Area of island: 41 sq. km/16 sq. miChief place: MandrákiThe island of Nísyros, lying half way between Kos and Tílos, 18 km/11 mi southwest of the Resadiye (Knidos) peninsula in Asia Minor, is formed by an extinct volcano, Mt Diabates, which was still occasionally active in the Middle Ages and erupted in 1522, but now manifests itself only in the form of solfataras (sulfureous vapors). It is a green and well watered island, with fertile pumice soil which is cultivated on laboriously constructed terraces on seaward-facing slopes. Pumice is exported.A biological research station is in course of being established.Nísyros was originally settled by Dorians from Kos and Kameiros. In 1312 it was occupied by the Knights of St John, and later became a fief of the Assanti family. It was taken by the Turks in 1533.Regular weekly service from and to Athens (Piraeus) and Rhodes. Local connections in Dodecanese: Rhodes- Symi - Tílos - Nísyros - Kos - Kálymnos - Léros - Lipsí - Pátmos - Arkí - Agathonísi - Sámos.
The capital and principal port of the island of Nisyros is Mandráki (thermal springs). It lies on the north coast. Above the little town, to the west, is the castle of the Knights of St John, now a monastery. Within the precincts of the castle is the Late Byzantine cave church of the Panayía Spilianí. To the south is the Palaiokástro, with impressive and well- preserved remains of walls and flights of steps belonging to the Hellenistic city (fourth-third century B.C.).The whiteness of the town houses forms a striking contrast to the dark, volcanic earth. The Panayia tis Spilianis (Our Lady of the Cave Church) was built in 1600. It is linked with many traditions and has a lovely 18th century iconostasis.In the town hall and the primary school there is an archeological collection with sculptures, ceramics, Hellenistic and Roman inscriptions and 18th / 19th century icons.
3 km/2 mi east of Mandráki is the little port of Páli or Thérma, with hot sulfurous springs (remains of ancient baths). From here it is an hour's climb to the hilltop village of Emporió.
From Páli, it's an hour's climb to the hilltop village of Emporió, with a medieval castle (fine views), and a further hour's walk along the rim of a volcanic crater (alt. 410-570m/1,345-1,870ft; diameter 2,700-3,800m/2,950-4,150) to Nikiá.At Emporio is also a monastery.
Emporios - Caldera
In the caldera of the volcano at Emporió is the little plain of Lakkí (alt. 139m/456ft), the northern part of which is cultivated, while the southern half is covered with bubbling hot springs and mud pools, brightly colored concretions and steaming fumaroles. On the west side is a small crater which is the highest point on the island (698m/2,290ft).
An hour's walk south of the crater at Emporió is the beautifully situated village of Nikiá, with a medieval castle. Other medieval castles are Sto Stavró, in the south of the island, and Parkettiá, in the southeast.