Nisyros Island Off-the-Beaten-Path

Nisyros Island Off-the-Beaten-Path

The active status as a calc-alkaline volcano of Nisyros (sometimes Nisiros) makes the island a fascinating destination for those vacationing on Kos. While most travelers head here to hike around the Stefanos crater, some choose to discover the island off-the-beaten-path. Here are some of the attractions you could see when you break the mold.

Panagia Thermiani

On a beach, just a stone’s throw from Pali, you will find Panagia Thermiani – a gem of a church whose name derives from the local thermal springs. The existence of thermal waters in the area still make Nisyros a noteworthy Loutropolis.

The temple you see today dates from 1871, but the site is linked to thermal spas from Roman times. You must count on your imagination to figure out why the church sprouts from the rock behind it. Inside, a fresco of Panagia Platytera – Our Lady of the Sign – rewards your journey with a touch of divinity.


Pali (sometimes Paloi) is a quaint village on Nisyros Island. They thrive on fishing and tourism here. The fishing side of the story is what you should be focusing on. Come to Pali for catch-of-the-day specials, a lazy day in the sun on the village’s fine-sand beach, or a photo opp with a fisher’s boat.


If you are not familiar with Nisyros, Avlaki will put you under a spell. Once a busy island harbor, present-day Avlaki only welcomes the occasional day trip boats. Nearby Nikia makes the trip to Avlaki worthwhile: take in the caldera views, explore the narrow alleyways connecting the whitewashed houses of the village, and enjoy a few moments of bliss in the hochlakia-paved main square.

Paralia Avlaki flaunts rugged natural beauty and deep water – ideal for experienced swimmers. Don’t expect any amenities or facilities at the beach here: nature rules the sands and waves with an iron fist. But this doesn’t make the place less appealing.

Nisyros Diving

For a small island, Nisyros has a lot to offer. Suppose you are an experienced, certified diver. In that case, there are several sites to explore here: the Barracuda Rock, the Volcanic Fault, St. Anthony’s Volcano Reef, the Well (for all divers, regardless of their skill level), the Monastery, and the Shrimp Cave. The experience will surpass your expectations.

Paralia Lyes

This scenic beach on Nisyros Island is secluded, romantic, and offers excellent opportunities for intrepid explorers. It has several coves, plenty of sunshine, and zero facilities: there are no showers, no shops, no rentals, no sports, and no lifeguards. A small taverna nearby serves fresh fish daily in the summer tourist season. Bring snacks and water just in case the taverna is too busy to cater to your needs.

Off-the-beaten-path, Nisyros has a lot more to offer. Birdwatchers will appreciate the Agios Ioannis Theologou – Lakki – Trapezina area where they can spot chukar partridges, Bonelli’s eagles, Eleonora’s falcons, Rüppell’s warblers, and Cretzschmar’s buntings, among several other species. Whatever your reasons to spend more than a day trip on this island, you will not leave without memories that will impress your peers.