Hiding in the shadow of the surrounding Rhodes, Kos and Symi, Tilos is absent from any Greek island rankings and travel agencies routes. It is a very quiet place with two villages and lack of any night life, big hotels and noise. This however has turned it into paradise for nature lovers and walkers as most of the island beaches are accessible on foot.
Tilos has been inhabited since the Neolithic period and it known among archaeologists with the Harkadio Cave where along with ancient tools and ceramics, skeletons of long-extinct dwarf elephants were found. The cave is closed to public due to excavations and scientific activities but in the island capital there is a museum which exhibits bones of the elephants and provides information more about them.
Tilos can be reached only by sea, the closest airport is on Rhodes. Ferry connections are regular and served by two companies - Blue Star ferries which connects Tilos with Piraeus and other Dodecanese islands, and Dodekanisos Seaways which connects it with the neighbor islands only. The island port is called Livadia and it is the larger settlement with the larger choice of accommodation and food options, although not the capital. The beach of Livadia is just next to the port, a long and narrow strip of pebbles with sunbeds and parasols to rent. Contrary to its name, the capital Megalo Chorio ("big village") is not big at all. It lies in the north side of the island, 7 km away from Livadia, built at the foot of an ancient castle of which only ruins and panoramic views can be seen. 1 km away from Megalo Chorio is the beach of Agios Antonios, with a couple of seaside tavernas.
Except for Livadia and Megalo Chorio, there is one more place which can be called a village but it was completely abandoned around the middle of 20 century - all the houses in it are deserted and in ruins. This is the village of Mikro Chorio (meaning "small village"), just a kilometer away from Livadia. Yet among the ruins one can see a preserved church and one of the stone houses is turned into a pleasant coffee bar.
Eristos beach is considered to be the best beach on Tilos. It is located on the west coast, one kilometer long with sand and tiny pebbles around the shore. A line of trees provides natural shade and there are also a few small hotels which provide sunbeds for their guests but as a whole Eristos is vast and empty. Plaka is another beach which can be reached by car, on the north coast. It has sand mixed with pebbles and rocks, and due to its remote location naturists and campers can be seen. The rest of the beaches on Tilos can be reached only by boat or after long walk on foot. One of them is Red beach, called so because of the red color of the rocks and pebbles on it, brightly contrasting to the bright blue water.
highlights: small island between Kos and Rhodes, island in Dodecanese Islands, Greece