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NISSYROS

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General Information

As legend has it, this piece of rock did not come to be here by coincidence.  As the War between the Gods and the Giants went on, the God Poseidon was in pursuit of the Giant Polyvotis. Near the island of Kos, he caught up to his fleeing opponent, and tore an entire piece off the island, which he flung off to him. He did not miss; the Giant was struck, and buried under the mass of the rock, much of which remained above the water to form the island of Nissyros. Many ages have past since the time of myth, but it is said that the breath of the writhing Polyvotis can still be heard from the edge of the volcano, while, as he stirs in a vain effort to break free, the Giant activates it. He is becoming weaker, as he has not managed to move since 1888.

 

History - Culture

Inhabited since antiquity, Nissyros was colonized by settlers from Kos, Thessaly and Rhodes. During the classical period it was a member of the Athenian Alliance, a situation that endured until 200 BC, when it joined with Rhodes. Its economy was always supported by the mining activity of volcanic matter ?opsidian, used in tool and blade making- on the nearby islet of Gyali. In recent years, the island received substantial financial aid by its wandering sons, who had been forced to leave their birthplace due to indigence. The mines on Gyali are still working today, offering the underground wealth of the island, and leaving visitors to enjoy the wealth of the surface. 

 

Sights

Once a place of intense volcanic activity, Nissyros is a vast, entrance-free geological museum, placed right into the sea. Mandraki, the main town of the island, is a sight in itself, with its beautiful and picturesque village, and the impressively sharp contrast of its bright white housing which seem to bite like teeth into the black volcanic rock. There is also the Venetian fortress which, from its towers and battlements offers a beautiful view over Mandraki, the ancient cemetery of the 7th century BC, and the Monastery of Panagia Spiliani built close to Mandraki in 1600 AD. The volcano has five craters, and the bold can venture within their depths, as long as they are equipped with special boots. As sulphur emanates from countless shafts, the smell may be unpleasant, but what the eyes will enjoy the nose will endure. The impressive rock formations are not only of geological interest, as they are a spectacle of beauty, while they also form countless reclusive beaches, accessible only by the sea. Obviously, renting a boat will be well worth the while.   

 

Entertainment-Sports-Shopping

The services provided on this small island are quite satisfactory. There are comfortable accommodations in hotels and rooms for rent, and the market is colorful and well supplied. An agreeable road network enables buses and taxis to offer good services, while there are also small boats providing access to reclusive beaches and to the small nearby islets. Taverns, restaurants, coffee shops and bars offer entertainment. The visitor can enjoy the water sports facilities in Paloi, a well-known tourist settlement, while other sporting activities include countless trekking routes carved into the rocky landscape. On the island, there are hot springs renowned for their curative properties, and many combine a therapeutic vacation with a business meeting in newly established congressional centers. Local traditional festivals offer cultural insights as well as entertainment, while the local cuisine is renowned for its chickpeas and mousaka recipes. The visitor should definitely taste the local drink, a kind of orgeat made from bitter almonds, and  the local cheese as well.

 

Access

Ferries from the port of Piraeus arrive at Mandraki throughout the year.

 

Connections

All year round there is ferry and speedboat connection with Rhodes, Kos and Tilos, and a ferryboat connection with Kalymnos, Leipsoi, Leros, Patmos, Symi. During summer, there is an additional connection with the Cyclades (Syros) whereas in wintertime with Megisti (Kastelorizo) and Symi.

 

Museums

There is a Folk Art Museum with an interesting collection in Mandraki.

 

Alternative Tourism

Therapeutic, congressional, geology, ecotourism, sporting (sailing, trekking, scuba diving, water sports, windsurfing, mountain bike).

 

Useful Telephone Numbers:

ΝΙΣΣΥΡΟΣ ΜΑΝΔΡΑΚΙ: 22420-

POLICE STATION: 22420-31201

TELECOMMUNICATIONS ORG.: 22420-31299, 30299, 31212, 31099

PORT POLICE: 22420-31222

POST OFFICE: 22420-31249

MUNICIPALITY: 22420-31203

MEDICAL CENTER: 22420-31217

TAXI STATION: 22420-31460, 31474

 

 

 

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DODECANESE NISSYROSDODECANESE NISSYROSDODECANESE NISSYROSDODECANESE NISSYROS
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