It is always a pleasure to discover a tourist destination in depth, underneath those popular historic monuments and natural attractions. Of course, beaches and landscapes are welcome and the ruins of ancient settlements or cultural points of interest are equally amazing. But there is something about knowing the daily life and rhythms of the locals. And what better way to do so than to delve in the charms of Nisyros villages and settlements!
First stop, Mandraki. This is the capital of the island and its main port. As the largest settlement in Nisyros, Mandraki attracts visitors from all over the place. There are souvenir stores, rooms to let and obviously lots of cafés and restaurants, taverns and bars here. And if you wish to combine your stay in Mandraki with some historic digging, Palaiokastro is an old fortress in short distance. Castle of Spiliani is another point of interest to consider, as well as the Monastery of Panagia Spiliani. In Mandraki, the heart of Nisyros beats fast.
Then, it is time for the mountainous village of Nikia. At an altitude of 400 meters above sea level, Nikia stands proudly on the verge of a dormant volcano. Its crescent shape makes the tiny village even more impressive, along with Porta Square that is entirely made of black pebbles. You may sip on iced cold beverages or strong coffee, enjoying the coolness and calmness of the square in an idyllic ambiance. Don’t forget that there is a Volcanology Museum in the area.
Emporio or Emporios ranks among the finest Nisyros villages and settlements. This is also mountainous and boasts an exquisite view to the sea and the volcano. What is amazing about Emporio village is its traditional architecture, with the whitewashed houses and flat rooftops. And finally, there is Avlaki village. Although today it is uninhabited, Avlaki was once a shelter for pirates. If you wish to swim in crystalline waters and feel utter relaxation all around you, then this is just the place for you!