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AEGEAN ISLANDS

The volcanic (Dodecanese) island of Nisyros

Located in the heart of the Aegean Sea between Kos and Tilos and a part of the Dodecanese complex, the island of Nisyros is enchanting visitors wherever they find themselves. A quiet place with a strong colorful character, the dark brown of its volcanic earth, the whitewashed streets and the pebble-mosaic squares.

 

The island of Nisyros is one big volcano with a large central caldera. The island was built up above sea level about 66,000 years ago and may have risen as high as 1000 meters 24,000 years ago. There are five craters in the caldera of Greece's only active volcano.

 

The last eruption was in 1888 when tuff cones were formed at the base and an explosion created the Stefanos crater, the largest one, where you can examine the multicolored fumaroles, listen to their hissing and smell their fumes. The surface is soft and hot, making sturdy footwear essential.Nisyrosalso has therapeutic springs with good curative properties.

 

There are no large towns on Nisyros but rather a collection of villages by the coast and on the crest of the caldera joined by the one road. The main town of Nisyros is Mandraki which in Greek means harbour or by extension, the harbour town. It is impressively picturesque with lovely traditional houses on the waterside,balconies and gardens filled with flowers and creeper plants. A pleasant and photogenic town with some nice shops and taverns. Emboreios is the type of special place which makes traveling in Greece so different. Wandering through this largely deserted village and its series of white and blue houses, some of them collapsed, it is possible to imagine the harsh and thrifty lives of the people who were once here.


Because the island is volcanic you will mainly find black sand on the beaches of Nisyros. The island is one with two faces: the volcanic soil is very fertile so the hills and the plains are full of vegetation and the island is very green. There are almond trees, grapes, figs, and in the spring many flowers grow on the island. However if you climb the hill you will end up in what looks like a lunar landscape, because the caldera of Nisyros island is dry and not much grows here. The soil in the caldera is yellow in color and you can smell the brimstone in the air.

 

Take a trip to Nisyros to visit the other-worldly landscape of the volcano, have lunch in Emborios and Visit the Volcanological Museum in Nikea. The outline sounds like the beginning of a magical story.

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