What to See in Tilos
The village of Megalo Horio unfolds against the steep slopes of St. Stefanos, a few kilometers away from the village of Livadia. The top of the hill is crowned by an ancient castle that was built by the the Knights of St. John.
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 Apollo and Athena. On the foundations of this ancient temple, the church of Taxiarch-Archangel Michael was built in the post Byzantine period.
Beginning in 1827, the 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.
At the centre of Megalo Horio the visitor finds rooms to rent, two super markets, tavernas, a cafe and a bar. The adjoining main square delights the senses with fragrance and color and its view over the valley and Eristos Bay to the south.
A. The Castle :This is where the acropolis of the ancient city used to be and where stood the sanctuary of Pythios Apollo and Pallas Athina. In the ruins of this sanctuary the church of Archangel Michael with wall paintings from the 16th century AD now stands.The best time to visit the place is in the afternoon where the view and the sunset are unique.The castle was repaired by the Knights of St John.
B. The Church of the Archangel Michael is situated in the village where the big silver icons were brought from the church of the castle.The wood carvings are from the 19th century.
C. The Harcadio Cave where in 1971 neolithic tools were found dating as far back as 8000-7000 BC.The area is covered by volcanic lava.
D. The Castle of Misarias built in the middle ages by the Knights of St John (1366).
E. The Monastery of Ayios Panteleimonas built in 1470-80 and repaired in 1703 and 1824. The wood carving is from the 18th century. There is a good possibility that this monastery was built on the ruins of the sanctuary of Poseidon as according to Strabon such a sanctuary existed here.
F. The small archaeological collection
G. The beach of Erystos
H. The Museum of Tilos: An exhibition about the excavations of Charkadio Cave, containing the fossils of Dwarf Elephants, opened in 1994 at the Town Hall of Tilos in Megalo Horio. All the excavations will soon be transferred and presented in a new building close to the cave, the Museum of Dwarf Elephants that is being constructed on the site “Rosoi”. The small openair summer theater, constructed by the Municipality of Tilos near Charkadio, and the asphalt road to the cave have given a new dimension to the fossil rich locality. All of these have also contributed to the understanding of Palaeontology, of the environmental changes that occurred during the Quaternary and the quality and fragility of the fossil treasures from our past that have to be studied, protected and preserved.
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 silhouette of the mountains of Turkey appear to rise out of the waters of the Aegean and the island of Simi can be seen.
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 is a reminder of the Italian domination of the island from 1912 until 1948. The long beach in Livadia and the warm, crystal water entice visitors.
At the village of Livadia you will find the port of the island, which has recently been reconstructed and offers better and safer anchoring services for boats and crafts.
Going around the roads of the village, you will find plenty of rooms for rent, fifteen tavernas and a few cafes that overlook the beach or are tucked away in the village, four super markets, as well as village stores where you are sure to find some lovely gifts, local delicacies and artistic creations to take home with you. Furthermore, there is a local accommodation office at the port which will serve you and give you accurate information about the prices of the offered accommodations on the island.
A. Kastellos a rocky hill with a ruined medieval castle where Mycaenean finds were spotted.
B. The Church of Ayios Panteleimonas who is the patron saint of this island, which explains why so many churches bear his name.
C. The Castle of Agrosykias
Eristos is a quiet, faraway place and is perfect for those who search for isolation. Looking from Megalo Horio, the eye's view is drawn to the fertile valley of Eristos Bay and the cool, blue backdrop of its gulf.
Tilos, in contrast to other islands of the Aegean, is gifted with an abundance of natural spring water that enables the cultivation of a dazzling array of fruits, almonds and vegetables. In springtime, the deep reds, swirling yellows and splashes of blue bursting from the wildflowers turn the valley to a vibrantly colored canvas.
At the end of this valley lies the most beautiful swimming beach on the island called Eristos Beach, which is situated on the west coast of Tilos. Most of the mile long beach is golden sand and in summer time constitutes the paradise of campers.
MIKRO CHORIO VILLAGE
The village of Mikro Horio was established in the 15th century in the hills above Livadia and was abandoned after World War II by its residents. Some of them 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 and a plethora of tiny churches with their ruggedly rustic architecture barely perceptible against the stony hillsides. In this village where there is no sign of life, the venerable, twisted trunks of windswept oak and olive trees guard the secrets of the islands past and offer to the birds a lodge in order to build up their nests every spring.
SAINT ANTONIOS VILLAGE
Having a wonderful view of the islands of Nisyros and Kos, Saint Antonios is a small town, with a picturesque bay that boasts a small fishing port, a sea shore that is famous for its beach rocks, a few hotels, restaurants and cafes.
That fishing port was the basic port of the island before the construction of the port in the village of Livadia. The bus that makes the tour of the island always visits this quiet, small port. A few kilometers to the west is Plaka Bay with its long sandy beach, fine for swimming.