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7 Magical Things to Do in Nisyros

Despite its petite size, the little-known island of Nisyros is bursting with magical experiences. And we’re not just talking about the volcano!

Here’s our guide to seven wonderful things to do in Nisyros.

1. Explore the Volcanic Crater

Let’s start with the obvious… At the heart of Nisyros, there’s a grumbling giant that groans angrily beneath the ground. Nisyros is a volcanic island and its impressive caldera houses a number of large craters. Stefanos is one of the world’s largest and best-preserved hydrothermal craters, and it’s one of the only active volcanic craters in the world you can walk in. It’s an otherworldly experience, complete with bubbling, steaming fumaroles and a pungent, sulphuric whiff.

The crater of the volcano in Nisyros – Photo Credit: Helen Simonsson

2. Wander Clifftop Villages

There are only a handful of villages on Nisyros, but Nikia and Emborio are surely the most dramatic. These tiny, whitewashed villages cling to the rim of the caldera with panoramic views over its steaming craters. Wander through cobblestone alleyways, explore charming squares and traditional shops, feast on local cuisine in the tavernas, and visit the Sterna Art Project and Volcanological Museum… you can even experience a natural cave sauna.

3. Marvel at the Cyclopean Walls of Paleokastro

Perched on a hill overlooking the harbour town of Mandraki, the ancient acropolis of Paleokastro dates back to the Mycenaean era, some 3,000 years ago. The current structure dates to the Classical period, its imposing cyclopean walls constructed from black volcanic rock. A 20-minute uphill walk through fields leads you to the acropolis, where you can wander at leisure (there are useful signs in English), and admire the superb views.

4. Relax on Black Sand Beaches

There are few beaches on Nisyros, but those that line its rocky shores have a wild, untamed feel, unique to the island. Largely deserted, even in the height of summer, many of the beaches are black, ranging from fine sand at Pahia Ammos to black pebbles at Hohlaki. And they’re mostly isolated, making them the perfect spot for those seeking tranquillity and relaxation.

5. Hike the Island’s Trails

Keen walkers will find plenty of reasons to return time and time again, with over 40 walking trails in Nisyros. Unsurprisingly, many of the trails lead you along the rim of the caldera or along the crater floor. Other popular trails lead to Paleokastro and to the island’s highest point, Profitis Ilias. 

6. Visit the Monastery of Panagia Spiliani

The Monastery of Panagia Spiliani sits on a high rock at the end of Mandraki. Set within the ruins of an ancient castle, this 14th century monastery is partially built in a cave and divided into two churches, giving it a unique, atmospheric ambiance. The largest church, dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, houses the miraculous icon of the Virgin of the Caves, protectoress of the island, while the adjacent chapel celebrates Agios Charalambos.

7. Sip a Soumada at the Harbour

One of the main local products is soumada, a sweet, non-alcoholic drink made from almonds that’s delicious served over ice. Sipping this local drink at the harbour after a day of hiking or exploring the island’s natural and manmade wonders is the ideal way to wind down as you watch the sunset on another magical day in Nisyros.

Explore the Top Things to Do in Nisyros with Nissia Holidays

To find out more about this captivating island and the wonderful things to do in Nisyros, see our Ultimate Guide to Nisyros. If you’re interested in visiting the island, see our Nisyros accommodation.

For more information or to book your holiday to Nisyros, contact Nissia Holidays on 01455 289421 or email us: info@nissiaholidays.com.


Jo worked on Tilos in 2006, as the last Island Manager for Laskarina. She now runs a travel writing business and travel blog, The Wandering Wordsmith, and spends much of her year travelling. But Greece, especially Tilos, will always hold a special place in her heart.

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