Nisyros is a small volcanic island, a mere 41 square kilometres in area, situated between Kos and Tilos. The volcanic landscape that resembles the moon, is combined with lush vegetation, curiously though, as the island is waterless. The scientific explanation is that the soil holds moisture, being rich in minerals.
Mythology holds that once it was united with Kos and that when Poseidon was chasing the giant Polyvotis, he split the two islands asunder. The capital and port of Nisyros is Mandraki, set in the northwest at the foot of a steep hill. The bright colours of its houses form a striking contrast to the dark, volcanic earth.
Yet another castle erected by the Knights of St. John, looms above the small town, while a chapel nearby dedicated to Panagia Spiliani (Our Lady of the Cave), the patroness of the island, clings to the tip of the rock. The island's hot springs, fabled since antiquity and still in use today, are to be found at Loutra. East of Loutra is the picturesque fishing village of Pali.
Nisyros is blessed with many lovely beaches: Mandraki, Hochlaki (a beach with black stones), Agia Irini, Aviaki and on Giali, the islet directly opposite.