The semi-mountainous village of Emporeio is located on the northeastern side of Nisyros, in the interior of the island, at a distance of 8 km southeast of Mandraki and 4 km south of the coastal settlement of Paloi. The picturesque village, built at an altitude of about 330 m, essentially “hangs” from the caldera rim, offering a breathtaking view of the volcano valley to the south and the coasts of Nisyros and the Aegean to the north.
A carriage road leads us to the entrance of the village, where a unique natural attraction, known to the locals as “(A)Pyr(g)ia” (no fire), can be seen just a few meters before the parking area. It is a small cave, which functions as a natural steam bath. Inside the cave, high-temperature steam (34-35 ° C) is released from cracks in the rocks. The place owes its name to the high temperatures that develop without the presence of fire. One or two people can accommodate into the cave sitting on a makeshift stone benc, while the entrance of the cave is covered with stones. A marble slab informs us that the site was found in 1925 by Father Ioannis D. Diakogiorgis, who also built the exterior formation. Nowadays, it belongs to Pantelis and Sofia Kokkinou, but the entrance is free to the public.
Several similar places are known in Nisyros, from which hot steam emerges. Similar to the place of Emporeio, there is another natural steam bath at Pyria in Argos, near the bay of Agia Irini, already known since antiquity, where the vaulted steam room and the adjacent buildings, related to the thermal baths, are still preserved. The complex of these structures is a branch of the community baths in Mandrakisince both were founded by the Nisyrian Nikolaos Apostolidis. These places have been used since ancient times as natural saunas in order to cure various rheumatic, skin, and other diseases.
The release of steam, which contains sulfur gases and usually has an unpleasant smell, is due to the geothermal volcanic crust of the island and is “a living witness” that the magma is constantly moving in the subsoil. The water from the sea and rain penetrates the rocks of the island and creates concentrations, which get in touch with the magma, overheat and turn into steam. The pressure exerted on the ground, due to the high temperatures, causes cracks in the surface of the ground, through which the natural steam finds a way out and gushes.
It is a natural geothermal process, which produces geothermal energy, a renewable and environmentally friendly energy source. In the case of Emporeio, it is used by residents and visitors for a relaxing and at the same time beneficial relief for the body.
Area of Emporio, Nisyros, postal code 85303
Means of access:
Open year round