August in Nisyros
The island of Nisyros is located in the Southern East side of Greece and is part of the complex of islands of Dodekanisos. It is a small volcanic island containing active craters on its surface. The island does not have an airport thus access is limited to boats. This makes the island less attractive to mass tourism and allows it maintain its unique traditional identity.
Residing in a Western European country for the past four years it was quite a difference to travel from a multicultural and urban environment to an original, one culture place.
The island is dominated by the Cycladic architecture of white cube houses built one next and/or on the top to each other with doors and balconies painted usually in blue, grey, red, dark green. In addition, a prevalent element of this canvas are the arches and the blue domes of the churches.
The alleys are made from white washed outlined stones and are surrounded from fragrant flowers such as Bougainvilleas and jasmines. Walking on the alleys feels like a non-ending dream to creation.
The houses, the villages, the road tours and the mountains provide breath-taking views to the Aegean sea which its characteristic shade of blue works as a very effective way to relax and release yourself.
Heading to the villages, located on the tops of the island, the dry landscape reminds road trips in deserts as described in books. Meanwhile, the eye is always captured by the Aegean standing proudly on the left hand side.
The village of Emporeios offers a bedazzling view to crater ‘Stefanos’. The sublime of this landscape cannot fit in a few lines .. The village is located high on the mountains viewing a valley which is segmented in two by a road leading straight to the crater.
Reaching the crater, its caldera reveals unique sentiments about nature’s majesty. The yellowish and white surface emerges vapors that one may think they could rise up to August’s full moon.
Due to its volcanic nature the island does not offer a variety of beaches. There are only a few dark sand and non-organised beaches including the most famous one, the beach of Pachia. Reaching Pachia requires an adventurous 10 minutes hiking. While there, one may lay on the ground and allow the dark sand transmit its heat to the body healing the soul, the mind and the tensed muscles.
It’s worth visiting the small port of ‘Paloi’ which until 2016 hosted the historical 109 years old boat ‘Neptun’ that is now sunk. The port reminds a sunny edition of Ireland’s Howth port.
During the traditional celebration of 15th of August the island turns into an big folk party where locals offer homemade ‘Fasolada’ & ‘Revithia’ (beans and chickpeas) served with a piece of salted fish and salad. The scene comprises local musicians playing violin and lagouto, producing melodic and joyful sounds inviting locals and tourists to dance in long cycles.
The simple and tasteful dishes fit perfectly with the island’s culture.
If you are wonder traveller or a simplicity aficionado it ‘ s worth considering this alternative destination.
Article and photos by Maria Rosa