The volcanic island of Nisyros is well known, thanks to the smouldering volcano at its heart. Because of this, many visitors jump on a day trip to the island, swoop into the volcanic crater, wander round and take some pictures, then head back to their larger island base (usually Kos).
One question we’ve seen frequently mooted in travel forums, etc. is whether it’s worth staying or if a day trip to Nisyros is sufficient to experience the island.
As you can imagine, we have a pretty strong opinion on this!
Yes, if you’re staying on a nearby island and don’t have much time, then pop over to Nisyros for the day, because the volcano is such a unique experience. But this authentic Greek island has so much more to offer – and when the daytrippers have left, you can really feel the island’s magic.
Here are our reasons why a day trip to Nisyros is never enough.
It’s little surprise that day trips to Nisyros are so popular. The entire island is a volcano, with the impressive Stefanos Crater its main attraction.
Visiting the volcanic crater is an otherworldly experience – where else can you walk in a lunar-esque landscape, skirting bubbling fumaroles belching sulphuric smoke?
However because of its popularity, you’re rarely alone on these expeditions. But if you stay on Nisyros, you can visit early morning or late afternoon, and marvel at this landscape without the crowds.
The Villages of Nisyros
Nisyros may only have a handful of small villages, but they’re bursting with quaint, traditional charm. The sleepy port town of Mandraki is perfect for a stroll in the late afternoon once the boats have left for the day, and it’s the ideal spot to sip a soumada while watching sunset.
But it’s Nikia and Emborio that really steal the show. Clinging to the rim of the caldera, both villages offer dramatic views over the crater, narrow lanes to amble around, delicious tavernas, and even a natural cave sauna!
Nisyros may be best known for its volcano, but there are a few archaeological sites to interest history lovers too. The ancient acropolis at Paleokastro boasts giant cyclopean walls constructed from black volcanic rock – an interesting twist for archaeology buffs.
There’s a unique example too for those interested in Greek churches and monasteries. One of Greece’s most important monasteries, the Monastery of Panagia Spiliani is partially built in a cave, overlooking the black beach of Mandraki.
The Beaches of Nisyros
Speaking of beaches, how does Nisyros rank for a beach holiday? Well, you won’t find any long stretches of golden sand here, but this tiny island is fringed with a number of wild, dramatic beaches, lapped by beautifully clear Aegean waters.
Best of all, from the trademark black pebble beach at Hohlaki to the light sands of Pali, the series of black sand and pebble beaches strung along the east coast to the natural hot springs at Avlaki, you won’t be fighting for a spot to place your towel!
Walking in Nisyros
Love to lace up your hiking boots on holiday and explore on foot? Then Nisyros offers an abundance of wonderful walking trails. There are over 40 routes to explore here, many of them passing through the crater floor or skirting the rim of the caldera. The fertile volcanic soil is carpeted with wildflowers during the spring, while trees offer a shady respite when you need it. It’s a landscape you won’t get bored of exploring time and time again.
The Magical Energy of Nisyros
Finally Nisyros has a magical energy. Its landscape inspires artists, photographers, poets, filmmakers and musicians. And when the crowds have departed, you can pour a glass of wine, sink into one of the island’s hot springs or gather in a traditional square, and soak up the magic!
Forget the Day Trip to Nisyros and Book Your Holiday with Nissia Holidays
If this has tempted you to forgo the day trip to Nisyros and book yourself a proper holiday on the island, check out our range of Nisyros accommodation.
To find out more about holidays in Nisyros, see our ultimate guide to Nisyros.