Mandraki is the capital of the Greek volcanic island of Nisyros and its main port. The whitewashed houses are spread attractively along the bay as far as the rocky western promontory crowned by the Knights’ castle and the whitewashed complex of Panaghia Spiliani. Narrow, cobbled alleys lead to pebble squares such as the Delfini square paved with a round pebble floor, work of the local craftsman Papadelias. The central square Ilikiomeni (‘Square of the Elderly’) with the characteristic ficus trees, offering shade all year round, is the meeting point for the people of the picturesque village. It is a lively space with cafes, tavernas, shops and the Municipal Library.
The coastal road leads to the monastery of Panagia Spiliani, built at the highest point of the settlement. Inside the old Venetian castle, the monastery of Panagia dominates over the capital Mandraki and at night it looks like it floats in the sky. It is considered one of the most important monasteries of Orthodoxy and attracts pilgrims from all over Greece. This monastery was built in 1315 and the view from above is fantastic. The monastery celebrates on the 15th of August, day which a big festival takes place in the central square of the village, where revithada (chickpeas soup) is served.
Worth visitng are also the Folklore and the Archaeological Museum, the Paleokastro (6th-4th BC), the Venetian Castle and the town hall housed in a two-storey neoclassical building, built by local craftsmen in 1931 and stands out for its architecture.
Close to Mandraki is one of the most beautiful beaches of the island, Chohlaki with its impressive volcanic black pebbles which attracts many visitors. The beach is located behind the monastery of Panagia Spiliani. In a short distance from Mandraki, there is a sandy beach, Agios Savvas. Just 1km away are the thermal springs of Loutra with its sources of sulphurous which have therapeutical benefits against rheumatic and dermatology diseases.
Monastery of Panagia Spiliani