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Hiking in Tilos
Many travels to Tilos only for hiking. It's a lovely hiking island blessed with a beautiful, and largely untouched, landscape. Almost the entire island is barren, so do not expect to hike in a jungle. Several of the old donkey trails is intact, the bird life is exciting and brighten up the hikes. There are many easy hiking trails so you do not need to be an experienced hiker.
The best hiking map of Tilos is published by the Greek cartographic company Terrain maps, also called Skai Maps. The scale is 1:20,000 and can be purchased on Tilos. The map describes the fourteen best hiking routs on the island.
If you hike to the Ghera you will pass Agios Ioannis. Livadia in the background.
The nicest hike, in my opinion, goes in a circle around the southeast of Tilos. The hike takes you through a hilly and attractive landscape with spectacular views out over the sea. The hike starts and ends on the seafront promenade in Livadia and is easy to follow. You can not go the wrong way.
View of Livadia bay.
Just follow the road along the promenade to the opposite side of the bay of Livadia, where Marina Beach Hotel and Taverna Faros is. Once you have passed Faros, a long and steep uphill slope starts and it ends at a small chapel called Agios Ioannis. Here you can rest for a while after the gruelling climb up the hill. If you are not able, or do not want to, walk further, you can with a clear conscience stop at Agios Ioannis. There are many who do so. You can sit here forever and enjoy the meditative silence and the beautiful view.
When you have finished resting, continue the path after Agios Ioannis. When you see a lush ravine in the mountains to the right, you can choose to turn right, or continue the path (it makes a sharp turn to the left) to the abandoned village of Ghera. If you choose to walk to Ghera (which I recommend), simply walk until the path ends. Then you are in Ghera.
The today uninhabited village of Ghera, earlier revived during the summer months when about 300 people lived here to take care of their cultivations and animals. Only a few people stayed over winter. Today there is not much left of Ghera, but the village is still worth a visit, not at least for the beautiful hike there.
On a hike to Ghera where you can see a lot of birds.
To get back to Livadia again, walk back the same way, or walk up in the ravine mentioned above, and follow the path up in the mountain. After a while the path ends and a dirt road begins. Follow the dirt road until you see Livadia from above. The view is magical to say the least. (See photo above to the right.)
When you have rested, and are tired of looking at the beautiful scenery, aim at the asphalt road that you see in front of you. Walk until you reach a few road signs. Here, in the bend of the road, you can choose to hike down to the beach of Tholos beach, or turn right down to Livadia. I guess that you choose the latter. :-) A big reward are waiting for you in Livadia: a refreshing swim and a cold beer!
The picture above is from the hike to Lethra beach.
There are many other lovely hiking routs, including the one to Lethra beach which is described under the heading Beaches, I can also recommend the easy hike from Livadia to Mikro Chorio. More adventurous hikes are to be found on the north-western parts of the island. A real challenge is the hike from the monastery of Agios Panteleimon to Eristos beach. To do this hike you have to be an experienced hiker.
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