The hometown of the ancient poet Erinna and dwarf an elephant is living inside her myths. Ruins of medieval castles and towers, an abandoned village, the monastery-fortress of St. Panteleimon, Chora with her special magic, all recount adventures. Herbs sprout in countryside from the time then the mythical hero Tilos picked them to heal Thalia. Tilos belongs to the Dodecanese and situated 209 nm from Piraeus. It has an area of 62.8 sq. km with a maximum altitude of 612 meters on top of Ai - Lias. There are also 16 islands and islets with those of larger Antitilos and Gaidaros around. The terrain is hilly with sharp morphology. In west, however, there is a fertile valley of Eristos. Around the main town, called Megalo Chorio you can also find rich soils. Another advantage of the island is 10 sources of fresh water and the artificial lake. Around Tilos there is an interesting fish fauna among which the seal monachus monachus, bottlenose dolphins and the sunfish, rare in the Eastern Mediterranean, while at the bottom live lobsters and sponges.
Megalo Chorio. It stretches on the steep slopes of the hill of Agios Stephanos on top of which stands the castle of the Knights of the order of St John. Inhabited since ancient times, when the temple of the Pythian Apollo and Athena Polias stood in the ancient acropolis. In the Middle Ages, the Knights of Rhodes built a fort here and left a garrison. The church of the Archangel Michael with the impressive vaults was built on the foundations of the ancient temple. Only after 1827 the settlement began to expand outside the walls as the fear of pirates disappeared. Ruins of the castle served for construction materials in buildings that we see today. Megalo Chorio is a homogeneous set of Dodecanesian traditional architecture with whitewashed walls and windowsills, blue windows, tiled roofs, arches and narrow streets full of hospitable people.
In the center of the village you will find the square with stunning views over the valley and the coast Eristos and a vibrant marketplace of shops, taverns, cafes and hotels. Visit the churches of Archangel and Panagia Theotokissas and the Museum with dwarf elephants.
Livadia. The settlement has a view on the Asia Minor coast and Symi hugging the bay that hosts the main port of the island. At the top of the hill above the village there are ruins of the castle of Agrosikia (Wild fig). The landscape is green all around as there are springs that flow into the valley. Police building, made during the period of Italian occupation and the holy church of St. Nicholas are very fascinating.
On the seafront and the picturesque streets of Livadia, you will find cafes, guest houses, restaurants, grocery stores and shops with traditional products and handicrafts.
Mikro Chorio. Located above Livadia on the way to Megalo Chorio and is abandoned. The inhabitants began to come down to Livadia or to migrate to Australia and America after 2nd World War. Only the walls of 220 houses and medieval castle ruins on the hilltop are survived. The churches of Agia Zoni and Assumption are preserved in better condition.
Castle of the knights. The ancient city was built on the eastern side of the hill of Agios Stephanos, invisible from the sea. After the Crusades, when the Knights of St. John order conquered the island, they built here a fortress to control access to the island and the passage to Nisyros. There are remains of ramparts, ruins of the oldest church of the Archangel Michael and bases from cisterns.
Monastery of Aghios Panteleimon. The historic monastery of Agios Panteleimon is located about 7 km west from Megalo Chrio on the hillside. It was built in 1475 and it is a fine example of late Byzantine fortress architecture. The legendary cypress tree planted by the abbot of the monastery, Jeremiah in 1800 overshadows the courtyard. The 1824 the northern wing of the cells was renovated and in 1843 the yard obtained a pebble floor, masterpiece in Rhodian style. The church has experienced three phases of reconstruction and the last one in 1912. The oldest frescoes, found in narthex, are dated from the 15th century. Every year on July 27 immigrants from Tilos meet here for the holy feast.
Charkadio cave. It consists of two chambers, without appreciable cave decoration. But it has enormous importance for global paleontology as here were found many bones of small-sized elephants and other animals such as deer, turtles, rodents and stone tools from 8,000 BC. Located 2.5 km SE of Megalo Chorio.
Elephant museum. Paleontological findings from excavations in the cave Charkadio temporarily exhibit at the Town Hall of Tilos. The main objects are bones and tusks of elephants. From their dimensions we see that the approximately 40 animals found, did not exceed a height of 1.5 m. The phenomenon of dwarfism in large breed mammals occurred during the Upper Pleistocene era, when the precipitation of Aegiis formed the islands of Naxos, Rhodes, Crete, Tilos etc. Geographical isolation, lack of food, inbreeding and the absence of large carnivores had created conditions for the prevalence of small-sized animals best adapted to the austere island ecosystem. Tilos dwarf elephants appeared 50,000 and disappeared 4000 years ago.
Municipality of Tilos: +30 22460 44212
Port : +30 22460 44250
Police Department: +30 22460 44222 & 71111
Medical Centre in Megalo Chorio: +30 22460 44210
Medical Centre in Livadia: +30 22460 44219
Citizen Service Center: +30 22460 44012