2023 04 19 11.11.12

The vulcanic island of Nisyros

We sailed further on to the next island, Nisyros. We haven`t been there before and had a plan to stay a day or two. We had a beautiful sail and we could stay on the deck, sunbathing.

Its shape is approximately round, with a diameter of about 8 km and an area of 41.6 km2  Several other islets are found in the direct vicinity of Nisyros, the largest of which is Gyali with a population of 22 citizens. The Municipality of Nisyros includes Gyalí, as well as uninhabited Pacheiá, Pergoússa, Kandelioussa, Ágios Antónios and Stroggýli. It has a total land area of 50.055 km2  and a total population of 1,008 inhabitants.

We moored in the marina in Pali on the east side of the main town Mandraki. Astor checked out the car rental in the marina. Popi on the car rental said they were celebrating at Monastery of Evangelistria the next day. Astor couldn`t tell more what this was about, but the monastery lies in the beginning of the trail to Profiti Ilias, the highest mountain on the island, and we would go there, so we mixed theese two things the next day.

Hiking to Profiti Ilias

We drove up to the monastery and there were a lot of people. Someone was dancing and someone was playing music. But… they also used this firecrackers, and they just throw them inside the group of people. Once I was just a couple of meters away… that ruined the whole situation for us, and we did the hike instead.

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If it wasn`t for the fire crackers we sould love to stay here for a while…

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The trail was easy to find, as always we used alltrails.com.

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The path was easy to see all the way.

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A little bit of shadows in the beginning.

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And a lot of flowers.

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We could see the ocean from the path

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The beginning was not very steep and the trail was easy to follow.

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People here in the Med has been carrying stones since the stone age… They build terrasses everywhere, maybe we on the westcoast of Norway have something to learn here?

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A small break. Can you see the church behind me? I thought that was the summit… You know when you reach the summit, and there is a next one…


Outside the first church, Church Panagia Diavatiani.

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I was not in a good mood this day, because I forgot to charge my phone before we left the boat… So I couldn`t film anything and I was also afraid to use it on photos. But when we reach the summit I still had some battery left to take a few photos on the way down.

When we came to the summit we had to go further on a bit until we saw down to the vulcano. What a view up here! I was tired in the steepest hill, but it was really worth the hike!

The trail is 5 km t/r, elevation gain was totally 458 meters, and we used 3 hours totally.

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The summit is the highest one on the island, so we had a 360 degrees of view. In the background we can see the island Tilos.

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A little bit curious what this is…

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Outside the church of Profiti Ilias.

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The Church of Profiti Ilias on the summit. What a spectacular view from here! We saw the fog was coming saw we didn`t had a long stop here. But luckily the fog disappeared.

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In the backyard of the second church. There must have been a beautiful garden once.

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There were two buildings there. Popi at the car rental told us she was here with her class mates when she was a kid, staying over for a night.

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On the way down again. Inn the background we can see Kos.

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It was green and lush at this time of the year. Beautiful trail!

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An easy walk down

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Yes, I am on my way back to the car, just turned around for the photographer!

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Amazing colours. This hike was amazing. If you ever go to Nisyros I will really recommend you to try!

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Here is a video from this beautiful hiking!

The harbour in Pali. A cosy small village. The car rental is at the end of the marina, with yellow sign. I will recommend you to visit Popi at Manos Car Rental, she will tell you everything you want to know about the island, and more…

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It is possible to moor on the both side of the marina, a little bit more shallow on the south side.

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We rented the car for an extra day and explored the island. Up in the hill we have a nice view down to Pali harbour.

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Our first stop was the village Emporios.

Some decades ago, this village had more than 3.000 residents and took its name from trading (emporio in greek). It used to have 8 cafes, 5 markets, several shoe-repairers, hairdressers and many shops. Who ever wanted to buy or sell something would go to Emporio village.

During the big earthquake of 1880 most of the village and the island was destroyed. People started to leave the village and Nisyros in general and those who stayed behind moved to Pallos village. After a while started the big emigrations to Germany and other countries and the village was left with a small number of people.

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Emporios is a really interesting place to visit, specially at this time of the year with no tourists. On the front of the village you have an amazing view to the caldera.

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Not a stair for me…

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Old abandoned buildings everywhere.

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The mountain we hiked to yesterday.

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In my hometown, Florø, you will find a sign on many of the houses in the city center, telling you about whom build the house, what family was living there, or what kind of trading there were. I should wish it was like this here, it could be even more interesting to walk around.

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Narrow and overgrown streets

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And a lot of stairs of course

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I think this would have been a beautiful place before the earthquake!

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A cat is waiting for some food.

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A love this flowers!

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Curious what is behind the door? Yep, me too!

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Many places it is overgrown.

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Narrow streets.

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More old doors

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In this square it is a couple of restaurants in the high season.

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The next day they had a huge celebration on Nisyros and the restaurants on the right side were open. We went there together with friends, read about that in my next post!

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Watch your head!

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Maybe an old kitchen?

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And again; the view is spectacular! On the hill on the left side of the valley you can see Nikia were we had our next stop.

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Nikia is build on the edge of the caldera and lies on an altitude of 390 meters. 27 people lives there. Because of the panoramic view to the caldera this is a big tourist attraction on nisyros.

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And when we see a church on a top we want to go there. There is stairs from the village. Pritty steep, but worth it!

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What an amazing view from the church, Prophet Elias Church!

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And with the village and the caldera in the same photo, it is stunning!

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Prophet Elias Church, on the top of Nikia!

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Not that many old buildings here, like it was in Emporios. Here the most of the building is renovated and in use.

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Its main square, “Porta” as the locals call it, is one of the most impressive squares in the Aegean and one of the most photographed spots in Nisyros.

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After Nikia we drove down to the ocean, to visit Avlaki. In old days it was hot springs here and Astor tried to have a swim but it was too cold.

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Avlaki is locаted оn thе sοuth side of Nisyros islаnd. It is the old harbоr οf Nikia and is currentlу usеd fоr swimming οnly. Until 1950s, the harbor wаs thе entry pоint tο Nikia. Ships stopped nеarby аnd rоwing bοats transported gоοds to the stоrеhοuses on the sеаfrоnt. Donkeys carriеd the lоаds via кalderimi wау up tο thе village. Now the pathwаy is partiallу оvеrgrοwn аnd the harbor buildings are аbandоnеd. The piеr is usable but suitаble only fоr vеrу small bοats.

Therе are springs with hot wаter hеated by the vоlcanο undеrneаth. In the past thеre wаs spa with basins with wаrm water. The sеa is shаllow and the seabеd is cоvered with blасk, rеd and οcher stones. Avlaki is а great placе for relаxatiоn, sunbathing аnd swimming.
Acсess on fоοt takеs аround 30 minutes via steеp pathwаy which is paved with stоne. Acсess via cаr or АTV is pоssiblе via dirt rοad thаt starts before thе entrance оf Nikiа.

Source: https://www.feelgreece.com/en/avlaki-beach-nisyros © FeelGreece.com

NB: there is now concrete roads down to Avlaki.

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We have been there, but it is not much to see. It`s a small curvy road and I would really don`t go there in the high season.

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You can park outside the church, but it is not many places. It is best if you have a scooter.

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We made waffels the day before and had some leftovers for lunch on the harbour. With the last bite of the Norwegian brown cheese.

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On the road back to Nikia

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The vulcano

Now it was time to visit the vulcano, the main attraction on the island.

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The view from the vulcano to the mountain we hiked to the day before.

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The last eruption of Nisyros were phreatic explosions in 1881-87. They left a moonscape with colorful craters and very active fumaroles. It is possible to walk down and you can hear it bubbling in the subsurface.

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Astor walked a bit further on

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We wanted to drive the other way back to the north side, but had to ask the guy in the cafe if it was possible to drive there, because it didn`t seems like that. But he said yes, just be careful in the beginning! And along the crater you have an amazing view!

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We had a stop at the castle at the top of the hill behind the main town Mandraki. A nice view of Mandraki from there. It was not much to see at the castle so we didn`t take much photos there.

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This flower looks almost fake…

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The main town Mandraki

After a break in the boat we took the car into Mandraki to have a look and maybe dinner. Drive to the harbour, and a little bit further on and you will find parking.

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Nice signs!

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Virgin Panagia Spiliani Monastery from the 14th century. Aсtuаlly, it is insidе thе ruins оf thе Cаstlе οf thе Knights, а fоrtrеss built bу thе Кnights οf St. Jоhn. In thе mоnаstеry уοu саn sее uniquе саvе сhurсh, with thе iсоn οf Virgin Mаry whiсh is bеliеvеd tо bе mirасulοus аnd pаtrоn οf thе islаnd. Thе lеgеnd sаys thаt in 1400 а fаrmеr оf Nisyros found the icon near the hot springs of Pali. He took it to the church but on the next day the icon was missing. Surprisingly, locals found it in the cave above Mandraki. They returned it to the church, but the next morning the icon was missing againn, to be found in the cave later. Then the locals decided to build a church in the cave to devote it to Virgin Mary. The monastery was built around the church, keeping the cave intact.
https://www.feelgreece.com/en/panagia-spiliani-monastery © FeelGreece.com

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Small narrow streets, not for cars!

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Look at this amazing pebble floor!

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On our way to the monastery.

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Unfortunately the monastery was closed so with didn`t get inside.

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We had a glas of wine waiting for the sunset. But after a while we decided to go back to Pali and have dinner there instead. It is still a bit cold after sunset so it was nice to have more clothes and short way back to the boat.

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Because we had a plan to deliver the car the next day (a plan is to be changed…) we drove to the eastern part of the island, along the sea. We drove to the end of the road and back.

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Here is a video from this beautiful island:

You can also check out the blog to our friends Frits and Liza:

We said a day or two… Well… at this point we are waiting for a buddyboat we had in september, so I guess it will be some extra days here! Check us out next time!

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