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The whole island of Nisyros is a volcano and in fact constitutes one of the youngest active volcanoes in Greece. It stretches at the south Aegean Sea between Kos (Longitude: 27° 07΄07΄΄, latitude: 36° 49΄17΄΄), Tilos (Longitude: 27° 22΄25΄΄, latitude: 36° 25΄32΄΄) and Astypalea (Longitude: 26° 22΄55΄΄, latitude: 36° 34΄48΄΄) opposite the Turkish coasts and specifically Cape Natsa. It covers an area of 41km² with a coastline 24km long. Nisyros along with Methana, Milos and Santorini constitute the active volcanic arch of South Aegean.

The volcano had started being formed 160.000 years before and took its final form 20.000 years before when the last volcanic eruptions took place. Each stone in Nisyros is a result of lava explosion from the Aegean’s core.

The island is a pole of attraction for many visitors and the craters Stephanos and Polyvotis are at the centre of attention!

Its thriving characteristics are the smokes that come out from the earth’s cracks and the yellow color from the sulfur resources. The volcano’s power is priceless and incalculable.


According to mythology the volcano is connected with the Giants War where the mortal Giants turned against the Olympian Gods. Gods pursued the Giants and Poseidon took under killing the Giant Polyvotis. When the God reached the Giant near Kos, he shook with his trident the land, cut a piece and launched it against Polyvotis. This piece of land buried him underneath and so Nisyros was created.

The Volcano’s History

The exact time of the volcanic activity until the island was created and the first peak to emerge 160.000 years before is undefined. It took about 100.000 years until consecutive layers of lava and tuff could result in creating a volcanic cone of 7km diameter and 700m height. The first strong eruption took place 40.000 years ago during which tones of melted stones blasted off the atmosphere creating layers of tuff. The second big explosion added new tuff layers and gave caldera its today form. For the next thousands of years, thick lava streams run out of the volcano creating high hills which cover the 2/3 of caldera’s total surface. The following eruptions differ because they do not produce melted stones but in fact are hydrothermal eruptions due to the existence of over-heated steam under the ground. At caldera’s south part we can spot traces of 20 craters, resulted from such kind of hydrothermal eruptions. The biggest of these craters is called ‘Stephanos’; a crater of 300m diameter and 27-30m depth. The most recent eruptions of this kind were detected at one hill’s side where ’Polyviotis’ and ‘Alexandros’ are the two best preserved craters. The last recorder hydrothermal eruption happened at the end of 1887 and resulted in the formation of the crater ‘Small Polyviotis’. Up to now the whole area is volcanic where steams and other gas of volcanic origin are getting off the ground.

The Volcano Today

Today the volcano in Nisyros is characterized as a dormant active volcano. This theory is grounded in three scientific arguments. The first is its relatively young age in which the last magmatic activity was conducted. The second is the area’s temperatures; the geological measurements of 500°C led scientists to draw the conclusion that melted stones exist at short depths. The third is all these processes that raise the volcanic activity in the area like the sinking of the African tectonic plate.

Further Information

The kiosk in the middle of the volcanic desert offers visitors temporary shelter from the sun exposure and the heat in the summer.

Whoever wishes to visit the volcano on private yacht, you can moor in Paloi (Longitude: 27° 10΄10΄΄, latitude: 36° 37΄11΄΄) which constitutes the only mooring facility for private yachts. Gas refilling can be made only under order.

Port Service: +3(0)2242031222

Medical Clinic: +3(0)2242031217


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