Tilos lies in the southeastern Aegean, between Nisyros and Halki. Sixteen islets are scattered around Tilos. The island’s terrain is semi-mountainous and mountainous, and its highest peak is Ai-Lias (Saint Elias). The small fertile Eristos valley extends to a pretty beach. The soil at Megalo Horio is quite fertile thanks o an abundance of groundwater springs. A ragged coastline with many recesses, caves, and pretty beaches completes the picture painted by the island’s topography.
Local traditions are as varied as the landscape, and these traditions include its cuisine, both savory and sweet dishes. Roast goat with potatoes is considered the island’s top specialty and accordingly is offered at folk festivals or paniyiria. Other popular dishes are yiaprakia, a minced beef filling wrapped in vine leaves and kavourmas, browned pork meat. A special gastronomic treat is koulousoufades or poumbari—pork or beef entrails stuffed with ground beef or chopped livers, rice, and aromatic herbs.
Local pasta includes orzo and koulouria, a type of macaroni served with tomato sauce or butter and cheese. Sample tsouvra—tomato soup (with or without onions) and rice or bulgur—and hondro, coarse-cut wheat boiled in water or milk.
Tilos sweets are mainly kserotigana (honey-drenched strips of fried dough), melekounia, pougakia filled with almonds and sesame, sweet pies, and cookies whose dough has been kneaded seven time.