Tilos: Wikis

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For the forested area on the island of La Palma, Canary Islands—see Los Tilos.
Tilos
Τήλος
View over Livadhia, the port and main village on Tilos
View over Livadhia, the port and main village on Tilos
Geography
GR Tilos.PNG
Coordinates: 36°26′N 27°22′E / 36.433°N 27.367°E / 36.433; 27.367
Island Chain: Dodecanese
Total Isles: 3
Area: 64.525 km² (25 sq.mi.)
Highest Mountain: Mt. Profítis Ilías (654 m (2,146 ft))
Government
Greece Greece
Periphery: South Aegean
Prefecture: Dodecanese
Capital: Megálo Chorió
Statistics
Population: 533 (as of 2001)
Density: 8 /km² (21 /sq.mi.)
Postal Code: 850 02
Area Code: 22460
License Code: ΚΧ, ΡΟ, PK
Website
http://www.tilos.gr

Tílos (Greek: Τήλος; ancient form: Telos) is a small Greek island and municipality located in the Aegean Sea. It is part of the Dodecanese group of islands, and lies midway between Kos and Rhodes. It has a population of 533 inhabitants (2001 census).[1] Along with the uninhabited offshore islets of Antitilos and Gaidaros, it forms the Municipality of Tilos, which has a total land area of 64.525 km².

Popularly, Telos was the son of Helios and Halia, the sister of the Telchines. He came to the island in search of herbs to heal his ill mother, and later returned to found a temple to Apollo and Neptune. However, Telos (Telo or Tilo) does not appear in Greek mythology and the name probably has an unknown pre-Hellenic origin. Pliny the Elder notes that in antiquity Telos was known as Agathussa (Αγαθούσσα) (also Agathusa and Agathousa). In the Middle Ages, it was known by the Italian Piscopi or Episcopi (also Pisconia). The island has also been called Turkish: İlyaki; Italian: Piscopi.

Contents

History

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Neolithic

Pottery and stone tools discovered in Kharkhadió indicate human activity on Tilos in the early Neolithic period 8000 BC - 7000 BC, along with the large assembly of dwarf (1.20-1.60 m tall) elephant bones, carbon dated at 4000 - 7000 BC (some now in the museum). Masseti (2001) suggests coexistence of these animals with humans, possibly into the historic period.

Aegean Bronze Age

Excavation has identified Pelasgian masonry, as well as suggesting Tilos was successively dominated by Minoans, Mycenaeans and Dorians.

Classical antiquity

  • The island flourished during the classical era, minting its own coinage and being famed for clothing and perfumes.
  • Telos claims that poet Erinna (said to be Sappho's equal) was born on the island around 350 BC. Charles Anthon (1853) describes her thus: "Erinna (Ήριννα) friend & contemporary of Sappho (about 612 BC) died at 19, left behind her poems which were thought worthy to rank with those of Homer. Her poems were of the epic class; the chief of them was entitled Ήλακάτη, " The Distaff" it consisted of three hundred lines, of which only four are extant. It was written in a dialect which was a mixture of the Doric and Aeolic, and which was spoken at Rhodes, where, or in the adjacent island of Telos, Erinna was born. She is also called a Lesbian and a Mytilenean, on account of her residence in Lesbos with Sappho. There are several epigrams upon Erinna, in which her praise is celebrated, and her untimely death is lamented. Three epigrams in the Greek Anthology are ascribed to her, of which the first has the genuine air of antiquity, but the other two, addressed to Baucis, seem to be a later fabrication."
  • In the 7th century BC, colonists from Tilos and Lindos settled in Sicily and founded the city of Gelas.
  • Herodotus (484 BC – c. 425 BC) described the centuries preceding him as the golden age of Tilos.
  • In the 5th century BC, Tilos was a member of the First Delian League and kept its independence until the end of the Peloponnesian War.
  • From the turn of the 4th century BC, for the next 200 years, Tilos was subject to the Seleucid Empire, Caria and then Ptolemaic Egypt under the influence of Rhodes, until in 200 BC, the island was incorporated in to the Rhodian confederacy.
  • The island was conquered by the Romans in 42 BC. Archaeological finds from Roman and early-Christian times demonstrate the prosperity of the island until the great earthquake of 551 AD.

Byzantine

Tilos followed Rhodes into the Byzantine Empire following the death of Theodosius I and was a member of the naval Theme of Samos between the 9th and 14th century.

Crusaders

The Knights of Saint John took control of Tilos from 1309, restoring the Byzantine castles, and building new ones in order to defend against pirate raids. It was evacuated in 1470 as the Ottomans began the Siege of Rhodes and control passed to Suleiman I in 1522 when Rhodes fell.

Ottoman

In 1523, Tilos was occupied by the Ottoman Empire and the island was put under the privileged administrative and tax system known as "maktou." Christian pirates, under the pretext of revenge against the Turks, pillaged the island constantly.

20th Century

Ottoman rule lasted until 1912, when the island was ceded to Italy. In 1943, it was invaded by German troops and in 1948, Tilos united with Greece, as did all the Dodecanese islands. Since 1948, the population of the island has declined rapidly, as many Tilians migrated to the United States or Australia.

In June 2008, Anastassios Aliferis, the Socialist mayor of the island performed the first same-sex marriages in Greece, citing a legal loophole and defying claims of illegality by a Greek prosecutor.[2]

Geography

View of Livadhia village in Tilos island

Tílos has an inverted 'S' shape, is about 14.5 km long, north-west to south-east, with a maximum width of 8 km and an area of about 61 km². The island has a mountainous limestone interior, volcanic lowlands, pumice beds and red lava sand, like its north western neighbour Nisyros. It is well supplied by springs, and is potentially very fertile and productive. Its coasts are generally rocky or pebbled, but there are also a number of sandy beaches.

Landmarks

At the north-west end of the island, the Monastery of Áyios Pandeleímon, (also the island's patron saint), sits on the slopes of Mount Profítis Ilías (654 m). The mountain borders a fertile plain running across the island's width, with the settlements of Áyios Andónis to the north and Éristos to the south. To the north-east of the plain is the island's capital, Megálo Chorió, built in the early 19th century at the foot of the ancient city of Telos. The archaic ruins stretch up to the site of the acropolis of the ancient city, dedicated to Pythios Apollo and Poliada Athina, and the Venetian Kástro, built over it. To the west is Kharkhadió Cave, where excavations in 1971 unearthed Neolithic finds and bones of dwarf elephant.

Above the cave stand the ruins of the medieval Fortress of Mesariá. At southern end of the island, bordered by more fertile meadows, is Livádhia, the major harbour and economic centre of the island. The island's old capital, Mikró Chorió, first settled in the 15th century by the Knights of the Order of St John, overlooks the bay. It has been completely abandoned since 1960, its inhabitants having moved down to the harbour in the 1930s. A number of other settlements such as Lethrá, Gherá, and Panó Méri have similarly been abandoned. Mount Áyios Nikoláos (367 m) stands to the south of the bay.

Castles

Kástros (castles) have protected the island's inhabitants from pirate raids since the Dark ages.

  • Megálo Chorió
  • Mesariá
  • Mikró Chorió
  • Agrosikiá
  • Stavroú Lámbrou

Notes

References

External links

Coordinates: 36°26′N 27°22′E / 36.433°N 27.367°E / 36.433; 27.367


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Tilos[1] is a small island in Greece.

Understand

Tilos is in the Dodecanese island chain next to Rhodes in the southeastern Aegean Sea, approximately 20 km off the southwest coast of Turkey. Within the small territory of 65 sq. km, Tilos with 350 residents and its 16 uninhabited islets are gifted with an abundance as well as diversity of wildlife and flora species living within 16 different biotopes that warranted its registration as an EU Special Protection Area, Natura 2000 site and its inclusion in the Corine Biotopes Project for the special protection of certain flora and an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International.

Island History

The island territory was once part of Asia Minor. Fifteen million years ago, the dust from a volcanic eruption on the Aegean island of Kos spread over the territory that was to become Tilos creating areas with a porous environment in hillsides for many avian species to easily hollow out shelters for nesting and breeding.

The territory broke off from the continent approximately 7 million years ago carrying the ancestors of modern day wildlife, some species of which are rare on the European continent (e.g. Pistacia terebinthus palaestina [terebinth or pistachio tree], Coluber jugularis [whip snake]). Human populations date back to Minoan, Mycenean and Dorian cultures approximately 3,000 – 1,000 B.C..

The zenith of the island was reached during the Middle Ages when the Byzantine monastery of St. Panteleimon was built in 1470, ancient castles and fortresses were built by the Knights of St. John and Tilos thrived as an ancient trading center, specializing in herbal oils and medicines for which the island became well known. In Greek mythology, Tilos island derived its name from Tilos, the son of the sun god Apollo and Alia. He is said to have cured his mother from illness with herbs collected from the island. Wild herbs and flowers still thrive throughout the countryside, such as sage, chamomile, thyme, oregano, and a floral carpet of color blankets the island in spring with yellow marguerites, red poppies, and blue lupins.

Unique Island Flora and Fauna

Tilos has more than 125 wild bird species (one quarter of which are included in Annex I of the EU Birds Directive); 378 documented plant species [unofficial estimate exceeds 1,000], including 28 different types of orchids, 8 of which are classified as rare; six mountains reaching 654 meters in height which are dotted with 7 ancient castles and hundreds of Byzantine chapels; 19 beaches, which are accessible by road or only by sea or on foot; and an underground network of freshwater springs that nourish the entire island including the fertile agricultural valley of Eristos to the south. Tilos is surrounded by the blue Aegean which is populated with the critically endangered Mediterranean Monk Seal, Bottlenose and Striped Dolphnis, tuna, whales and priority marine habitat types such as the pseudo-steppe with grasses and annuals [Thero-Brachypodietea].

Services

  • Police: +30-22460-44222, 71111
  • Port Authority: Telephone: +30-22460-44350, 71205
  • Medical Office in Megalo Horio (including ambulance): Telephone +30-22460-44210, 44219, 70883
  • Post office: (Livadia) Telephone: +30-22460-44249
  • There is a branch of the Co-op Bank of the Dodecanese in Livadia with ATM.
  • Public phones take the standard Greek phone card, sold at the Post Office and at some kiosks and markets. There are a dozen or so of these public card phones around the island. Cell phones generally work.

Get around

There is a bus service in Tilos which gets you around the islands paved streets quite well. Schedule is posted on the main square and in the menues of most restaurants. Fares 1.20 Livadia-Eristos, short distances 0.60 (2009).

There are also a few car and motorbike rentals. Watch out, some of them dont cover any damages to the vehicle if you drive on sand roads, which are half of the roads of Tilos ;-) Shop around for the best prices.

Do

Eco-tourism and Agriculture

The island economy is primarily based on eco-tourism and also agricultural farming of fruits, vegetables, and citrus, olive, almond and pear trees. Island eco-tourism features 6 principle island walking paths that vary in distance and degree of ease or difficulty; Byzantine era churches with original frescoes; autumn and spring donkey rides through the countryside to a seaside picnic on the beach; a visit to the Harkadio Cave in Messaria which is the archaelogical site of the discovery of Neolithic tools, fossils and the bones of deer and dwarf elephants that inhabited Tilos in 7,000 B.C.; the magnificent 15th century monastery of St. Panteleimon at the west end; and bird watching, especially during the island’s three year LIFE Nature Project which is designed to increase the population of three threatened wild bird species.

Eat

Almost all Restaurants on Tilos are open in summer only and are catering mainly for tourists. Some of them even serve tinned food, and there is not much real greece left here... There are a few exceptions if you look hard enough.

  • Dream Island, Livadia Tilos (one kilometer from the port), +302246070707, [2]. The only fully equipped hotel on Livadia Beach.  edit
  • Kosmos Studios, LIVADIA, TILOS, 0030 22460 44164, [3]. Kosmos Studios are set in a quiet garden setting 70 metres from the main beach of Livadia on the beautiful island of Tilos. The studios are ideal for self-catering travellers and offer large studios with kitchen facilities, fully-tiled bathroom and sun/shady balconies. The British owners who live on the premises offer quality accommodation at very reasonable rates. 30-42 euro.  edit
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