The island of the Apocalypse
The most idyllic place in Europe to live, according to Forbes: Patmos, is a Greek island with unspoiled beauty that led UNESCO in 1999 to declare the Historic Centre (Chorá), the Monastery of St. John the Theologian and the Cave of the Apocalypse, as World Heritage sites. Patmos with its rich religious history and a unique cosmopolitan aura attracts celebrities and artists from all over the world. Combining relaxation and a unique natural beauty, Patmos in Greece, is also cruise-line favorite, offering the perfect setting for holidays in luxury private villas. Walking in the streets of the pittoresque Chora, you will notice stately homes that were built between the 16th and 19th centuries: According to the history of Patmos, at that time, feudal lords, captains and wealthy merchants arrived in this rocky island of the Aegean and built those imposing buildings.
Top 9 things to do
1) Visit the Cave of the Apocalypse: If you come in Greece and choose for your holidays the island of Patmos, don’t forget to visit the sacred cave where St. John wrote the Holy Book of Revelation. Located in the hill between Skala, the port of the island and Chora, the candlit Cave of the Apocalypse attracts worshipers from all over the world.
2) Visit the monastery of St John the Theologian in Patmos: It was established in 1088 by St Christodoulos the Blessed, a gifted monk from Bithynia. In the monastery, you can find a rich collection of relics, icons and invaluable antiquities of the classic and early Christian period. If you come in Patmos during Easter and visit the famous monastery, you will have the chance, on the night of the Resurrection, to receive the Holy Light that makes its way from Jerusalem directly to Patmos. Likewise, on Holy Thursday don’t fail to miss the church service of Niptiros, which occurs only in Patmos and in Jerusalem: it’s a truly inspiring, divine experience.
3) Climb up to the rock of “Kallikatsou”: This huge rock is a major archeological site with a magnificent breathtaking view to the Aegean sea. According to the history of Patmos, the rock of Kallikatsou that looks like a sculpture in the sea, was once a temple of Aphrodite. Climb up and admire the small caves and the beautiful water reservoirs aimed for sacred rituals.
4) Search for the popular “Kathismata” : This is the name of beautiful monastic units found in caves, created by monks. You can find them everywhere in Patmos.
5) Walk the Aporthianos road: This beautiful road, is a historic stone path that connects Chora with Skala, Patmos port.
6) Visit the Chapel of Profitis Ilias: It is located in the highest point of the island of Patmos . You’ll get inspired by the stunning view from the chapel to the majestic Aegean sea.
8) Go and see the archaeological site of Kastelli: This is, without doubt, the most important archaeological site of Patmos. Embark on an imaginary journey into the history of Patmos and see the beautiful ruins of the ancient acropolis and the foundations of the temple of Apollo.
9) Admire the restored windmills of Patmos: Following an initiative from a Swiss philhellene, Mr Charles Pictet, the windmills were fully restored in 2010 and were awarded by Europa Nostra.
The best beaches to swim
If you’re wondering where to spend your next summer holidays in Greece, the island of Patmos is an excellent choice: In terms of the accommodation, you can stay in a beautiful villa and explore the whole coastline of Patmos which offers a great variety of beaches:
Psili Ammos: Are you looking for the best beaches in the Greek islands? Look no futher: As soon as you arrive in Patmos, head for a beach called “Psili Ammos”: As its’ name suggests in Greek, this beach has fine golden sand and turquoise waters that will astonish you. On the beach you can find a beautiful small tavern surrounded by the famous almirikia of Patmos, where you can taste a delicious omelet: this way you will experience the famous Greek summer to the fullest.
Petra beach and the organized beach of Kampos: In those beaches you will find large white pebbles and crystal blue waters. They’re both suitable for water sports. If you look at a map of Patmos, Petra beach is located in the narrow strip of land that connects the “rock of Kalikatsou” to the mainland. If you’re looking for calmness, Petra beach is ideal. The beach of Kampos is located in the northeastern part of the island.
The bay of Grikos: The whole landscape around the bay is truly inspiring: The bay of Grikos has a beautiful beach where you can see mooring yachts and it offers a magnificent view to the stone of Kallikatsou. You can relax and eat at the beautiful taverns and bars.
If you’re looking for calmness, don’t miss to go to the beaches of Ligginou (or Didimes), the pebbled Vagia, and to the Livadi of Geranou.
The beach of Agrio Livadi: It is considered one of the best beaches in Patmos with crystal clear waters. It has a beach bar, taverns and attracts celebrities.
If you choose to spend your villa holidays in Patmos and you start looking for pictures of the island and it’s famous beaches, you will probably come across some from the famous Lampi beach. This beach is particularly famous for its colourful pebbles and its crystal waters. Interesting info: The visitors of this beach admired so much its rare pebbles that started collecting them like mad. As a consequence, it is now prohibited to collect them! In the Lampi beach, don’t forget to eat at the fish tavern “Lampi” and taste some delicious dishes.
– For those that seek endless tranquility, two ideal destinations are the islands of Arkioi and Marathi or Marathos. Those small paradises have ferry boat connections to Patmos or you can reach them with your own boat.
If you come for holidays in Patmos during summer, don’t miss the International Film Festival of Patmos. Its motto “Understanding the World through Film”, underlines the festival’s objectives: to show the work of both Greek and foreign film directors and place Patmos on the international map of cultural tourism. Apart from the International Film Festival, the Festival of Religious music also takes place in Patmos since 2001. During the 14 years of its history, the Festival of Religious Music has presented a wide variety of talented artists, offering the audience a unique summer experience in the sacred place of the Cave of St. John (the cave of the Apocalypse) where it takes place.
If you come to Patmos, apart from choosing a holiday villa for your accommodation and exploring the beaches of the island, you should definitely try the local Patmos cuisine and gastronomy.
Not far from Skala, you can eat at Benetos restaurant, one of the most popular restaurants in Patmos(don’t go without making a reservation before). Benetos restaurant offers some delicious gourmet dishes and fresh vegetables from their land.
You can also try the cafe-restaurant Tarsanas which ovelooks the marvellous Aegean sea. The setting is unique as a real boat is anchored on land. Don’t leave without trying the delicious kataifi with spinach and cheese.
For those who want to explore Patmos traditional taverns and seafood appetizers, you can check Ostria ouzeri, located in the heart of Skala. You can also try the secret recipe for tyrokeftedes (fried cheese balls) in the cozy place of Pantelis, found in Skala as well. For some delicious chocolate cake, make sure you stop at Mrs. Eytyxia’s place in Vagia. For fish, you can choose a very nice tavern called “Kima” in Skala.
In Patmos, the Festival of Taste and Tradition takes place every year during summer, so make sure you don’t miss it. Its aim is to promote the culinary culture of Patmos and other Greek islands. Well known and famous Greek chefs and connoisseurs take part every year, giving a special reputation to the festival.
You can travel to Patmos by taking a ferry boat from the Port of Piraeus in Athens. The duration of the trip is 7-9 hours. If you are in Leros, Kos or Samos islands, there are ferries you can take from those islands to Patmos. Alternatively, you can take the plane from Athens international airport to Samos, Kos or Leros and then take a ferry boat from these islands to Patmos.