Nestled in the Aegean Sea, Nisyros is a small yet captivating Greek island forming part of the Dodecanese Group.
Known for its picturesque landscapes, lovely beaches, and tranquil atmosphere, Nisyros charms visitors with its less touristy and more authentic Greek experience.
This remarkable destination is also home to Greece’s only active volcano apart from Thyra in Santorini, the Nisyros Volcano, which adds a thrilling dimension to any trip here.
Travelling to Nisyros is an exciting journey in itself as the island has no airport. You can choose to fly to the neighbouring islands of Kos or Rhodes and then catch a ferry to reach your ultimate retreat.
Ideal for visitation from mid-May to late September, the island offers warm seas, a wide array of facilities, and even better deals in September, making it the perfect time to enjoy a peaceful holiday.
Delight in exploring the island’s quaint villages, bask on its beautiful shores and immerse yourself in the unique volcanic terrain.
Nisyros offers a fantastic opportunity for a remote getaway, where you can experience the enchanting allure of Greece in an idyllic setting.
Getting to Nisyros
There isn’t an airport on Nisyros itself, but you can fly into nearby islands with international airports, such as Kos or Rhodes. Once there, you can take a ferry or catamaran transfer to Nisyros.
Ferries are the most common way to reach Nisyros. Regular ferries operate from the port of Piraeus in Athens to Nisyros. There are also other options available if you’re travelling from nearby islands. Here are a couple of options:
- From Kos: The Nisyros ferry schedule typically departs at around 9:30 in the morning and returns at 3:30 in the afternoon. This is convenient if you’re planning a day trip to Nisyros.
- From Rhodes: A catamaran service is available from Rhodes, which takes you to Nisyros via the island of Tilos. This offers a more scenic journey.
It’s important to note that ferry schedules may vary depending on the time of year and weather conditions. Therefore, it’s advisable to check the schedule ahead of time and plan your trip accordingly.
Best Time to Visit
The ideal time to visit Nisyros is from mid-May to late September, encompassing the Greek summer season. During this period, you can experience warm sea temperatures, sunny weather, and full availability of amenities. However, if you are seeking a balance between pleasant weather and good prices, September is the perfect month.
Nisyros has a mild climate with scarce rainfall all year round, which makes outdoor explorations enjoyable even during the colder months. The weather is generally warm and sunny, with temperatures ranging from an average of 12°C in January to 29°C in July.
Visiting Nisyros between March 12th and June 17th or between September 10th and December 16th is also recommended based on average temperature and humidity data from NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). During these periods, the weather conditions are optimal for sightseeing and exploring the island’s unique natural beauty.
Some points to consider while planning your trip:
- June and early September offer milder weather, making them excellent choices for travellers who prefer a less crowded and more leisurely atmosphere.
- The island experiences little rainfall throughout the year, providing ample opportunities for outdoor activities even in colder months.
- The peak tourist season is from June to early September when the weather is warmest and the island sees increased activity.
In summary, the best time to visit Nisyros will vary depending on your preferences and goals for your trip. However, the months from mid-May to late September are the most popular, offering the perfect combination of sunny weather, warm seas, and full availability of amenities.
Attractions and Activities
Volcano and Crater
Nisyros is home to an active volcano, which is one of the youngest in Greece. Visitors can explore the volcanic crater, located close to Nikia village. The impressive sight offers a unique experience of walking on the caldera, witnessing steam and hot spots.
The island of Nisyros is known for its picturesque villages, retaining their traditional architecture. Mandraki, the island’s capital, features charming narrow streets decorated with coloured pebbles. Another notable village is Nikia, situated near the volcano, offering beautiful views and traditional Greek charm.
Nisyros has several museums worth a visit, including:
- The Nisyros Folklore Museum: Located in Mandraki, showcasing local art, artefacts, and traditional costumes.
- The Nisyros Volcanological Museum: Found in Nikia, this museum provides informative displays about the island’s volcanic history and its geological significance.
Nisyros boasts various lovely beaches ideal for relaxation:
- Pachia Ammos: A secluded beach accessible by foot, known for its black pebble sand and clear waters.
- Lies: A sandy beach with shallow waters, perfect for families with children.
- Chochlaki: Situated near Mandraki, this beach features unique volcanic pebbles and beautiful views.
Remember to keep your visit respectful and preserve the island’s natural beauty for future visitors to enjoy.
Local Cuisine and Dining
Nisyros, a beautiful and unique volcanic island in the Aegean Sea, offers a variety of delicious and authentic local Greek dishes to satisfy your taste buds. In this section, we will explore some traditional dishes specific to Nisyros and recommend a few restaurants where you can savour the delightful flavours of this Greek island.
- Matsi: A traditional handmade pasta, typically served with a tomato-based sauce or a rich meat sauce.
- Kavourmas: Slow-cooked pork in its own fat, flavoured with spices and herbs. This dish is usually enjoyed with bread or potatoes.
- Feta in Filo Pastry: This appetising snack features feta cheese wrapped in thin layers of filo pastry, drizzled with honey, and then baked to golden perfection. A must-try when visiting Nisyros!
- Pitaroudia: Chickpea fritters mixed with various seasonings and fried until crispy. A popular choice among vegetarians and meat lovers alike.
- Geusea: Known for its excellent service and mouthwatering Greek cuisine, Geusea is the place to be for a pleasant dining experience. Don’t forget to try their speciality, matsi pasta with succulent pork.
- NisyrosLocal: A family-run restaurant offering traditional Nisyros dishes prepared with local ingredients. The authentic atmosphere and delicious food make NisyrosLocal impossible to resist.
- The Blue Aegean Eatery: Boasting an extensive menu featuring both Greek and international cuisine, The Blue Aegean offers visitors a taste of Nisyros with a modern twist. The feta in filo pastry is a definite crowd-pleaser.
- Sunset Taverna: Welcoming guests with a stunning view, Sunset Taverna is renowned for its fresh seafood dishes and quality Greek cuisine. The perfect spot for a romantic dinner while enjoying a mesmerising Nisyros sunset.
Nisyros is a small island, and public transportation options are limited. However, there are local buses connecting the main villages and sometimes reaching the beaches. Another popular option for getting around the island is renting a car, motorcycle, or bicycle to explore at your own pace. Keep in mind that during the peak season (mid-May to September), public transportation and rental options can be busy, so consider making reservations in advance.
Safety and Health
Nisyros is a relatively safe destination for travellers, with a low crime rate and friendly locals. However, it’s essential to take standard precautions, such as keeping an eye on your belongings and exercising caution when swimming at the beaches – particularly if there are strong winds or currents.
Health-wise, there are no specific vaccinations required for visiting Nisyros. The island has a small medical centre and a pharmacy for basic healthcare needs. For more severe medical emergencies, visitors might need to travel to a neighbouring island or the mainland. It’s highly recommended to have travel insurance that covers medical expenses while visiting Nisyros.
Please remember that Nisyros is a volcanic island; therefore, when visiting the volcano, wear appropriate footwear and follow the designated paths. Avoid getting too close to the volcanic vents or cracks for your safety.
Eleni Vasiliadis, a native of the picturesque island of Corfu and co-founder of Greek Island, is a seasoned traveller, accomplished writer, and passionate advocate for Greek culture and cuisine.