Greek Guide

 

Tilos Car Hire Greece Greek Rentals

Car hire is far from essential on Tilos as this is a one road island and most foreign visitors who come here are keen to explore the countryside on foot. There are regular bus services to and from the port town of Livadia and the capital Megalo Horio. Buses also run frequently to popular Eristos Beach 2.5 kilometres south of the capital and you can take an excursion boat to the more remote beaches around the coastline.

But you may decide to hire a car or scooter for at least a day or two during your visit, especially if you're not a keen hiker. You can rent a car or moped from Stefanakis Travel or Tilos Travel in the port. Prices vary according to the season, type of vehicle and duration of the rental agreement. The island's only filling station is midway between Livadia and Megalo Horio.

If you're thinking of hiring a scooter check that your travel insurance covers you for motorbike accidents before you take to the island's rough tracks because many policies don't. And remember that wearing a helmet is compulsory in Greece if you're riding anything over 49 cc although you wouldn't think so to look at many of the local motorcyclists. In any event, it's a sensible precaution because there have been numerous cases of inexperienced foreigners ending up in hospital after coming a cropper on the hazardous roads of the Greek islands.

With the freedom of your own set of wheels you'll be able to make the journey from the port to the capital along the eight kilometre stretch of road that was widened and paved in 2000.

Megalo Horio is a pretty whitewashed settlement overlooked by the huge Castle of the Knights of St John which you can via a 40 minute walk along a trail that begins at the northern end of the village. Explore the village's maze of narrow alleyways and take the time to visit the small Palaeontological Museum which houses the fossilised bones of mastodons (midget elephants) dating back to 7,000 BC. The bones were found in the Harkadhio Cave in the centre of the island in 1971.

Drive a short distance west of Megalo Horio and you'll come to Agios Antonios Beach which has a decent taverna, frequented by local fishermen, and the petrified remains of lava trapped human skeletons. You can see these eerie beach rocks at low tide they're thought to be the fossilised remains of sailors caught in the eruption of the nearby volcanic island of Nisyros in 600 BC.

The road continues west to the remote beach of Plaka in the north west corner of the island good for swimming but there are not tourist facilities.

A short drive south down the west coast from Plaka takes you to the island's main visitor attraction the 15th century Monastery of Agiou Pandelimona, perched 200 metres up on a cliff top. The fortified monastery has a beautiful mosaic courtyard, some fine 18th century frescoes, circular chapels and the cells where the monks once lived.