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Almonds, olives and Volcanoes
8-day geo and walking tour on the volcanic islands of Nisyros & Kos, Greece
"Dear Tobias and staff,
Many thanks for the excellent tour on the Best Kept Secret, Nisyros island. The volcano was of course a vivid memory and just one of the higlights to the tour." Eleana, V. April 2010
The caldera of Nisyros volcano
The caldera of Nisyros volcano
Spiliani monastery
Spiliani monastery

Almonds, Olives and Volcanoes

8-day geo and walking tour on the volcanic islands of Nisyros & Kos, Greece
Tour type
Walking & study tour: nature & culture - geology & volcanism - archaeology
Group size: 2-10
7 nights / 8 days
14-21 Sep 2024
Price per person
1690 € $£¥
Discover the island of Kos with its beautiful ancient town centre, its Venetian castle and the sanctuary of Asclepios, and explore the interior of the island marked by dramatic geology.
From Kos, we head over to the charming small island of Nisyros, where life takes on a very difference pace than on bustling Kos. Due to very limited supply of hotels, there are only few tourists that actually stay on the island, and that is hopefully going to stay like this as it helps keep the island's charm alive.
Nisyros is one of the active volcanic islands of the Aegean Arc, and more than any of the others gives the sense of an active volcano once we are in or look at its caldera with the young, fuming craters. It is not only remarkable from a geologic point of view, but also full of traces of past civilizations dating back thousands of years.
The best way to discover its secrets is on foot - excellent, century-old trails let us enjoy its spectacular natural beauty, lush meadows, colorful rocks, along with evidence of young volcanic activity. We'll discover ancient ruins everywhere, some from Roman and Greek times, some prehistoric and some still unknown as to who built them or what they were used for... A paradise to discover is waiting for us!
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  • The beautiful ancient town center of Kos
  • Unspoiled nature and spectacular scenery
  • Active craters and fumaroles on Nisyros volcano
  • Beautiful villages & ancient places
  • Romantic atmosphere
  • Greek hospitality and island life

8 days itinerary

Day 1: Arrival on Kos Island
Arrival day to explore the charming old city of Kos.
Day 2: Discovering Kos Island
With a rental car or minibus for ourselves, we will spend the day discovering the natural and geologic, as well as archaeologic, highlights of Kos island, including natural hot springs along a marvellous beach (swimming possible), the impressive Kos ignimbrite, the product of the most violent volcanic eruption in the eastern Mediterranean during the past 200,000 years, raised submarine sediments full of fossils, and much more.
Day 3: Sailing to Nisyros
Sailing to Nisyros
Day 4: Walk to the active craters of the caldera
Visit Nikia village, hike into the caldera and the active craters. Hike back to Mandraki in the afternoon.
Day 5: Summit of Nisyros and the "hanging gardens of Diavatis"
Full-day hike to the summit of the island with gorgeous panoramic views and ancient building sites.
Day 6: Ancient Roman baths of Avlaki
Today we will take time to first walk to a remote old hot spring near Avlaki on the northern coast dating back to at least Roman times. On its way, there are very interesting lava formations to admire, century-old cave houses, wild gardens, and sometimes rare minerals that can be found in so-called xenoliths that were erupted with the lava flow that created the rugged coast line in this part of Nisyros.
Day 7: Spare day, hike to Palous Beach
Spare day or optional hike to a fantastic beach.
Day 8: Return to Kos - bye bye!
Return to Kos, end of the tour (transfer to airport or other destinations on Kos), or own arrangements.
Dates and details
Booking inquiry

Arrival info:

Arrival at Kos KGS airport and transfer to the hotel in the center of Kos town near the harbor. If the tour guide cannot pick you up in person, a taxi driver will be waiting for you!

Tour guide

The tour is normally guided either by German volcanologist Dr. Tom Pfeiffer or photographer and amateur geologist Tobias Schorr. Both have been traveling on the Greek volcanic areas (Methana, Milos, Santorini, Nisyros) for more than 20 years and know the islands better than even most local people do.
Tom completed his PhD studies on the topic of the great Minoan eruption of Santorini. He made the important discovery of a 3600-year-old olive tree buried alive in the pumice deposit that now can be seen in the small geological museum in Perissa.
This allowed the most precise dating of one of the most significant natural event in the Bronze age (to 1613+-13 years BC) so far.
His colleague Tobias, with whom Tom alternates on this tour, is a true specialist for Greece in general, boasting in-depth knowledge about its culture, history, people, flora, fauna and of course geology. He is known for his good eye and discoveries of rare minerals, plants, animals, or hidden archeological artifacts during the various excursions.
Tom and Tobias on Santorini

Additional info

Physical requirements

Among our tours in Greece, this is the most physically challenging. Although no particular experience is needed, the hikes on Nisyros island require good physical condition and it is recommended that you are used to longer walks and hikes.
While we do not rush and typically walk at slow pace and take plenty of time to enjoy the sights, take pictures, you should have no problems to spend 8-10 hours outside on an excursion, where we walk for a total of up to 15-20 km, and climb/descend 500-700 m elevation.
Most trails are ancient mule tracks, but can be sometimes rough, narrow and rocky. There are no dangerous passages, but you need a good sense of balance and no exaggerated fear of heights.
It is possible to skip or shorten some of the excursions on an individual basis, although that means you cannot visit some of the most interesting places.

Home > Destinations > Greece > Almonds, Olives & Volcanoes (7-day walking tour to Kos and Nisyros)
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