Walk through the city of MandrakiApart from being the capital of Nisyros, Mandraki is also the island's harbour. It is one of the bigger settlements on Nisyros with many facilities available to visitors, such as hotels and apartments. Τake a close look at the squares with the exquisite pebbled floors (most typical of all being the plateia Delfinion [the square of Dolphins]) and the streets with white or colored two-storeyed houses with wooden balconies. The houses are made of volcano rocks and insulated with pumice-stone.
You can taste a local beverage of Soumada (drink made of almond) or Kanelada (a beverage made of cinammon) at the Square in Greek Plateia tis Ilikiomenis (meaning the square of the old lady), a meeting point of visitors and residents.
Walk through the city of Mandraki and pay a visit to the Castle of the knights of St. John (1315), built high on a rock at an altimeter of 150 meters. On its walls you can see the coats of arms belonging to the Great Magistrates who built the castle. The castle is a reminder of the Knights of St. John having stepped foot on the island and built a magnificent castle in which nestles, inside a cave, the Monastery of Panagia Spiliani, (18th c.), a convent which is famous in the surrounding islands, due to its miraculous icon, situated in its temple. The cave is divided into two churches. The north is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin (Kimisis tis Theotokou) and the south, Agios Charalambos (Saint Charalambos).
While you stroll around Mandraki, pay a visit to the Archaeological Museum among other exhibits hosts findings and photographs
from the Palaeochristian, Byzantine and post-Byzantine Nisyros, from the prehistoric settlement in the volcanic islet of Gyali and the necropolis of the ancient city (archaic, classic and Hellenistic period) and to the Folklore Museum (situated in a mansion of 18th century), where you can see traditional vessels, outfits and local handmade embroideries.
You can also swim at Chochlakoi beach, with its unique wild landscape with black volcanic pebbles, rocks and a cave right beneath Panagia Kastriani or relax at the municipal thermal spas, located in “Therma” or “Loutra”, 1 km away from Mandraki.
Climb up at the Palaiokastro, a classical period acropolis of the ancient city, in the outskirts of Mandraki. It is still in very good condition because of its high quality construction and represents one of the best fortification works of the ancient times, basaltic andesite (volcanic rock), one of the hardest rocks in the world. The main gate is composed by well-hewn stone blocks with a perfect fit of the connecting surfaces. The total length of the fortification is very big, as it surrounds the entire land-lubber site of the rocky hill above the south end of Mandraki.
The oldest monument here dates back to the Neolithic era, while from classic architecture one can see the remaining acropolis. Keep in mind that Palaiokastroyou affords great views of Mandraki and Gyali islet.
Last but not least, visit the Panagia Potamitissa (1837), a church with a remarkable dome and the Monastery of Evangelistria, situated in a beautiful location, 5 km SE.