Aerial of the Stefanos volcano crater on Nisyros Island, with the Aegean sea in the background.
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Top choice in Dodecanese

A visit to the caldera is like stepping into a science fiction movie, cows grazing amid strange coloured rocks in what resembles a lunar landscape.

The largest crater is Stefanos, where you can examine the multicoloured 100°C fumaroles, listen to their hissing and smell the sulphurous vapours. The surface is soft and hot, making sturdy footwear essential. A track leads to the wilder craters of Polyvotis and Alexandros. Take great care here as it's unsupervised, not fenced and fumaroles are around the edge.

If you're staying on the island, get here by 11am to avoid the busloads of day troopers that arrive from Kos.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Dodecanese attractions

1. Volcanological Museum

0.63 MILES

Set beside the end of the road, this kid-friendly modern museum does a good job of explaining the history and mythology of the volcano and its impact on…

2. Paleokastro

2.86 MILES

Best reached by a lovely 20-minute hike through the fields, along a trail that starts southwest of the monastery, this astonishing Mycenaean-era acropolis…

3. Ancient City Wall

2.88 MILES

Dating from the 4th century BC, the ancient walls above Nisyros, accessed from the path behind the monastery and medieval castle, are one of the Aegean's…

4. Moni Panagias Spilianis

3.08 MILES

This hillside medieval monastery, overlooking the sea below the castle, can be reached via a short staircase. Visitors can only access a small anteroom.

5. Archaeological Museum

3.09 MILES

This showpiece modern museum, on Mandraki’s main pedestrian street, displays a fascinating collection of Hellenistic and Roman pottery and sculpture, as…

6. Church Museum

3.09 MILES

Despite its name, this small museum, just up from the seafront below the monastery, is exclusively ecclesiastic. Besides its icons, vestments, votive…

7. Moni Agios Panteleimon

11.88 MILES

The beautiful Monastery of Agios Panteleimona, located up a steep, winding road (not for weak of heart), is one of the most important sites in Tilos, and…

8. Museum

13.03 MILES

This small museum's key collection is the fossil remains of some of the island's ancient population of dwarf elephants. At the time of research, the…