Walking in Nisyros

Walking in Nisyros is a hiker’s dream. Walking trails criss-cross the island, passing through fertile meadows studded with beehives against a backdrop of soaring peaks. The countryside is sprinkled with oak and terebinth, providing food for foraging goats and pigs and welcome shade for walkers. In spring, wildflowers carpet the ground.

Blessed with abundant natural beauty and a dramatic volcanic landscape, Nisyros’s burgeoning reputation as a walking destination is well deserved. The shoulder months of April, May, September and October are the ideal time for lacing up your walking shoes and heading out to explore on foot.

Nisyros Walks

With over 40 walking trails for all abilities, many centred upon the imposing volcano at the island’s heart, there are plenty of options – and numerous reasons to return time after time. Here are some of our favourite walks:

Emborios – Mandraki: One of the island’s most popular routes, you can walk between Emborios and Mandraki in either direction, or complete a circular walk. If you’re only going one way, we recommend starting in Emborios so the route is mainly downhill. You have the choice of skirting the crater rim or descending to the floor of the caldera, before passing the Monastery of Evangelistria en route to Mandraki.

Nikia – Stefanos: Start next to the excellent volcanological museum in Nikia and descend to the floor of the Stefanos crater, a walk of around 45 minutes. Return via the same route or continue to the Monastery of Evangelistria and onwards to Mandraki.

Nikia – Emborios: If you don’t fancy tackling the ups and downs of the volcanic caldera, hike between Nikia and Emborios – the two villages that cling to the crater rim – while admiring the dramatic views.

Evangelistria – Profitis Ilias: From the Monastery of Evangelistria, it’s approximately an hour’s uphill walk to the highest point of the island, Profitis Ilias. At the top, there’s a picturesque whitewashed church and sweeping views over the volcanic crater and village of Nikia.

Mandraki – Paleokastro: If you’re feeling energetic, climb the exhilarating 20-minute trail to the ancient acropolis of Paleokastro. Here you can wander amongst the gigantic black cyclopean walls and peer over the harbour town of Mandraki.

Nikia – Stavros – Mandraki: Starting from the mountaintop village of Nikia, traverse the western rim of the caldera to the Monastery of Stavros. The route continues to Paleokastro before descending to Mandraki, with the option of a detour to explore the ancient monastic settlement of Siones with its frescoed church.

Nisyros Walking Information

Greek cartographic company Terrain has produced a superb 1:20,000 map of Nisyros, which features its walking trails as well as the island’s beaches, attractions, roads and bike routes. There’s also a downloadable walking map of Nisyros produced by German couple Beate and Dr. Juergen Franke.

For detailed descriptions of some of the island’s most popular trails, see Barry’s Ramblings, an informal blog by a gentleman with a passion for Greece and love of hiking. His downloadable route guides are packed with useful information.

The excellent guide, Walking the Greek Islands: Rhodes, Karpathos, Kos, Southern Dodecanese by Dieter Graf, describes some of the best walks in the Southern Dodecanese, including three routes on Nisyros.

Before you lace up your hiking boots, kindly note the following. Walking in Nisyros is generally safe, but accidents can happen. Always carry a fully charged mobile phone – 112 is the emergency number – and advise somebody about your plans, especially if you’re walking alone. Ensure you have enough water, wear a sunhat and sun cream, and take care to follow all signage on the crater floor. Most importantly, have fun and enjoy exploring this beguiling island!

Walking in Nisyros with Nissia Holidays

If you fancy roaming the fertile valleys and dramatic, lunar landscape of Nisyros and are seeking a relaxing base for your adventures, check out our range of Nisyros accommodation.

To find out more about this atmospheric island, see our Ultimate Guide to Nisyros.

For more information or to book your holiday in 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.