The wildly beautiful Nisyros is part of the Dodecanese group of islands in the southern Aegean Sea. Even though Nisyros is a small island, it is an exceptional destination due to its active volcano and geomorphological features. It is one of Greece’s youngest large volcanic centers, and volcanic rock makes Nisyros mountainous and fertile.

Nisyros Island
Nisyros. Photo by jarekgrafik on Pixabay.


Due to the island’s Mediterranean climate, the summers are hot and dry, and the temperature is mild in the winter. The average annual temperature is 21° C, with about 297 mm of rain in a year. It is dry 243 days a year with an average humidity of 64%.

Places to see

  • Mandraki is the capital and the harbor and has lovely whitewashed houses with flat rooftops. The town has many shops and cafes, and other villages worth visiting are Nikia Village, Emporios, and Pali.
  • The Volcanological Museum in the small village of Nikia, right above the impressive volcano of Nisyros. Through photos, maps, and drafts, learn about the volcanoes in the Greek territory and other volcanoes worldwide.
  • The Castle of Spiliani is an imposing fortress built by the Knights. You’ll have fabulous views of the sea from the castle.
  • The castle of the Knights of St. John is worth seeing. Inside the castle is the Monastery of Panagia Spiliani, dedicated to Kimisi of Theotokou, the patron saint of Nisyros.
  • The Monastery of Agios Ioannis Theologos in the village of Nikia.
  • The Monastery of Panagia Kyra in Emporios. The view from the monastery is incomparable; you can see the entire island and especially the remains of the Venetian fortress.
  • The Paleokastro is an acropolis from the classical period. It has remained in good condition, most likely due to its high-quality construction. You can still see parts of the fortified walls and the ancient city that dates back to the 4th century BC.

Things to do

  • Go to the beach. Visit Pali Beach, Lies Beach, and Katsouni Beach.
  • See a volcano up close. Walk into one of several craters and watch the boiling holes. Although the volcano is considered dormant, use caution when visiting.
  • Soak in thermal spas. Three therapeutic springs scattered across the island range from 30°C to 60°C. The water in these thermal springs not only soothes and rejuvenates but is known to relieve rheumatism, arthritis, sciatica, and other ailments.
  • Swim. For swimming, try Lefki beach or Gialiskari, Lyés, Páloi, Pachia Ammos, Katsouni, Aghios Savas, and Aghia Irini. Chochlákia beach is suitable for swimming as well as for windsurfing and snorkeling.
  • Shop. In Mandraki, you’ll find hand-made ceramics, textile products, local wines, and sweets.
  • Hike. Since many old paths remain from previous centuries, you will find a scenic and relaxing route.
  • Scuba dive. For classes and organized dives, visit Volcano Bubbles Dive Shop.


Nisyros offers traditional local recipes, such as a pie made from chickpeas called Pythia, kapamas (goat stuffed with rice), local cheeses, kopanisti, and sakouliasti (local cheese cooked in red wine) with a piece of rusk. In several taverns in Mandraki, savor a refreshing almond-based non-alcoholic drink called soumada, a cinnamon-based soft drink called kanelada, or an alcoholic drink called koukouzina.

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