Tilos, the Green Island of Greece

Tilos is the Green island of Greece. This title came recently when the island became totally self sufficient in energy with renewable electricity solar power. Tilos is a small island in Dodecannese group of islands, known for its unspoiled nature, the gorgeous secluded beaches and the beautiful small villages. Tilos island is one of the lesser known Greek islands but recently became quite famous as it is one of the most sustainable islands in the Mediterranean.  Its nature is  protected as here you meet over 650 plant varieties and more than 150 species of resident and migratory birds. We talked with the Mayor of Tilos Mrs Maria Kamma to find out more about what makes the island so unique and why visiting Tilos is an experience on its own. 

 

 

The Sustainable Island

Tilos Village, Greece
Incredible Beach on Tilos Island Greece

Tilos island is the first island of Greece that can officially use the title Green as it is totally self sufficient in energy. There are many international articles featuring Tilos as a great case study and example for what other islands in the Mediterranean could to to be self sufficient and sustainable.

Tilos attracts different types of travellers. It is a good choice for those who like to explore undiscovered places whether they are travelling solo, with their family or with their other half. Most of all, Tilos is a Greek island for those who prefer holidays away from the crowds, enjoy swimming in crystal clear blue waters, hiking, love nature, wellness and history.

For those of you that have never heard of this island, here are five fun facts so you never forget it:

a) Tilos is the last place in Europe where wild elephants lived about 4, 000 years ago!

2) Megalo Chorio, the capital of the island, stands out thanks to its marvellous architecture.

3) The Monastery of Saint Padeleimon has some amazing mosaics and painting on the walls. The view over the island from there is mesmerising!

4) The whole island is a big ecological park protected by international treaties.

5) Mikro Chorio, is 2 Klm from Megalo Chorio. Mikro Chorio has deserted stone made houses, paved alleys, and Byzantine churches. You will be coming to Mikro Chorio often while you are here for its one and only bar that opens every day in the afternoon and stays until the sun rise. The view over the Aegean will leave you breathless! The owners have kept the interior and the ruins of the old house that is now the bar and the atmosphere is so unique!

The easiest way to get to Tilos is by ferry from Rhodes or Kos island.

Tilos belongs to Dodecanese group of islands and the top experiences you can do in Tilos are bird watching, hiking, spear fishing, and windsurfing. The locals are hospitable, friendly and welcome you with a big smile on their face. You feel you belong from the first minute you step on the island.

It is a unique island and because of this we tried to find a local who can share with us what makes this island so special and why it is worth visiting Tilos.

Maria Kamma is the Mayor of Tilos and we had the pleasure to talk with her about her favourite island and to learn a little more about what to do and see in Tilos island.

 

Unique Architecture

Discover Tilos Island, Greece
Tilos Island Greece

What do you love about your island Tilos and why do you think it is so special?

Tilos is a tiny island of the Dodecanese, popular among free campers and people who are seeking for some quietness in their holidays. Tilos island is still untouched by mass tourism and keeps its unspoiled charm. The beaches are secluded and unorganised, ideal for those who seek privacy. The accommodation has a capacity of 2000 beds through small apart-hotels. The island has also captivating flora and fauna for those who like to explore and walk in the nature. If you’re dreaming of relaxing, private holidays away from the hustle and bustle, this is the perfect island!

What are the experiences a visitor can enjoy the most? What are the top things to see and do in Tilos?

Although Tilos is an unknown island to many travellers, it has a rich history and geological past. In fact, traces of Neolithic items and animal fossils have been found in Charkadio Cave in the centre of the island. The most interesting sightseeing in Tilos is the Monastery of Saint Panteleimon, protector of the island, while a nice place for a stroll in the abandoned village of Mikro Chorio. The island is ideal for total relaxation at the countryside, swimming at the beautiful beaches, eating at the nice small taverns of the island and making sports such us cycling and hiking. Many old footpaths cross the island and lead to tiny chapels, small settlements, secluded beaches and hilltops with breathtaking view to the sea.

 

 

 

Bird Watching in Tilos

Tilos Island Greece
Tilos Island Greece

Tilos is one of the most sustainable islands in Greece, why and what actions were taken to achieve this?

Tilos is a pioneering nature reserve, all the island is natural protected and hunting ban, it’s also the first “Green island” in the Mediterranean region and is self sufficient with fully renewable electricity with solar power, wind turbines and a battery farm. You’re more likely to run into friendly partridges, rare orchids and endangered eagles than people as you trek around Tilos. The entire island is a nature reserve, with more than 150 species of resident and migratory birds, over 650 plant varieties, and a permanent population hovering around 500.

What is the best time to visit Tilos ?

All the year it’s beautiful on the island. The best period is from March until the end of November.

 

What do you think the next day of travel post Covid 19 will bring, will travel and travellers change and to what direction?

I think our island will not be affected so much, because we have small hotel units which are spread out on a big area in Livadia, Megalo Chorio and Eristos. The island is 64.525 square kilometres big, so we have plenty of free space for our guests. It seems that after the lock down, people might prefer the destinations that are secluded and away from the crowds.

In that aspect, Tilos seems to be one of those destinations that offer privacy, isolation and relaxation to all types of travellers.

 

If you are looking for more ideas about hidden islands in Greece, here is a list of 7 hidden islands you will enjoy!

Tilos Island Greece
Tilos Island, Greece

Maria Kamma is the Mayor of Tilos Island since 8 March 2012. She is living on the island of Tilos and she is devoted in reserving the authentic character of the island, its culture, nature and history as well as its awarded sustainability and growth. 

 

Experiences in Greece

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