SIGHTS | ACTIVITIES
In every corner of the island, you can discover incredible monuments and landscapes. Monasteries, small charming chapels, rural edifices, hot springs, an archaeological and a volcanologic museum and medieval castles are some of the significant sightseeing. Of notable interest is Palaiokastro (Acropolis, or ancient city) whose impressive stone walls of heavy black stone (basalt) are a 2,500 years old marvel of architecture and engineering.
The four beautiful villages of Mandraki, Nikia, Palloi, and Emporeios preserve their traditional architecture, making you feel like time has stopped there.
The main town and harbor of the island is Mandraki, with its white-washed houses spread out below the imposing rock on top of which the Monastery of the Panagia Spiliani is built, while the Castle, a memento from the passing of the Knights dominates the harbor from a height of 150m. A lovely village where most of the island's activities are concentrated. You can enjoy a nice dinner in its main square, Platia Ilikiomèni, or along the shore.
Nikia is a nice little village perched on the rim of the caldera. It has one of the prettiest little village squares in all of Greece and great vistas above the volcano and the sea. Don't miss the view from the small church that can be reached by taking the road on the right, a few hundred meters before reaching the village.
Palloi is a seashore picturesque village where you can always eat fresh fish next to the sea. It is also a port for boats and yaghts.
The island has beautiful beaches of black sand or pebbles and clear water ideal for nudism and snorkeling, the most famous being Hohlakoi and Pahia Ammos where crowds are never a problem.
The best way to explore the island is by walking its hiking trails, which criss-cross the island and take you to some of the most isolated spots. Walking around the picturesque paths you meet a unique landscape formed with astonishingly rich flora and fauna, stone berms ("tavles") and scattered rural edifices ("spiladia"). These exceptional combined works of man and nature are one-of-a-kind, not to be found anywhere but in Nisyros. You also meet free goats and cows wandering around which is another characteristic of the island. The routes cover the entire island, going through the lush volcanic landscape, offering a magical experience, while visiting the craters of the still active volcano is a must. The mild climate makes this kind of tourism suitable for all year round, although the best season is spring when the island is full of wildflowers.
Another particular feature of Nisyros is its abundant hot springs. At about 1,5km east of the port of Mandraki there are the Loutra spas with naturally heated mineral waters, which emanate from volcanic springs and are famous for healing rheumatism and arthritis.
Nisyros is ideal for alternative forms of tourism as well. Agriturism (farm tourism) is a developing vacation activity. You may visit some of the rural edifices of Nisyros, the famous "spiladia", cavernous structures with a flat roof resting upon stone arches. You can also see how koukouzina, a local distilled alcoholic beverage is produced, and participate in various agricultural activities.
Kos and Tilos are two neighboring islands which you can visit or combine it with your vacation in Nisyros. The surrounding islets have so much to offer that an excursion is an absolute must! Not to miss: a daily excursion to Gyali, where the beach, in the southern part of the islet has red, volcano rocks, whereas the other one, in the northern part, has white sand.
Local celebrations and festivals
Attraction pole constitute almost all festivals organized on the island mainly in August, which offer a one-of-a-kind paganistic experience