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Info om Tilos

Started by Ole, 29. Jun 07, 19:52:57

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Gjengitt med tillatelse fra Andreas N. Lardopoulos (http://www.apollostudios.gr)

Tilos is located 48 miles southeast from Rhodes in Aegean Sea. Tilos is still one of the last virgin, peaceful islands have been left. Some of the beauty things in this island is the clean air and the beautiful beaches. The island produce tomatoes, potatoes, melons, fresh fish and feeds goats. It offers all the tourist comforts like us restaurants, mini markets, cafe snacks, bakery, souvenirs, rent cars - motors.

The island was first inhabited in the early Neolithic period 8000-7000 B.C. as finds in the cave of Harcadio show. There was contact both with the Minoans and the Mycaeneans who seem to have settled on the island. From excavations carried out Pelasgian walls were also found. However the island\'s most important period was 7th century B.C., when the Tilians together with the Lindians settled in Sicily and built the well-known city of Gelas. The tyrants Gelon and Ieron were from Tilos. The island flourished during the classical era also having its own coinage and being famous for clothing and perfumes. Thereafter, the history of Tilos followed that of Rhodes to which the island was united. In Byzantine times, together with Nisyros, Kos, and Samos it constituted the Samos Issue. The Knights of St John who either reconstructed or built three of the island\'s castles, inhabited it. In 1522 the Turks occupied Tilos until 1948, when it was reunited with Greece.  


Seahorse shaped Tilos rises majestically out of the sparkling azure blue waters of the Aegean Sea with its magnificent beaches surrounded by rugged mountains that boast of rushing, fresh water underground springs that nourish the trees and flowers which grace its beautiful countryside.

An Aegean island with nineteen beaches, twelve mountains, seven medieval castles, a Byzantine monastery and two hundred churches, a cave full of natural discoveries, a village that is a declared cultural monument, a hundred bird species, hundreds of wild flowers and herbs, and a few hundred residents who will make your visit truly memorable.


The village of Livadia quietly hugs the shore next to the port at the foot of the mountains that shelter Livadia Bay. As you face eastward, the silky silhouette of the mountains of Turkey appear to rise out of the waters of the Aegean. Agriosykia Castle emerges from the rocky mountaintop to cast its watchful eye over Livadia as it has done unfailingly for the past six hundred years. The gracefully sculpted Italian architecture of the Tilos Police Station building at the port stands as a reminder of the Italian domination of the island from 1912 until 1948.

Livadia Beach with its graceful mile-long curve invites one to enjoy swimming and snorkeling in warm, crystal clear water; breezing along the smooth surface of the protected bay on colorful windsurf boards, canoes and pedaloes easily available for hire; and sunbathing on comfortable lounge chairs that peak out from the welcome shade of tall trees scattered along the beach. When the spirit moves, you can drop into any one of a multitude of small tavernas and cafes that overlook the beach or are tucked away in the village where you are sure to find some lovely gifts, local delicacies and artistic creations to take home with you.

Mikro Horio

The village of Mikro Horio, established in the 15th century in the hills above Livadia, was abandoned after World War II by its residents, some of whom moved to Livadia to build a new life as business developed around the port. Surrounding this mountainous medieval village site, one finds ancient stone walls made centuries ago to corral the animals, a plethora of tiny churches with their ruggedly rustic architecture barely perceptible against the stony hillsides, and the venerable, twisted trunks of windswept oak and olive trees that guard the secrets of the island\'s past.

Megalo Horio

The village of Megalo Horio unfolds like a ruffled white fan against the steep slopes of St. Stefanos hill which is crowned by an ancient castle that dominates the skyline. There is a quiet charm inherent in this village that is built on centuries of tradition. Until the early 18th century, the entire population of Tilos resided within the castle walls of Megalo Horio which had a famous temple dedicated to Pythios Apollo and Poliada Athena. On the foundations of this ancient temple, the church of Taxiarch-Archangel Michael was built in the post Byzantine period.

Beginning in 1827, ancient ruins were woven into the buildings you see today in which you will find City Hall, the public school and library, the Pygmy Elephant Exhibit, the medical office, and the local grocery store. The adjoining main square will delight your senses with fragrance and color in this gardener's paradise filled with plumeria, bougainvillea and roses shaded by trees that overlook the valley and Eristos Bay to the south.


Looking from Megalo Horio, the bird\'s eye view of the fertile valley against the cool, blue backdrop of Eristos Bay will tempt any visitor to explore this part of the island. Tilos is gifted with an abundance of natural spring water that enables the cultivation of a dazzling array of fruits, almonds and vegetables. The agricultural sector consists entirely of small family businesses thus creating a comfortable, old world feel to the fresh food you enjoy on Tilos. In springtime, this valley becomes a vibrantly colored canvas brushed with deep reds, swirling yellows, and splashes of blue bursting from the wildflowers that grace this island\'s soil.

At the end of this valley lies the most beautiful swimming beach on the island called Eristos Beach. Most of the mile long beach is golden sand inviting beachgoers to sunbathe, swim, snorkel and play volleyball as well as take long, dreamy walks along the shore. When fishing enthusiasts get hungry, they barbecue their catch of the day right on the beach using the island\'s own lemon juice, olive oil and wild thyme to make a succulent, memorable meal under star-filled skies.

St. Antonios Bay

Picturesque St. Antonios Bay boasts a small fishing port, a seashore that is famous for its beach rocks, a few hotels, restaurants and cafes. A few kilometers to the west is Plaka Bay with its long sandy beach and fine swimming.

St. Panteleimon

The scenic road with breathtaking views along the west side of the island leads to the St. Panteleimon monastery that was built in 1470, restored in 1703 and 1824, and expanded in 1843. The palm-leafed entrance opens to a pebbled courtyard that looks like a lush oasis landscaped with flowers, trees, the traditional Greek basil and grapevines. There is also a glorious fountain of cool, fresh and delicious spring water gushing continuously at the entrance. The church with its centuries-old frescoes; the monks' quarters; the animal farm including pheasants, deer, peacocks, and ducks and a second courtyard on a lower level shaded by trees with picnic tables and a sandwich hut complete the complex. The monastery's zenith was reached during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries as it printed bank notes used on the island, owned vast tracts of land with animal herds and served as a key economic as well as spiritual center. Today it is an inspiration open to the world.

An Island Poet\'s Message "¦ 2,000 Years Later

As long ago as 350 BC, the poet Irinna was born on Tilos and at an early age became inspired by the rich and diverse natural beauty of our island and the surrounding Aegean Sea. From recorded history, Tilos has been gifted with swiftly passing clouds bathed in pastel colors heralding the dawn and passing of each day, the quiet lapping of the waves on the shores of its beaches and the songs of birds echoing throughout the naturally fertile valleys scented by the fragrance of fruit tree blossoms. Within the peaceful embrace of this tranquil island and nurtured by its natural richness, Irinna through her poetry passed on to us the most noble of human values that have endured through the sands of time.

History and Nature Design an Island Landscape

Herbs and Myths "¦

In spring, autumn and winter, Tilos becomes an artist's canvas painted with brightly colored wildflowers and herbs against a backdrop of the pastel hues of the mountains that shelter a fertile green valley and sandy beaches before dropping dramatically into the sea. With the onset of warm, sunny days and balmy nights of summer, these natural floral bouquets recede, giving way to the prominent green and golden hues of unspoiled wildlife habitat. The fields of wild chamomile and the pungent aroma of wild thyme and sage wafting through the nature trails serve as a constant reminder of the Greek myth explaining the island's name. According to legend, Tilos, who was the youngest son of Alia and Apollo the sun god, collected herbs from the island which cured his mother of a serious illness. After her recovery, Tilos established a sanctuary on the island in honor of Apollo to express his grateful appreciation for his mother's renewed health. The island was named after him and thereafter, throughout the ages, it has been famous for its curative as well as culinary herbs that are now enjoyed internationally.

Early History

The island history, originating after a territorial separation from the coast of Asia Minor six million years ago, clearly traces its population back to the Minoan, Mycenean and Dorian periods between 3,000 BC and 1,000 BC from the artifacts discovered here. Herodotus spoke of the golden age of Tilos during which Tilini of Gelas colonized Sicily with Tilos islanders in the 7th century BC. The richness of the archaeological finds dating from the Roman and early-Christian times reflects the island prosperity until the great earthquake of 550 AD. Remains of the fortresses built during the Byzantine era and by the Knights of St. John can be seen silhouetted against the sky as a visible memorial to the numerous island invasions throughout its history, including the Ottomans in 1522 and the Italians in 1912. In 1948, Tilos returned to the modern arms of its maternal Hellenistic past.

The unmistakable presence of the past can be felt in the atmosphere surrounding the small churches that are spread throughout Tilos. Those who enjoy nature walks will find the added bonus of discovering that Tilos is home to two hundred Byzantine era churches scattered throughout the island with as many as forty one still retaining their original frescoes.

Half way between Livadia and Megalo Horio, the ruins of the castle and fortress of Messaria, which was brimming with life during the 14th and 15th centuries, rise out of the mountain. Beneath it, the cave of Harkadio is the site of recent paleontological excavations during which the skeletons of pygmy elephants dating back to 4,500 BC. were unearthed.

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