volcanic island with large crater

White washed old church with stone bell tower


Nisyros is a small volcanic island, part of the Dodecanese group, with an area of 41 square km. It is located between Kos and Tilos and has an almost perfect round shape with a big volcano crater in the middle of it. The volcano is a main tourist attraction and many people come here for a day trip from Kos island just to see it but the island can be also an ideal getaway for a quiet holiday and escape from the crowds. It has a few villages and hotel rooms. The island is not suitable for a beach hotel only, as beaches are not attractive.

Nisyros is accessible only by sea. A few times in the week a ferryboat from Rhodes arrives at Mandraki village, the port, and there are also daily ferries for passengers and cars from Kos (may be rare in the winter). Some travel agencies on Kos offer full day trips with ferry and organized bus transport with guide on the island.

Except for Mandraki, there are three more village on Nisyros - Pali on the north coast, and in the inner part of the island are Emporios and Nikia. In Emporios ruins of many old buildings can be seen, and Nikia is a picturesque village with colorful old houses and small steep streets that lead to a tiny square. On the top of Nikia a fantastic view is revealed towards the volcano.

The volcano can be easily found as there are many signs. The road that passes through the island is in good condition and distances are short. The largest crater of the volcano is called Stefanos, about 300 meters long and 25 meters deep. Walking inside it is by all means a thrilling experience and worth to see. The area of the volcano has entrance fee and except for the huge crater, the whole landscape around it reminds of the eruption. Entering the crater is all at tourists responsibility because the volcano is active - steam coming out of the holes can be seen, and the specific smell is everywhere in the air.

Nisyros has only a couple of beaches. In Mandraki there is a very small beach between the seafront tavernas. Three long beaches with dark volcanic sand can be found on the east coast, near Pali village which also has a beach called Aspri Ammos (White beach). In the south, under the village of Nikia, is the rocky beach of Avlaki.

Except for the volcano, other interesting places on the island are the ruins of the old castle which is 4 km away from Mandraki, and the Monastery of Panagia Spilliani. The sauna cave in Emporios is also worth the visit.

Hotels in Nisyros

highlights: volcanic island with large crater, island in Dodecanese Islands, Greece

Nisyros photo galleryx