A Flora and Fauna of Symi

A personal guide to the wildlife of Symi and beyond

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Blog posts : "nisyros"

A Last Walk on Nisyros

It is wash day in Mandraki and the narrow streets smell of freshly laundered sheets as the breeze knocks the drips of water on to the path between the houses. The neatly paved road ends at the last house and an old footpath winds its way up the hill to the ancient kastro. Newly emerged butterflies flutter between the trees in the shade and an old c…

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Avlaki Beach, Nisyros

The beach at Avlaki is a strange landscape made up entirely of volcanic rocks. The old port has a few derelict buildings, a church and while I was there somebody repairing a small stone hut. The last time Nisyros erupted was 150,000 years ago and it's worth the trip down a long, long tarmac and concrete road to see it.

First the caldera.

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Walk on Nisyros, continued...

Blocked paths are an occupational hazard when walking in Greece, it seems. A piece of land, reclaimed from an ancestor is marked by a fence and the terraces that were once cultivated for hundreds of years are returned to use even if it's just for bbq's on a lazy summer evening. However the good people who spray red dots on stones to mark a path a…

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Nisyros

 A nasty, sweet and sulphurous smell taints the air as I set off up the hill on an old stone path. Either side of the path are terraces just a few yards wide sitting on well maintained dry stoned walls but stretch to the right and to the left as far as the eye can see. Small twisted oaks give plenty of shade along with old olive and turpentine tree…

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Under the Cliffs

After a gentle climb to a view point overlooking a ravine into the crater the path picks its way beneath an over-hanging cliff where strange features have been worn by the wind  and the rain into the sandstone. We can feel the heat rising from the ravine below and reflected from the rocks above and in places the path has degraded into scree slopes.…

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Towards Emborios

Old shepherds houses dot the landscape often with a long disused threshing circle sited nearby. Below an old abandoned church complete with a marble pillar and doric capitol sits next to the path. Sea squill flower spikes wave in the breeze and herald the winter and forthcoming rains (we hope). 

A burnt out tree trunk probably struc…

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A Walk to Emborios

We started at Evangelistria, a monastery above the harbour and followed an old path through the trees and terraces to Emborios. After some lunch we returned the same way. The parking and sitting area is shaded by one of the biggest turpentine trees I have ever seen.

The path passes through a few small holdings before reaching open countr…

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Εμπορειός

The old village of Εμπορειός sits at the northern edge of the crater on Nisyros but is much less preserved or restored than Νικία. I am told it has a permanent population of 12 and is becoming popular with artists. A unique and old way of life is recorded in many of the ruins that are now inhabited by sheep, rodents and in one case a colony of bats…

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The Kastro, Nisryos

A short walk from Mandraki to the Castro via the monastery. The walls of the Kastro date from 4th BC and were built to protect the city of Nisyros by some bloke called Mausolus of Karia who ruled over nearby islands for a bit. Nice bit of dry stone walling with each stone weighing about 20-40 tons. Good views of the town and the lesser efforts of t…

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Hocklaki Beach

We are warned by a sign on the beach not to remove the black basalt pebbles. This beach is just below the monastery at the end of the town.

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The Crater

The village of Νικιά sits on the edge of the crater high up but down below it's quite a smelly business in "Στέφανος" at the bottom of the volcano on Nisyros.

 

 

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Nisyros

Nisyros was created after the God Poseidon chased one of the Gigantes (or giants, not the very large butter beans) across the Aegean sea. He pursued the giant Polyvotis and cut off part of Kos and threw it at him and Nisyros was thus born. The rumblings of the volcano is the giant moaning at his demise.

The port of Mandraki is stunningly beau…

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12 blog posts