Nisyros is a unique volcanic island in the Dodecanese, and
easily reached on day trips from Kos Town and Kardamena.
Nisyros lies about
half-way between Kos and Tilos, west of the Turkish coast. It draws curious
visitors in their hundreds every day during the summer because of its one
remarkable feature. This circular island centres on an active volcano – but don't
worry, it isn't in an eruptive phase these days.
The Volcano on Nisyros
You'll find out how active it is when you go up to it and then walk down into the caldera, which is almost two miles (3 km) across. The ground is a mix of green, yellow and gold, with jets of steam escaping from under it, and a sulphurous smell. In the summer months on a hot day with the sun burning down it is quite an experience.
(c) Google Maps
Getting to Nisyros
Most people who visit the island do so on an organised day
trip from Kos, and these leave from Kos Town and from the resort of Kardamena.
They take you to the port of Nisyros, Mandraki, from where a bus takes you up
to the volcano and brings you back to the boat.
There are also regular ferry services which call in at
Nisyros on a route from Rhodes to Piraeus, so you can get there from other
islands on the route including Tilos, Kos and Kalymnos.
Staying on Nisyros
If your only opportunity to go to Nisyros is on a day trip from Kos then you shouldn't miss the opportunity, but our advice is to try to stay on Nisyros for a night or two at least, to get a proper feel for the island. It's only a small place, with a population of about 1,000 or so, and it has a lot of charm which you don't always appreciate when in the company of lots of other tourists.
The port of Mandraki is a pleasant place to be based, with
hotels and restaurants, and convenient for you to catch a bus up to the volcano
and maybe stay longer than the 40 minutes or so you get on a day trip. It's
such an amazing place, you really want to linger.
If you spend a few days on Nisyros you could include a night
in the hill villages of Emborios or Nikia, from both of which you get great
views of the volcano, and you can visit it before or after the day's crowds for
a more personal experience. There's a delightful place to stay in Emborios, Melanopetra, and a choice of
eating places. Nikia has a Volcanological Museum, where you can learn more
about the formation of the volcano and of the island.
Around the Coast
Nisyros does have a few beaches but they're not great, given
that most of the island is volcanic rock. One beach you might want to try is at
Lies, where parts of it are of black sand. Lies is about halfway down the east
coast of the island, where the coast road ends, and if you want to visit you
could stay in the little harbour town of Pali, on the north coast and about an
hour's walk or a 10-minute drive from Lies.
From Lies a rough road leads up to the Monastery of Panagia
Kera, a tough but worthwhile hour's walk away. If you stay in Nikia and walk to
the volcano you can divert to see another monastery, that of St John the Theologian
(Agiou Ioanni Theologou).
One of the most spectacular monastery settings, though, is
that of the Monastery of the Virgin of the Cave (Moni Panagias Spilianis). This
dates from the 14th century and stands on a cliff above Mandraki, with amazing
There are several things to do and see in and around
Mandraki. In addition to the monastery just mentioned, the ruins of an old
acropolis stand above the town, and on the way to the monastery is a small Folklore
Museum. Below the monastery by the sea is an Ecclesiastical Museum, and the
town also has an Archaeological Museum. It's quite impressive for such a small
place – and of course a day trip allows very little time to have a chance of
seeing all these.
In the Crater of the Nisyros Volcano
Some other Dodecanese pages
Travel information on Kasos in the Dodecanese group of Greek islands, including flight and ferry information from Greece Travel Secrets.
Symi (or Simi) is a small island in the Dodecanese near Rhodes with regular ferry connections, hotels, rooms to rent, beaches, tavernas.
Travel and vacation information about the Dodecanese islands of Rhodes, Symi, Kos, Patmos, Halki, Tilos, Karpathos, Leros, Lipsi, Astipalea.
Wild Abandon by Jennifer Barclay and published by Bradt Guides is A Journey to Deserted Places of the Dodecanese islands in Greece, including Rhodes and Kos.
Tilos is a small island in the Dodecanese between Rhodes and Kos with regular ferry connections, hotels, rooms to rent, beaches, tavernas and ancient remains.
Patmos in the Dodecanese islands is famous for the monasteries of St John and the Apocalypse and on this page you can also read about flights and ferries
Greece Travel Secrets helps celebrate a feast day on Astipalia in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece, for the Assumption of the Virgin Mary into Heaven.
Mermaid Singing by Charmian Clift is a fine example of 1950s travel writing about the Greek island of Kalymnos in the Dodecanese.
Travel information on Lipsi in the Dodecanese group of Greek islands, including flight and ferry information from Greece Travel Secrets.
Leros is a sizeable island in the Dodecanese with flights from Athens, ferries from Rhodes and Piraeus, good beaches, restaurants and hotels.
Kos in the Dodecanese islands of Greece has good beaches and night-life, and archaeological remains.
Travel information on Kastellorizo in the Dodecanese group of Greek islands, including flight and ferry information from Greece Travel Secrets.
Karpathos in the Dodecanese islands of Greece is noted for its traditions, its music, and mountain villages like Olympos.
Kalymnos in Greece in the Dodecanese islands is most famous for its history of sponge fishing, and see here information about flights and ferries.
Travel information on Halki in the Dodecanese group of Greek islands, including flight and ferry information from Greece Travel Secrets.
Astypalaia in the Dodecanese islands of Greece is a largely unspoilt island with good beaches.
Arki is a small island in the Dodecanese close to Lipsi, with beaches and tavernas with rooms to rent and ferry connections with Patmos, Samos and Marathi.
Agathonisi is a small island in the Dodecanese with quiet beaches, a few hotels, pensions and rooms to rent.
Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...
Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?
- Click on the HTML link code below.
- Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment,
your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.
In efforts to improve the passenger drop-off and pick-up experience and in view of the expected increase in international traveler arrivals, Athens International Airport (AIA) announced that it would…
Art lovers, active types and foodies are among the ‘travel tribes’ that select Thessaloniki, as their holiday destination, found a visitor profile study released this week by the Thessaloniki Hotels A…
The Greek Environment Ministry’s Central Council of Architecture (KESA) has decided to protect Athens’ Astor and Ideal cinemas designating the two historic landmarks as cultural monuments, said the Gr…
Thessaloniki’s highly anticipated metro, to serve almost 250,000 commuters a day once completed, is almost ready with the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis taking a test ride this week. Mitsota…
The nightlife and food are two of Thessaloniki’s strong points attracting more visitors to the northern port city, found a satisfaction study released this week by the Thessaloniki Hotels Association…
Passenger arrivals across all airports in Greece marked a sharp increase in the first four months of the year up by 7.4 percent compared to pre-Covid 2019 and by 38.4 percent over the same period in 2…
British holidaymakers flying on easyJet are picking Greece this year, according to a poll conducted by the budget carrier. More specifically, according to the survey carried out on 2,000 British adult…
Ride-hailing company Uber recently announced that it will launch a new seasonal private charter boat service on the Greek island of Mykonos. Available from mid-June to October, “Boat” will be an on-de…
The Greek island of Mykonos is the top most searched for international destination by US travelers seeking Airbnb accommodation in the first quarter of the year, according to the Airbnb 2023 Summer re…
Greece’s 14 regional airports exceeded pre-Covid 2019 levels last month handling a total of 1.6 million passengers, said managing company Fraport Greece. More specifically, according to Fraport data…