The Greek island of Patmos

Patmos is a Greek island steeped in religious spirit

The island of Patmos is small and cozy. It takes half an hour to drive from one end to the other by car. Patmos is perhaps the most religious center of Hellas. It was even invented a very poetic metaphor – “Jerusalem of the Aegean”. The main attraction, because of which come here and most tourists – is the cave, where was written down the great work “The Apocalypse” (the one from the Bible). We will tell you more about the cave below.

The island of Patmos

If you’ve been dreaming not to lie on the sand near the sea and enjoy a cocktail, but to find a secluded place, Patmos is the perfect place for you. Here you will find a secluded retreat away from the noise of the metropolises and the vain hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Patmos is washed by the Aegean Sea. All the coastal towns and villages are very cozy and make you want to stay longer. A tranquil provincial life is found in their narrow streets. In total, just over three thousand people live here.

The island consists of three parts, which are connected with each other by thin isthmuses, a couple of kilometers wide. Patmos belongs to the group of islands Dodecanese. Here you will not find luxuriant vegetation – the island consists of rocks and there is practically no forest – but here you can find something more: peace and tranquility.

How to reach it?

Patmos, Greece, is a rather secluded island. To get there, you have to make an effort. Perhaps, this is why the beach holidays there are not as developed as on the popular Greek islands. Patmos has no airport, so there is only one way to get there – by water. You can fly to Athens (for sightseeing) and from there take a ferry to Patmos. Bear in mind that there may not be enough seats on the ferry, so it is better to book your ticket in advance.

The boat Flying Dolphin

You can also reach Patmos from the neighboring islands. For example, from the island of Kos. From there, the catamarans leave daily and the trip will take you a couple of hours. Transport also runs from the fertile island of Samos. There is a boat Flying Dolphin, which will take you to your destination. The journey will take about an hour. See for prices and schedules of the water transport.

Alternatively, you can reach Patmos from Rhodes Island. However, Rhodes is further away. It will take you four hours to reach Patmos by catamaran. It sails daily, except for Mondays. However, if you get seasick, such a long voyage can be disheartening. But if you set out to visit this jewel of Christianity, the trials of the road won’t throw you off!

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What’s to see on the island?

Deserted, sparsely inhabited, covered with thorn bushes, inaccessible, in places waterless and dry. That’s how most newcomers see the island. Nevertheless, since 2006, Patmos (Greece) has been recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site. It is known for the fact that John the Theologian was exiled here. He was the only apostle to die his own death and it was on Patmos that he wrote his best work, the Apocalypse, or the Revelation.

The entrance to the cave of Revelation

Entering the Cave of Revelation

It is a true treasure of the island. Here, according to tradition, the apostle John the Theologian wrote the book of the Apocalypse (the title of the last book of the New Testament). If anyone doesn’t know, it’s about what awaits people at the end of the world. The cave is located between the harbor of the Rock and the town of Patmos. It is also called the Sacred Grotto. In general, it does not look like a cave, more like a church in the rock. The entrance is 3 euros.

At the Cave of Revelation

According to legend, St. John found his refuge here when he was exiled by the Roman Emperor Domitian. Visitors are welcomed in the cave monk and tells all interested stories from the Apocalypse and snippets from the life of the Evangelist. You can see the stones on which, according to legend, the saint slept (he laid his head on them as on a pillow). The places here are beautiful, and some wonder how such a gloomy story could have been written in such a wonderful place.

The Monastery of Saint John the Evangelist

The Monastery of St. John the Evangelist

An opportunity to plunge back into the early Middle Ages. The 11th century monastery stands higher in the mountains than the cave and resembles a fortress. Many who traveled to Patmos, have photos of this structure. The views here are simply breathtaking! From the outside is a typical monastery of Greece, which can be seen from any part of the island. The monastery is located high above Chora, the capital of the island. People are attracted by its magical frescoes, fortified high thick walls, towers and ramparts.

The Monastery of Saint John the Evangelist

There is a nice well where you can draw holy water. An interesting museum. Morose monks, who, however, sell delicious wine of their own production. Tourists say that nature and if the air itself here give peace. In general, a real sanctuary. It is easy to get to the monastery: you can even walk from the capital. The way will take about forty minutes, but be ready that the road is uphill. There is a bus to the destination.

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The cost of visiting the monastery is 4 euros, the cost of the museum is 2 euros.

City of Chora

The town of Chora

The capital of the island of Patmos. Usually settlements are formed around large enterprises. Here it all started with the construction of the above mentioned majestic monastery of St. John the Evangelist. In the XVI and XVII centuries, the city flourished, and that’s when most of the picturesque mansions in the city center belong.

Snow-white buildings have flat roofs. It’s not a coincidence, nor is it the invention of a mad architect – it was done to save rainwater. All around are narrow alleyways and white chapels. Antique doors, gorgeous ceramic plant vases, a real treat just to walk through the streets.

The view upstairs is spectacular. It gives the impression of a fairy tale toy town. In Chora, there are many shops and tavernas, and the prices are quite low in contrast to the popular islands of Greece or the mainland.

The center of Chora occupies the main square. The streets can be moved only on foot or by moped, due to the fact that they are very narrow. This gives the town a special charm.

The Windmills of Patmos

Immediately reminded of Don Quixote, just such mills are imagined when you read the book: round, cozy, well – real. It is surprising that the windmills on Patmos are gray, though on other Greek islands they are all white-stone. Among the guests of Patmos they are considered a real gimmick, thanks to them the island received a prestigious tourist award.

Two of the mills are very old, more than five hundred years old. The third was built much later. Today it is a whole windmill complex-museum, where a lot of people come.

The mills are not far from the monastery of St. John the Evangelist, so if you are going to get to the monastery from Chora on foot, be sure to come here as well. One of the mills is open, tourists are allowed upstairs, and the view from inside is truly stunning.

Beaches of the island

The island of Patmos, Greece, is much more famous for its Christian landmarks than its beaches. But the pleasant climate and gentle sea allows you to splash on the beach almost until October. There are three main beaches on Patmos.

Psili Amos Beach

One of them is located at 10 km from Chora. This is one of the best beaches of Patmos. It hides in the bay from the wind. It is of astonishing beauty of its natural landscape. The water is fine, warm, clean and with a fine sand. You can sit on your own towels, so you do not need to rent sun loungers. One pleasure to lie on the sand, under the canopy of trees.

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There is a small cafe, not posh, usual seaside eatery. Tables, wooden chairs, people sit right in bathing suits.

Beach Agios Theologos

Also sheltered from the winds by the bay. The beach is sandy, the sea is clear, the entrance to the water is wonderful. Just an ideal place for children, even very tiny. There are taverns, where you can eat local specialties and fresh seafood for a small fee.

There are boat services to Agios Teologos from the port, but you can also get there by car or motorcycle, or on foot in 25 minutes from the nearby village. There is peace and quiet here.

Of the nuances – the sun hides behind the mountains early, so if you want to sunbathe, it is better to come in the morning.

Beach Agrio Livadi

The beach, hidden from the main tourist routes of Patmos, is a very nice and secluded place. The sea is beautiful and clean, the surface is sandy with a mix of pebbles. At the end of the beach there is a nice Greek tavern. There is no gourmet cuisine, but you can have lunch or order a cocktail there. Agrio Livadi is not yet popular with tourists, it is rather a quiet meeting place for locals, where they come to relax at the end of the day.

The cost of renting a deck chair for the day is 5 euros.

The prices on the page are for April 2020.

To sum it up.

Photographs of Patmos

You will definitely be captivated by the endless promontories with amazing views and majestic grottoes. In contrast to the green neighbor of Rhodes, Patmos looks deserted. If there are any trees, it is mostly conifers. But it is easy to breathe here. There is no overabundance of cars. There are untouched areas of wilderness, the air permeated with the scent of conifers.

The beach infrastructure is poor, but the beaches are all sandy. The island of Patmos in Greece (photos confirm it) is saturated with religious spirit, white-stone churches and bell towers at every step. Instead of drunken and debauched tourists here, most of the pilgrims who came here with a purpose.

To save money, you can rent an ATV or a motorcycle. Cabs are prohibitively expensive. We recommend the most athletic to walk on their own, because all the most interesting things you can see in the mountains. The local population on Patmos is special: people are polite, attentive and don’t try to sell anything.

Evening island of Patmos

Windy weather is typical for the dark time of the day. The best time to visit is from July to September, the temperature during the day is comfortable, about 25 degrees. The views are stunning, nature and beckons. It’s hard to believe that it was exiled here, that a living apostle walked here, and that it was on Patmos in Greece, where the terrifying book of Revelation was written. After all, the island of Patmos breathes with grace and inspires optimism for the whole year to come.

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Patmos. Dodecanissa)

The island of Patmos is considered one of the most “impressive” because of the beauty of its wildlife. It is also called “the island of the Apocalypse”, because at the end of the first century A.D. John the Theologian was exiled to the island and later wrote there the Apocalypse or Revelation. The island is simply steeped in religiosity. In addition to its rich religious history, there are more than 50 churches and monasteries.The island is rocky and virtually treeless. It consists of three parts, each of which is connected to the others by narrow isthmuses 2 km wide. The population is about 2500. The main bay is Porto Scala, which is the port of the island.

A characteristic feature of Patmos is the many capes, which offer stunning views of the Aegean Sea. The most notable are the capes of Koumanas, Vamvakias, Geranou, Khodro Kalana and Genoupas. The caves are very impressive, the most important of which is the Cave of Apocalypse (see next page), followed by the caves of Kinope, Apollo, Arapi, Sikamias, Alykes, Fournakia and Fokospilias.

Until recently, Patmos was an island for the lovers of peace. Nowadays, this cannot be said of it. You can find there anything you want there: picturesque taverns, centers with Greek music, cafes, and bars. There are regular folk festivals. In one word, Patmos is an island for all tastes!

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The village of Grikos. Patmos

Village of Grikos. Patmos

A few facts for “starters”:

  • In 1981, Patmos was named a Holy Island by the Greek Parliament;
  • In 2006, Patmos was officially recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Cave of the Apocalypse

The Cave of Apocalypse is the main attraction and pride of Patmos. It is located between the Rock and the Chora. Here in the years 95-97 the Apostle John lived and it was here that he heard the voice of God and it was here that he wrote his Revelation, in this small cave. It has survived to this day and is a place of pilgrimage and worship. A church is built in it.

Monastery of St. John

This 17th century monastery is built around a cave and is situated on top of the Chora Mountain, from which there are extraordinary views over the town. From the monastery, downhill, there are residential buildings (some of them 17th-19th centuries).

The monastery is surrounded by battlements and includes the main temple and five other chapels. Its treasury contains icons from Byzantine and later periods, holy chalices, embroideries from the 9th century and other valuables, while its library contains parchments, manuscripts and rare editions of books. In the Chapel of Our Lady there are frescoes dating back to 1210-1220.

The monastery of St. John the Evangelist. Patmos

The Monastery of St. John the Evangelist. Patmos

The most famous beaches on the island:

  • Kambos is one of the biggest beaches on the island. It is excellently organized and there is an opportunity to practice various sea sports.
  • Grikos is one of the favorites of the tourists! There are many taverns here that have very good food!
  • Agriolivadi is a beach that has a beach bar. Fully organized.
  • Meloi is a windless beach where the water is always calm and clear. There are trees that cordially provide shade to all visitors to Meloi. There is a camping site not far from here.
  • Asprey is a silent beach with few people and can be accessed on foot. It is located near Skala and has a wonderful view of the monastery.
  • Vaio – this beach is characterized by the fact that the water in the sea here is cold.

How to get there

Ferry from the port of Pera and also from the port of Dodecanese islands.

There is no airport on the island. Therefore, you can get to the other islands of Dodecanis (Leros, Samos and Kos) by plane and then take a ferry.

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