Famed for its walk-in crater, Nisyros is a volcanic island in the Dodecanese group that’s surrounded by the azure waters of the Aegean Sea. According to Greek mythology, it is said to have been created when Poseidon cut off part of Kos and threw it at one of the Giants to stop him from escaping.
Things to do in Nisyros
Spend a day exploring the charming streets of Mandraki, which is the capital and the largest settlement on the island. Admire the whitewashed Church of Panagia Spiliani and see artefacts from its monastery at Ecclesiastical Museum. Take time to browse the traditional costumes and fishing tools on display at the small Folklore Museum before soaking up the views of Mandraki from the 14th-century castle.
A highlight of visiting Nisyros is hiking to its dormant volcanic crater, which last erupted more than 100 years ago. You can wander between the small craters that dot the yellow and ochre-coloured Lakki Plain before stepping into the 300-metre-wide Stefanos Crater to see its steaming fumaroles.
On the outskirts of Mandraki are the ruins of Paleokastro, a Classical period acropolis that was built using basaltic andesite sourced from Nisyros’ volcanic landscape. Encircled by the remains of its protective walls, the site features several towers, gates and defensive structures that are believed to date from the 6th to 4th century BC.
Nisyros is connected by regular ferries to the Athens port of Piraeus and the island of Rhodes, with most services also stopping at Kos, Tilos and Symi. Buses traverse the island while rental cars and motorbikes are also available. The settlements of Mandraki and Nikea are both small enough to explore on foot.