Nisyros Island, a Moonscaped Aegean Hideaway

Nisyros, Greece
View of Mandraki, Nisyros island, Greece. Credit: Alexandros Diamantidis, CC BY-SA 3.0/Wikimedia

Nisyros is a magical gem located in the Aegean. The island, part of the Dodecanese archipelago, is situated between Kos and Tilos, and has an active volcano which is also the youngest volcano in Greece.

Nisyros offers untouched villages, quiet beaches, hot springs and ancient walls of black volcanic stone. Top that off with the fact that there are few tourists, and you’ll feel like the entire island and all of its many beauties are exclusively yours.

The amazing villages of Nisyros

Nisyros Greece
The village of Emborio on the Greek island of Nisyros. Public domain

There are several quaint villages on the island; the largest is Mandraki. It is straight out of a photo book of traditional Greek island architecture and great views.

The narrow, cobbled streets and squares lace around the villages where you can take a stroll and feel as though you have traveled back to ancient times. The homes, which are made of volcanic rocks and are insulated with pumice stone, boast wooden balconies.

Nisyros Greece
Emporios. Credit: Robert Powell, CC BY-SA 3.0/Wikimedia

Nightlife on Nisyros is very unlike the hectic pace of party islands in Greece. You will, however, find quaint local tavernas and bars in which to enjoy your lazy summer nights.

The Volcano

You can actually go to the center of the island, walk along the volcano’s rim, and watch its boiling crater. The volcano, which hasn’t actually erupted since 1888, is a spectacular sight.

Nisyros Greece
Credit: Tatiana Bashinskaya, CC BY 3.0/Wikimedia

The Volcanological Museum in Nikia

Located at the edge of the caldera, the view is breathtaking, and you can learn a thing or two about the fascinating geology of the island. 3D animated images to demonstrate various facts about the volcano are available, so be sure to check them out.

Nisyros Greece
Aerial view of Nisyros. Credit: Ferengi, CC BY-SA 3.0/Wikipedia

Paleokastro, Nisyros’ Acropolis

Dating back to the classical period and ruins of the ancient city, the Paleokastro is constructed from one of the hardest rocks in the world, basaltic andesite, which was spewed out from the volcano. This has helped preserve the acropolis through the passage of time.

A Monastery Built in a Cave

The Monastery of Panagia Spiliani sits atop of a hill in northwest Mandraki, the largest part of it constructed inside a cave. A truly unique experience, the cave is divided into two churches and is definitely worth a visit.

Nisyros Greece
Panagia Spiliani. Public Domain

Nisyros’ Thermal Spas

At several points along the coast of Nisyros, you will find spouting hot water springs with temperatures varying from 30 to 60 degrees Celsius (86 to 140 degrees F). The springs are known for their therapeutic effects for muscles and skin.

Around 1.5 km (1 mile) east of the port of Mandraki, you will find the thermal spa of Loutra with hot spring waters at 37 degrees Celsius (or 98.6 Fahrenheit, equal to humans’ body temperature).

Get ready For Beautiful Beaches on Nisyros island

Nisyros Greece
Credit: Visit Nisyros

Due to the relatively few numbers of travelers on the island, the beaches of Nisyros are extraordinarily clean, quiet, and relaxing.

You can go to a different beach every day, as there are many to choose from. Some favorites are Lefki Beach, along with Gialiskari, Lyés, Páloi, Pachia Ammos, Katsouni, Aghios Savas, Aghia Irini, and Chochlákia Beaches.

Must-try local cuisine

There are many traditional dishes to be savoured on Nisyros island. Some typical “spitiko” or homemade dishes are pita, chickpea nuggets, and kapamas, which is stuffed goat. Of course, as you are on an island, there is always fresh seafood available, too!

Getting there

You can get to the volcanic paradise of Nisyros from the island of Kos or as part of a tour of other islands in the Dodecanese, as well as from Piraeus.

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