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You are in:  Top  →  Europe  →  GREECE  →  Dodecanese  →  NISSIROS

NISSIROS

Approaching Nisyros you are impressed by perfectly white houses, dense greenery, and the colours of the dark volcanic soil.
Nisyros

Nisyros, was known in antiquity as Porphyris. Mythology holds that once it was united with Kos and that when Poseidon was chasing the giant Polyvotis, he split the two islands asunder.

The capital of Nisyros is built at the foot of a steep hill which used to be fortified in the Middle Ages. To the northwest of the capital, clinging to the tip af a tall rock, lies the monastery of the Madona of the Caves (Panagia Spiliani), the patroness of the island. Built in 1600, it is linked with many traditions and has a lovely 18th century iconostasis. Every year a huge feast takes place here, with lots of food and drink. Yet another castle erected by the Knights of St. John looms above the small town.

Approximately 800 metres southwest from Mandraki we shall meet the ancient Acropolis with its remnants of Pelasgic walls.

In the town-hall and the primary school there is an archaelogical collection with sculptures, ceramics, Hellenistic and Roman inscriptions and 18th/19th -century icons. It is interesting to visit Emporio, to the northeast of the island's capital; here lies the monastery of Panagia Kyra offering a panoramic view towards Nikia with their monastery of St John.

To the northeast of Mandraki lies Pali, a fishing village with an excellent beach for swimming. Another village, Emborios, lies to the southeast of Mandrake in the interior of the island, in a lush area with mineral springs and planted with olive trees, fruit trees, fig trees and grapevines.

The island's hot springs, fabled since antiquity and still in use today, are to be found at Loutra just 1,5 kilometres from Mandraki.

You have to go almost to the middle of Nisyros to the Lakki plateau, to see the crater of the extinct volcano, Polybates. It is 260 metres in diameter and 30 metres deep with steps leading down to its centre. The reek of sulphur fills the surrounding air, while the scenery could belong to the moon.

In the south of the island, the charming village of Nikia perches on the crest of a hill 400 metres above sea level. Its white houses with their brightly coloured doors and windows and tile roofs are an attractive complement to the greenery that abounds in the district. Nisyros is blessed with many lovely beaches: at Mandraki, Hochlaki, Agia Irini, Avlaki and on Giali, the islet directly opposite.

Because of its volcanic soil, Nisyros is very fertile. Its inhabitants take great care to preserve their traditions. One of them is their mariage festivities.

The matrimonial dande "Perioli" is known to all.



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