This nearly round island of only 41 square kilometers lies to the south of Kos and to the northwest of Tilos in the Dodecanese. Nissiros (also often spelled Nisiros, Nisyros, and Nissyros) is quite well known for its triple-crater volcano, still venting and hissing and spewing smelly sulfur. Certainly any visit to this island, whether for a short or long holiday, or on a daytrip from nearby Kos or Rhodes, must include a visit and descent to the crater floor.
The island’s coastline is only 28 kilometers long, and while its beaches are not its main feature, there are some really nice ones that require either a long walk or a short ride by motorbike. The port and capital of the island is called Mandraki, situated on the northwest coast of the island. The majority of the island’s year round population of 1,200 or so make this their home.
It’s a very pretty little town, with houses packed densely together and tiny alleyways leading here and there. Within the town are many tavernas and small bars. Above and overlooking the town is the beautiful monastery of Panagia Spiliani, dating to 1600, set within the Venetian fortress of the Knights of St. John (14th century). As one would certainly imagine, the views from the top are extraordinary.
Leaving the neighborhood of Langadaki and walking about 20 minutes (just follow the signs), you’ll arrive to Paleokastro, an interesting fortress dating to the 7th century, BC. Its walls date to the 4th century, BC. ...Continue