An eerie, lunar-esque landscape, simmering volcano, geothermal hot springs, and volcanic black beaches; the tiny island of Nisyros has a wild, untamed beauty and captivating volcanic energy. Many tourists visit for the day to experience the volcano, but stay a little longer and you’ll fall under the spell of this enchanting island.
An Overview of Nisyros
One of the smallest Dodecanese Islands, Nisyros is a land of contrasts. Rich, fertile valleys climb the sides of soaring mountains alongside fields of vivid wildflowers, yet tip over the rim and there’s a desolate, other-worldly landscape of craters, sprinkled with neon-yellow sulphur and dotted with bubbling, steam-filled holes. Down by the water’s edge, black-pebble beaches juxtapose whitewashed houses and the deep blue of the Aegean Sea.
But there’s more to Nisyros than its volcano. Wander round charming villages, seemingly untouched by time – perfect for sitting in the shade of a tree, nibbling mezedes and sipping ouzo. There’s also a rich, cultural heritage dating back millennia, abundant hiking trails, and a burgeoning art scene.
The Best of Nisyros
Measuring just 41.6 sq. km., the cone-shaped island of Nisyros is dominated by its volcano. The caldera stretches between three and four kilometres wide, and houses ten hydrothermal craters including Stefanos, one of the world’s largest and best-preserved volcanic craters. With its unique palette of colours and distinct sulphuric whiff, a visit to Greece’s youngest active volcano is a highlight of any visit. Activity is monitored constantly in the observatory, and the Volcanological Museum houses a fascinating display.
There are no large towns on the island, only a scattering of traditional villages. The largest is the capital and port town of Mandraki, home to some of our Nisyros accommodation[link]. Here, cobblestone alleys fan out from Ilikiomeni Square and the white Monastery of Panagia Spiliani presides over the black-pebble beach. We also have accommodation in the mountaintop villages of Emborios and Nikia, which offer panoramic views of the volcano.
Nisyros harbours many secrets, with ancient sites buried beneath layers of ash and pumice. The ancient acropolis of Paleokastro is one of its oldest visible monuments with impressive black cyclopean walls, while the medieval castle at Emborios contains a Byzantine church with a rich collection of frescoes.
Things to Do on Nisyros
With over 40 paths criss-crossing the island, Nisyros is ideal if you love walking. Wind past stone farmhouses, rustic distilleries and tiny churches, and circle the rim of an active volcano. Along the way, keep your eyes peeled for unique flora and abundant birdlife.
Nisyros may not have the lure of long, white-sand beaches typically seen in Greece, but those it has are filled with character. Admire the unique beauty of the black-pebble beach at Hohlaki, enjoy the tranquil sweep of black-sand beach at Pachia Ammos, or laze on the island’s largest beach by the small fishing village of Pali.
Thanks to the Nisyros’s unique geology there are hot springs all over the island, many believed to have natural therapeutic properties. Most popular are those at the complex of Loutra, while if you fancy a natural sauna head to the Cave of Panagia Listiriotissa at the entrance to Emborios.
Book Your Holiday to Nisyros with Nissia Holidays
As dedicated specialists for holidays to Nisyros, Nissia offers a selection of accommodation in Mandraki, Emborios and Nikia. Our island representative will meet you at the airport, accompany you on your transfers between Rhodes and Nisyros or Kos and Nisyros, and is always on hand to answer any problems or queries.
For unrivalled personal service, choose Nissia Holidays for your holiday to Nisyros.
Discover more about this fascinating island in our Ultimate Guide to Nisyros.
For accommodation options, see our Nisyros accommodation page.
To enquire about a holiday to Nisyros or to make a booking, contact Nissia Holidays on 01455 289421 or email us: firstname.lastname@example.org.