Nisyros is one of the most beautiful Aegean islands, still untouched by tourism growth. It is part of the Dodecanese group of islands, situated between Kos and Tilos. The island extends over a surface of 41 km and its coastline is 28 km long. According to mythology, it was created during the war between Gods and Giants. Poseidon chased the Giant Polyvotis down to Kos, cut a part of it and threw it to his enemy, sinking him forever in the bottom of the Aegean Sea.
The legendary rock is the modern Nisyros and it is said that the volcano’s explosions are the angry breathing of the defeated Giant. These explosions shaped the island, which is considered to be the youngest volcanic centre in Greece, still active – along with the volcanoes of Milos, Santorini and Methana.
These are the top 8 reasons worth a visit to the island:
There are several quaint villages on the island and the largest is Mandraki. It is straight from a photo book with traditional architecture and great views. The narrow pebble streets and squares lace around the villages where you can take a stroll and feel as though you have traveled to an ancient time. The homes are made of volcano rocks and insulated with pumice stone and boast wooden balconies. Night life on Nisyros is nothing like the hectic pace of party islands in Greece. You will find some quaint local tavernas and some bars to enjoy your lazy summer nights.
You can actually go to the center of the island, walk along the volcano rim and watch the boiling holes. The volcano hasn’t erupted since 1888 and is spectacular.
The Volcanological Museum in Nikia
Located at the edge of the caldera the view is breathtaking and you can learn a thing or two about your surroundings. They have 3D moving images to demonstrate various facts about the volcano, so be sure to check it out.
Paleokastro, the Island’s Acropolis
Dating back to the classical period and ruins of the ancient city, the Paleokastro is constructed from one of the hardest rocks in all the world, basaltic andesite, volcanic rock. This has helped preserve the acropolis throughout the passage of time.
A Monastery Built in a Cave
The Monastery of Panagia Spiliani sits at the top of a hill in northwest Mandraki, while the largest portion of the monastery is built inside a cave. A truly unique experience, the cave is divided into two churches and is definitely worth a visit.
Nisyros’ Thermal Spas
At several points along the coast of Nisyros you will find spouting hot water springs at temperatures varying from 30 to 60 degrees celsius. The springs are known for being therapeutic for muscular and skin treatments. Around 1.5 km east from the port of Mandraki, you will find the thermal spa of Loutra with hot spring waters at 37 degrees celsius.
Due to the low traffic on the island, the beaches of Nisyros are super clean and relaxing. You can go to a different beach everyday as there are many to choose from. Some favorites are Lefki beach or Gialiskari, Lyés, Páloi, Pachia Ammos, Katsouni, Aghios Savas, Aghia Irini, and Chochlakia.
Must Try Local Cuisine
There are many traditional dishes that you will encounter on Nisyros. Some typical “spitiko” or homemade flavors are pita, chickpea nuggets and kapamas, which is stuffed goat. Of course, as you are on an island, there is always fresh seafood available, too!
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