About Tilos, Greece

Tilos is an island in the Dodecanese group in the Aegean Sea. The island of Tilos has a mountainous volcanic interior, volcanic lowlands, pumic beds, and red lava sand. There are many springs on the island. The coasts of Tilos Island are mainly pebbled and rocky, but there are also some sandy beaches.

Though Telos does not appear in Greek mythology, he was the son of Helios and Halia. Telos came to the island to search for herbs to heal his mother. He would later return to find a temple to Neptune and Apollo. It is thought Telo’s name has a pre-Hellenistic origin.

The Roman author Pliny the Elder noted that the island of Telos was known as Agathussa in antiquity. During the Middle Ages, it was known as Episcopio.

Archaeological discoveries have determined that the island of Tilos was first inhabited during the Neolithic times. Stone tools and pottery, along with many bones, were found. The bones suggest that animals lived with humans. The bones of dwarf elephants were found and it’s thought they may have dominated the island 6 million years ago.

During the 7th century BC, the residents of Tilos and Lindos (Rhodes) founded a colony in Sicily, Italy. In the 5th century, the island of Tilos became part of the Athenian League. The island would be independent in the 4th century and issued its own coins. The island would become a dependant of Rhodes for a few centuries. It would then be rules by the Romans, followed by the Byzantines. In 1309 AD, the island of Tilos would be under Venetian occupation. The Knights of Saint John would build a castle in Megalo Chorio to protect the island from pirates. In 1948, the island of Tilos joined Greece with the rest of the Dodecanese.

Administrative Region for Tilos Island, Greece

South Aegean

Area of Tilos Island, Greece

64.525 km2 (24.913 sq mi)

Population of Tilos Island, Greece

780

Top Attractions in Tilos Island, Greece

Medieval Castle – Located on a hill above Megalo Chorio. This castle was built by the Knights of Saint John around 1366. Within the large walls are the ruins of several buildings.
Paleontological Collection – Located in Megalo Choria. Showcased are findings from the excavations of Charkadio Cave. Items include Neolithic tools, pieces of pottery, and fossils of dwarf elephants.
Charkadio Cave – Located 2 km south of Megalo Chorio. This cave was discovered in 1971. Excavations would find stone hunting tools, fossils, and pottery.
Monastery of Agios Panteleimon – Located in Megalo Chorio at the end of the only road in Tilos. Considered the most important church on the island of Tilos, it is the protector of the island.
Livadia Beach – 7 km southeast of Megalo Chorio. A mostly pebbled beach with clean water. The only organized beach on the island of Tilos and close to many tourist facilities.
Plaka Beach – 5 km west of Megalo Chorio. This is narrow bay with bushes along the beach that provide a bit of shade. Plaka is secluded and nudist friendly.
Agios Antonios Beach – 2 km west of Megalo Chorio. A non-organized beach with no tourist facilities around. The beach is pebbled and the seabed can be rocky and deep in some areas.

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