Abstract This study presents the chemical composition of VOCs in air and gas discharges collected at Nisyros Island (Dodecanese Archipelago, Greece). The main goals are i) to discriminate between natural and anthropogenic VOC sources and ii) to evaluate their impact on local air quality. Up to 63 different VOCs were recognized and quantitatively determined in 6 fumaroles and 19 air samples collected in the Lakki caldera, where fumarolic emissions are located, and the outer ring of the island, including the Mandraki village and the main harbor. Air samples from the crater area show significant concentrations of alkanes, alkenes, cyclic, aromatics, and S- and O-bearing heterocycles directly deriving from the hydrothermal system, as well as secondary O-bearing compounds from oxidation of primary VOCs. At Mandraki village, C6H6/Σ(methylated aromatics) and Σ(linear)/Σ(branched) alkanes ratios <1 allow to distinguish an anthropogenic source related to emissions from outlet pipes of touristic and private boats and buses.