Introduction - About Tilos Island
Tilos is a small Dodecanese Island situated northwest of Rhodes, southwest of Simi, and southeast of Nissiros. The easiest way to reach it is by a flight to Rhodes, then by ferry to Tilos. This is not an island for everyone, but it is a destination for people looking for peace and quiet, rugged beauty, beautiful sea views, excellent walks, and a simple lifestyle.
The island’s population is very small, about 100 or so persons during the winter, and not more than 500 or so during the summer; and the island itself is only 63 square kilometers in size, with about 65 kilometers of irregular coastline. You will not find a lot of frills by way of accommodation, restaurants, lively bars, and smart shops. On the contrary, this island is just about as laidback as you can get.
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 Mycenaean's 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 the 7th century BC when Tilians together with 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 Nisiros, 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. At this time ecclesiastical wall painting was developed. In 1522 the Turks who occupied it until 1948 when it was reunited with HELLAS-GREECE who conquered the island.
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 Knights of St John repaired the castle.