Nisyros is not your typical Greek island. For starters Nisyros Island is actually an active volcano. But dont worry its not due an eruption any time soon. It has experienced at least three major eruptions in the past 45,000 years. One of these, around 16,000 years ago.
Nisyros’s volcano is one of the few anywhere in the world that can be easily visited. Which is why we offer coach tours to the site where you can spend some quality time wandering around the 10 hydrothermal craters three of the most prominent have their own names Stefanos, Polyvotis, Alexandros.
Part of what makes Nisyros a world-famous destination is the feeling you have entered into another world, almost prehistoric in nature, you get a real feeling of how old and powerful the world was, you almost expect to see dinosaurs wandering about. It is truly awe inspiring.
So what else has Nisyros got to offer besides the magnificent volcano?
If you are expecting miles of loud beach bars and maddening crowds then you would be confused with some of the other party islands in Greece, Nisyros is the exact opposite to that. But if you like your beaches just as nature intended, then Nisyros is the island for you.
Pachia Ammos is a favorite among nudists and free-campers and therefore the beach of choice for the more ‘free spirited’. There is however plenty of space for all, as the beach is enormous and the 15 minute walk from the nearest parking spot means that only the more dedicated make it here.
Check out our Tours and prices here
2.) Ancient Villages & Architecture
Nisyros is peppered with interesting and historical places of interest and architecture. Most notably the 15th-c. Panaghia Spiliani Monastery which looms over Mandraki perched on the side of sheer rock face and appears to hover in the night-time sky like an illuminated apparition. There are 130 steps to reach it, but it’s more than worth it. It is considered one of the most important monasteries in Greek Orthodoxy and attracts pilgrims from all over Greece.
The celebrations marking the Dormition of the Virgin on August 15 is a two-day affair that culminates in a panigyri, a festival with food, drink and dancing, including one folk dance led by a woman holding aloft a collection cup for donations, before everyone sits down to a meal of chickpea stew at the village’s main square. This event is particularly well known to Greeks allover the world many of whom make the pilgrimage every year to par take in proceedings. Our ferries run hourly for 48 hours over this period right through the night and ticket fees are fixed.
The village of Emporios is a must see event, perched high on the caldera wall and invisible from the sea, the village was abandoned after a destructive earthquake in 1933, but his now coming back to life in recent years with investment; many of its traditional homes are being renovated by new owners to be used as either private dwellings or as commercial guesthouses. The village has two excellent tavernas and a natural sauna in a small cave at its entrance.
The village of Nikia on the opposite side boasts the only volcanological museum and the views are simply amazing, a great time for some truly spectacular photographs.
Palaiokastro is one of the best preserved fortresses in the Aegean. It is located above the settlement of Mandraki and it surrounded the ancient city of Nisyros. Large volcanic rocks compose its walls, which often stretch to an altitude of 3.8 meters. Even though the wall dates back to the 4th century BC, the ancient city was there at least a few centuries ago (all the way to the 8th century BC). The entire construction reaches 130,000 square meters, which is pretty impressive!
Admission is free to the fortress and its definitely worth the visit Palaiokastro, especially if you go there at sunset, you are bound to experience something truly breathtaking.
Tickets for all tours and events can be found here
3.) Thermal Springs
There is an abundance of hot springs on the island of Nisyros. At various points along the coast of the island, hot water flows at temperatures ranging from 30 to 61 degrees eminates from the rocks. It involves mixing sea and rain water with the geothermal fluids of the upper hot horizon. These, warm and lighter, manage to get close to the surface following the crevices in the natural rock formations
The most notable of the hot springs are those of Loutra, 1500 meters north of Mandraki, and Thermia, next to the church of Panagia Thermia, on the northern edge of the village of Palon. Both are classified as ‘thermal hydrosulfurized algae’.
The source of Thermia is known from antiquity. The inscription found in the ruins of the great portico of Roman baths operating in the same area, “Olivian only in the midst of Hippocrates of the wounded diseases of sickness” (Happy the man who will do so, The merciful (olive tree) threshold of Hippocrates’ baths [rinsing] the harmful diseases) reinforces the view that the father of medicine Hippocrates had chosen this source of Nisyros as a healing spa center.On the same source probably refers to Buonde Lmonti as healing baths:
Today, the old baths have been restored, but they are not yet ready to work. The source temperature is 33 degrees, but it is expected to increase by 8-10 degrees if the water is pumped.
The waters of the hot spring of Loutra have been taking advantage of the Municipal Baths of Mandraki since 1872. Its healing properties are known for rheumatism, arthropathies, skin diseases and circulatory system diseases. The maximum source temperature is 46 degrees.
A third well-known hot spring is in the bay of Avlaki. Its waters had been used for spa treatments before the settlement was abandoned. Hot water is now spilling into the sea and its maximum temperature is 61 degrees.
In addition to the hot springs, Nisyros has many places where hot steam rises. Two of these sites have been used in the past as natural saunas. The main one, known from antiquity, is in the place of Fire, where the chamber of the steam baths and adjoining auxiliary buildings of the baths is still preserved. The other location is at the entrance of Emborios settlement. The vapor temperature is 34-35 ° C.
4.) Lively Traditional 3 day festival Panagia Spilani
Without doubt the biggest event in the Dodecanese calendar with 1000’s of people from all over the world making the journey to take part in the religious festival of the Pangia Spilani at the Monastery. 2 full days and nights of non stop drinking, dancing and eating of the beautiful Island of nisyros.
This is a not to be missed event with ferries running 24/7 over 2 days.
Simply purchase your ticket and arrive and leave when you wish.
5.) A mecca for Mountain Bike Enthusiasts and Hikers
Out of the numerous things to do and sew on the island, mountain bike tours are becoming the more popular. Enjoying the sunrise before the battle against the volcano commences. Due to the tiny population size of the island the islands roads are in great condition and completely unencumbered from heavy traffic providing the sort of riding conditions that road bikers love. At Enetikon we accommodate cyclists in ever growing numbers every year that make the journey to take up the challenge. Bringing bikes on the ferry is free so why not try something different this year?
Nisyros is not exactly known for its nightlife but we see that as a major bonus. There are an array of small local restaurants and tavernas that are in beautiful locations on the island. Perfect for that quiet relaxed and perhaps romantic evening to just simply take in the atmosphere of a traditional and rural island. Imagine no thumping house music, bright illuminations or crowds of people wandering aimlessly about but just good quality local fresh cuisine and a chilled glass of wine in wonderful peaceful and tranquil surroundings – there really is little that beats this especially after a day of sightseeing.
7.) Visit Deserted Island Giali
Giali is a small volcanic Greek island in the Dodecanese, located halfway between the south coast of Kos (Kardamaina) and Nisyros. It is largely uninhabited with the exception of a small mining company on the northeastern part due the bedrock being almost entirely made of obsidian and the southwestern part of pumice. We offer boat tours around the island and some time to take the chance to bath and swim in the crystal waters and white sandy beaches and generally chill out miles away from anyone – The trips have become increasingly popular for those that just want to get away from it all and board a boat into obscure territory – It seems simple is the new fashion among our customers and we are happy to see people just enjoying the wonderful and natural surrounds that Giali affords.
Once a week we offer a 2 day cruise around the islands with swimming and bathing – Check it here
8.) The Volcano
Of course any trip to Nisyros would not be complete without the trip to the caldera and the volcano itself. The short coach journey to and from the volcano is is pretty spectacular itself. With glorious views as you ascend up the side of the volcano stretching out back across to Kos and Turkey and then the completely unexpected and magnificence of the entrance of what seems like another world – The wide open expanse that greets you and the raw un-spoilt beauty rushes in and expands the mind and the senses, in this moment it is easy to forget the all important camera shots as you mind and focus adapts to stunning views all around
After the heat and experience of the volcano tour the air conditioned coaches we provide bring you back down to the charming main village of Mandraki. The village is a labyrinth of narrow winding streets barely wide enough to ride a moped down, this provides shaded and comfortable opportunity to meander through the cobbled alley ways to discover the little shops in narrow doorways that sell their goods, most of which are made on the island.
There are some fantastic little restaurants tucked away, we are not going to promote them here as the discovery in itself is an extra treat. Just wander then come to rest where you feel most comfortable, the food wont disappoint and neither will the surroundings.
10.) Spend the night on Nisyros
To truly experience Nisyros we highly recommend spending the night on the island. When everybody has gone back to their hotels on Kos and the place just kicks down another gear. Its at this point that you can truly feel what it is to be part of this special little community and feel like one of the locals. We guarantee that you will love it so much that this will be in your top 3 lists of holidays next year
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