burial-place, there are ancient tombs and slabs with relief inscriptions. The finds from this place - jewellery, grave offerings, etc. - are in Rhodes Museum, while a bronze hydria found here is in the Britisch Museum.

Tilos' Elephant.

In the Museum of Megalo Chorio, The bones of a dwarf elephant, which were found in a cave near the Livadia-Megalo Chorio road, are on display.

Paralia Eristos:
A branch from the main road to the left, 2,5 km from Megalo Chorio, leads to this sandy beach.

Agios Antonios:
A little harbour, 2 km south-west of Megalo Chorio, with a small sandy beach.

3 km from Agios Antonios, beach with scattered trees.

Monastery of St Panteleimon:
An 18th century monastery, dedicated to the patron saint of the island. There is a fair here on his feast day, 25 july. It is 5 km from the beach of Plaka and 16 km from Livadia. The monastery stands in a beautiful setting, with green trees and a view out to sea. Its courtyard is paved with pebbels and there are important wall-paintings inside its buildings.

Text from Davaris Publications. - Greek Islands: DODECANESE.
View of Livadia at Tilos.
Tilos. Tilos. Tilos. Tilos.
Tilos. Tilos. Tilos. Tilos.
Click on image to enlarge.

Back to the Top of the page!

Take me back to the previous page!


This page looks best when viewed in the latest version of the
Internet explorer browser!
© Nostalgia Travel ™ / Other Islands / Tilos.