Nisyros is an incredibly beautiful and picturesque destination. You will be enchanted by the beauty of the volcano and the natural charm of the island. It's worth visiting the traditional villages, which are located within close proximity to each other. You can stroll through their colorful alleyways and enjoy the unique aromatic notes emanating from the courtyards of the houses.
History of Nisyros
Nisyros has a long history. Evidence of Neolithic settlements dating back to the 5th millennium BCE has been discovered on the island. In particular, during the 4th millennium BCE and the 12th-13th centuries CE, the island experienced a period of prosperity. Towards the end of the 19th century, the population of Nisyros reached approximately 5,000 inhabitants.
The Roman period left behind baths and remnants of baths and cisterns, which still exist today outside of Paloi. During the early Byzantine period, a large number of churches were built, some of whose ruins are still preserved. From the 11th to the 15th century, the Venetians prevailed in Nisyros and constructed the eponymous castle in Mandraki. After the fall of Constantinople, Nisyros fell victim to pirate raids and the Turks. At the end of the 15th century, the island was completely abandoned and in 1522, it was subjugated to the Ottomans. The special regime imposed on the Dodecanese allowed Nisyros to develop significantly during this period. In 1912, it came under Italian occupation, and on March 7, 1948, it was incorporated into Greece, along with the rest of the Dodecanese.
Beaches in Nisyros
- Chochlaki is a beach in Mandraki, Nisyros, located right behind the rock of Panagia Spiliani. Following the coastal road, you will reach Agios Savvas, where you can enjoy swimming and then relax with a drink or a meal.
- Next to the fishing village of Paloi is the beach with the same name, which has sand and tamarisk trees. After Paloi, you'll find the beaches of Lyès, which have dark sand and pebbles.
- After Lyès, there is a path that leads to Pachia Ammos beach, considered the most beautiful beach on the island and in recent years used for free camping.
- In the southern and western part of the island, there are impressive lava formations that steeply descend into the sea, creating two small coves at Avlaki and Agia Irini.
- Additionally, there are fantastic beaches on the islet of Agios Antonios, next to Gyali, as well as on Gyali itself.
Sights in Nisyros
- The volcano of Nisyros is the youngest active volcano in Greece. Two massive eruptions, around 25,000 and 15,000 years ago, destroyed the central part of the volcano, causing it to collapse and form the current volcanic caldera. Since then, the volcano has remained quiet.
- The Monastery of Panagia Spiliani is located on a tall cliff in the Castle of Mandraki. According to myth, around 1400 BC, a farmer discovered a small icon of Panagia (the Virgin Mary), which he transferred to the temple of Panagia Potamitissa. However, after a few days, the icon disappeared and was later found in a cave at the top of a large rock. The locals returned the icon to the temple, but the incident repeated itself.
- The Paliokastro is the fortification of the ancient city of Nisyros and is one of the best-preserved fortifications in the Aegean region. The ancient city was built at least from the 8th century BC on top of the current settlement of Mandraki. The walls, as preserved today, date back to the 4th century BC.
- The Museum of Volcanoes is located in the village of Nikia and is the first and only volcanological museum in Greece to this day. The museum includes exhibition spaces with rocks from Nisyros as well as other volcanoes, and informative displays.
These are some of the attractions you can visit in Nisyros. The island also offers beautiful beaches, hiking trails, traditional villages, and rich gastronomy. It's worth exploring the island's abundant natural and cultural heritage.
Activities in Nisyros
- It's worth taking a tour around the island to enjoy the mesmerizing sea caves and secluded beaches. You can swim and appreciate their turquoise waters and stunning natural beauty.
- Additionally, you could participate in one of the island's festivals, where you'll have the opportunity to experience the folk culture through traditional costumes, dances, and songs. One notable event is the summer traditional wedding, a three-day celebration open to all visitors of Nisyros.
- Furthermore, you can explore the nearby islets such as Agios Antonios, Strongyli, Pacheia, Pernousa, and Kandelousa (Pharos). Each island has its own unique charm, and you can enjoy their beautiful beaches and picturesque landscapes.
- Lastly, you can hike the trail from the Monastery of Evangelistria to Prophet Elias, the highest point on the island (698 meters). This route takes about 60 minutes and is easy for the majority of it. Enjoy an incredible panoramic view of the Aegean as you walk along this beautiful path.
How to travel to / from Nisyros?
The only ferry company that operates routes from Piraeus to Nisyros is Blue Star Ferries, with intermediate ports of call including Agios Kirikos (Ikaria), Fournoi, Patmos, Lipsi, Kalymnos, and Kos. There are approximately two departures per week connecting Athens to the Dodecanese islands. The travel time is approximately 14 hours.
Below are some popular ferry routes to Nisyros:
- Ferry Routes Rhodes - Nisyros: During the summer season, there is a daily ferry route from Rhodes to Nisyros. The travel duration is 3-4 hours, and the cost of a regular ferry ticket is approximately €15.
- Ferry Routes Tilos - Nisyros: Daily ferry routes are available during the summer from Tilos to Nisyros. The travel time from Tilos to Nisyros is less than 1 hour. The cost of a regular ferry ticket ranges from €7.5 to €16.
- Ferry Routes Symi - Nisyros: Ferry routes operate from Symi to Nisyros every day. The frequency of routes may decrease during the winter season. The travel time from Symi to Nisyros is approximately 4 hours, and the cost of a regular ferry ticket is about €12
Nisyros is connected by ferry to the following ports:
- Ferry routes from Nisyros to Agios Kirikos
- Ferry routes from Nisyros to Astypalaia
- Ferry routes from Nisyros to Eudilos
- Ferry routes from Nisyros to Kalymnos
- Ferry routes from Nisyros to Kardamaina
- Ferry routes from Nisyros to Kastellorizo
- Ferry routes from Nisyros to Kos (All ports)
- Ferry routes from Nisyros to Lipsi
- Ferry routes from Nisyros to Naxos
- Ferry routes from Nisyros to Paros
- Ferry routes from Nisyros to Patmos
- Ferry routes from Nisyros to Piraeus
- Ferry routes from Nisyros to Rhodes
- Ferry routes from Nisyros to Symi (All ports)
- Ferry routes from Nisyros to Tinos
- Ferry routes from Nisyros to Fournoi
- Ferry routes from Nisyros to Chalki
Please click on the "BOOK NOW" button and use the booking form provided by booktickets to view the most recent prices and the exact schedules for each date, including all ships serving the route from Piraeus to Nisyros.