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The island of Nisyros or Nissyros in Greece
Nisyros is a 41 km2 large island in the Greek Dodecanese group and is situated between the islands of Kos and Tilos, north of the island of Rhodes. The island has around 1100 inhabitants. Nisyros is surrounded by a couple of smaller islands of which Gyali or Yali in the north is the largest. Nisyros is a special island. Some people that fly to Rhodes fly over the island of Nisyros on their way and it is very clear to see that this is actually a huge volcano. Nisyros is part of a vulcanic chain in the South Aegean - Kos - Yali and Nisyros. The highest top of Nisyros the 698 meter high Profitis Ilias.
The island is more or less circular in shape with a diameter of 8 km. The plain / caldera with seven vulcano craters in it is surrounded by hills and mountains. It is situated in the middle of the island and is about 3 to 4 km wide. On no other Greek islands it is so clear that it is a volcano (well, perhaps except Santorini). The fact that it is a volcano also is the largest tourist attraction of the island of Nisyros. The start of the crater of the vulcano began some 150.000 years ago and the last eruption was in the year 1888 when it spit out only steam.
Because the island is volcanic just like Santorini you will therefore mainly find black sand on the beaches of Nisyros. The island is one with two faces: the volcanic soil is very fertile so the hills and the plains are full of vegetation and the island is very green. There are almond trees, grapes, figs, and in the spring many flowers grow on the island. However if you climb the hill you will end up in what looks like a lunar landscape, because the caldera of Nisyros island is dry and not much grows here. The soil in the caldera is predominantly yellow in color and you can smell the sulfur in the air. According to the myth, the island originated in the time that the Olympic gods came to Greece and had to fight against giants for control over the earth. Poseidon threw a large piece of the island of Kos on on top of the giant Porphyris, and so he was buried alive. Every time the volcano was rumbling it was seen as an attempt by the giant to free himself.
The island of Nisyros has no airport (only a helicopter platform) and for tourists it is only accessible by boat. Ferries depart from Piraeus to Nisyros and there are also connections with Rhodes and Kos. From Kos there are also many organized day trips by excursion boats, so the relative calm that prevails on the island is sometimes temporarily disturbed.
There is only one village of some substance on Nisyros and this is the main town of the island, called Mandraki, where the ferries and the excursion boats from Kos arrive. Although it may get more crowded after the excursion boats moor, the town still has retained much of its authentic charm and in comparison to Rhodes or Kos it is an oases of peace and quiet. The pretty village of Mandraki lies on the west side of the island. Furthermore there are a few small villages of which Emborio and Nikia are situated on the crater edge. Mandraki is a charming and picturesque village with whitewashed houses and narrow streets. On top of a hill in Mandraki stands a small Venetian fortress. There is a nice boulevard with terraces and behind is a maze of narrow streets and small squares. On the boulevard you can find the travel agencies that sell trips to the vulcano crater. Buses depart from the village to the crater and to the villages on the crater edge. From these villages you have a beautiful view of the crater.
The beaches and naturist beaches of the island of Nisyros in Greece
Most of the beaches on the island of Nisyros consist of black or red sand or pebbles, much like on the vulcanic island of Santorini. The best beach, with mostly white sand and some pebbles is situated in the north of the island near Pali, at 4 km distance of the capital Mandraki. It is called White Beach (for obvious reasons). There are trees for shade and the water is shallow, so it is easy to get into the sea. There are not many facilities at White Beach so it is wise to bring your own water.
Another attractive beach is Lies Beach which is situated in the east of Nisyros. It consists of small grey pebbles and some sand. The beach is around 1,5 km long divided over a long "sandy beach" and several coves. Unlike on White Beach there are no trees for shade on Lies Beach. At the end of the beach there is a small tavern, but just to be sure it is always safe to also bring your own water when you wnat to visit this beach.
Katsouni Beach lies in the northeast of Nisyros in between the beaches of Pali (White Beach) and Lies. It lies 2 km east of Pali and this is the largest beach of the island. It consists of sand and pebbles and there are trees along the beach where you can find some shade. At Katsouni Beach there is also an interesting cave.
South of the beach of Lies you find the beach Pachia Ammos which reportedly is also place for naturists. Where the road ends, near a restaurant, you follow the path a bit up the hill and then down to the beach. Pachia Ammos Beach is the only beach on Nisyros that can not be reached by car. During the summer months there tend to be quite a number of "wild campers" on the beach.
In Avlaki, which is situated at the end of a path in the south of the island, is a small pebble beach. You can also find hot springs here. Avlaki was once the harbor of the village of Nikia which lies 450 meters higher above Avlaki, but the place is now uninhabited. Along the way you will pass ruins of ancient churches and you will see the monastery of Ag. Panteleimonas. The sea at Avlaki is shallow and it is not too difficult to go into the water.
On the west side of Mandraki below the cliffs you find Koklaki Beach. This pebble beach (with large pebbles) can be reached over a (not so easy) path. The walk down takes about 10 minutes.
Sights on the island of Nisyros in Greece
• The vulcano of Nisyros is the most important attraction of the island.
• The main town of the island of Nisyros is very picturesque. There are beautiful white washed houses and there are two castles: a Venetian fortress on the hill in the village and an old fort called Kastro. The latter fortress is situated at 1 kilometer distance inland and has walls of so called cylopean stones (very large) and an entrance that is made of blocks of lava rock. This is the site of the ancient Acropolis. Inside the walls there is not much more to see. You can reach the fort by taking the road that heads south from Mandraki.
The Venetian fortress that was built by the Knights of St. John after they conquered the island 1315, stands on a hill west of Mandraki. Next to the Venetian fortress is the Spiliani Panagia monastery that was built in 1600 around a cave. There are other monasteries on the island of Nisyros to be found, but the largest one is the monastery Panagia Spiliani.
• Sometimes there are boat trips from Nisyros to the nearly island Giali / Yali, a small island with two hills and a beautiful beach, and sometimes there are boat trips to the beach on the tiny islet of San Antonio.
• In the village of Loutra in the north of the island, not far from Mandraki there are hot springs which supposedly have a healing power against diseases such as arthritis and rheumatism. These hot springs originate directly from the vulcano. Other hot springs can be found in Avlaki, situated in the south of the island.
Bike and car rental on the island of Nisyros in Greece - Eagle's Nest
Friendly customer service is key. We offer every customer a guide that will help them see the island as a fellow local. The one thing we consistently hear from our customers is that our guide was essential in making their visit to Nisyros a memorable one. Our customers found the guide to be so helpful, they have assisted us in translating it into over 20 languages. As well as car and bike rentals, customers are welcome to use our office computers, fast free WiFi, make free calls to the United States and Canada and take advantage of our free book exchange. Additionally, each customer is provided with a free full length CD which contains traditional Nisyrian folk music.
Tel: +30 22420 31364 / +30 22420 31394 / Mobile: +30 69327 32906 / +30 69454 65694
Hotels on the island of Nisyros - Porfyris Hotel
Located 200 metres from Mandraki Beach, in Nisyros town, Porfyris Hotel offers a swimming pool and breakfast. Its air-conditioned rooms have a furnished balcony overlooking Mount Diavatis and the Aegean Sea. All rooms include a fridge and TV. Each unit at Hotel Porfyris is equipped with a private bathroom with shower and amenities. Breakfast with local products is served daily in the dining area. On the ground floor there is a TV lounge and a bar that serves drinks and coffee. The swimming pool area has free sun loungers where guests can relax. The scenic central square is within a 5-minute walk and has taverns and traditional coffee shops. The famous volcano of Nisyros is at 9 km.
Check availabilities and prices & book the Porfyris Hotel on Nisyros - click here
Hotels on the island Nisyros - Pali Hotel
Pali Hotel is located 10 meters from the beach of Pali (a 30 second walk from the hotel!). All rooms have full bathroom, air-conditioner, flat screen TV, refrigerator & stove-top!
Pali is a small, beautiful town, which is a short 5-7 minute drive to Mandraki, the capital of Nisyros - where the port and nightclubs are located. Pali is also closest to Pahia Ammo - a beach rated one of the best of the Dodecanese Islands...a nude beach! Everything you need on your trip to Nisyros can be found in Pali...and everything is within walking distance! Pali Hotel is conveniently located by the beach, close to everything, but far enough so that the only sound you hear...are the ocean waves!
There are several great oceanfront restaurants in Pali (all a 5 minute walk from the hotel) with excellent homemade authentic greek food. They offer the best freshly caught seafood in Nisyros!
Tel: +30 697 248 8293 - Send an e-mail to the Pali Hotel on Nisyros.
Hotels on the island Nisyros - Mammis Apartments in Pali
The complex of twelve comfortable apartments has a unique location at the edge of the former fishing village of Pali with a beautiful view over the lovely garden, the village of Pali and the Aegean sea. The apartments are available for rent during the whole year.
Each apartment consists of a bedroom, a combined kitchen / living room, which can also be used as an extra bedroom, a bathroom and a large terrace with a beautiful view. All apartments are equiped with airconditioning.
Every apartment is built in such a way that the guests have their own entrance, terrace and a lot of privacy. The walking distance to the nearest beach and centre of the village is only a few minutes.
Tel: +30 2242 031453 - Send an e-mail to Mammis Apartments on Nisyros.
Hotels on the island Nisyros - Nisyros Romantzo Hotel
Hotel Romantzo is a small family run operation owned by Nikos and his wife Kalliopi Mouras. Therefore, the family atmosphere and our experience guarantee that your holidays will be enjoyable and relaxing.
Our family will stand always next to you in anything you may need. Romantzo has a variety of accommodation to choose from: Hotel, Rooms, Studios and two independent houses. Friends or families, young or old couples and lonely travellers, can find the right type room to suit their needs best.
The hotel is situated close to the port of the beautiful town of Mandraki the main town of Nisyros Island. Here you have the opportunity to enjoy a very quite and comfortable accommodation a few steps from anything you would desire, less than 150 meters from the nearest sandy beach and its many restaurants and tavernas.
Tel: +30 2242031340 - Send an e-mail to the Nisyros Romantzo Hotel on Nisyros.