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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). 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 km˛.

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 km˛. 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.

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.

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 or Livadia, 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. (Source: tilosmare & wikipedia)

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Additional Photos by George Rumpler (Budapestman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 8900 W: 3 N: 20435] (82620)
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