Tourists are flocking to the place where St. John had his Revelations. Patmos island presents a veritable treasure trove of experiences. Let’s explore!
By: Gabi Ancarola
The Greek island of Patmos
Patmos is one of the northern islands of the Dodecanese, in the Aegean Sea. It covers an area of about 35 sq. km, and is inhabited by less than 3000 people.
There’s no airport on the island, so it can only be reached by boat from Athens or from some of the nearby ports of Rodhes, Samos, or Kos. Lately, Patmos has been become a trendy spot for a refined holiday made of authentic exclusiveness, silent beaches, and gorgeous landscapes. Let’s explore!
Patmos is one of the most important religious centers of the Mediterranean. Among the most visited sites are the Holy Cave of the Apocalypse, and the impressive Monastery of Saint John the Theologian, situated on the highest top of the island.
In fact, the first thing travelers notice is the huge imposing monastery dominating the Chora and the rest of the island. The monastery is a beautiful fortified construction that really deserves a visit, at least for the treasures its museum exhibits. Bear in mind that this is a sacred place, so dress accordingly. Remember also that summers are very hot in Greece, so bring a long dress or a pair of pants but choose something light.
Did you know that despite the enchanting Chora, which is elegant and secluded, and the wonderful alleys that lead to the monastery, Patmos can also be an excellent island for a relaxing beach holiday?
The island takes pride in its laid-back atmosphere, a feature that sees the island favored by high-end visitors from all over Europe. They arrive looking for a new Greek destination, exclusive but also discrete. So if you’re looking for late night partying, this isn’t your spot. There are no discos and no loud clubs attracting young herds of tourists. Patmos provides a much more tranquil atmosphere, which makes the island an ideal place for families, couples, and older visitors alike. Of course, this doesn’t mean there’s no fun on Patmos — it all depends on what kind of entertainment you seek.
In the main village, Skala, pretty bars, pubs, and excellent tavernas welcome. Choose one with a terrace or one facing the harbor. Choose them to go for a drink and a chat with friends in the evening.
The calm environment also extends to some of its secluded beaches, such as the ones located on the northern coast. These offer spectacular views while avoiding the crowds you could find on beaches closer to the main village. Lambi, with its colorful pebbles, is ideal for underwater exploration.
Livadi Geranou (also known as Livadi Pothitou) is also very peaceful, with crystal clear waters and a priceless view to the islet of St. George right in front. A line of shady trees promise a protected area to spend the hottest hours of the day.
The beaches of Lignou and Didymes (known as twins) used to be among the less explored on the island. And even when there has been some building around the area, they still retain a pleasant isolated atmosphere.
Patmos at the table
What’s a Greek island visit without amazing food? Find delicious and traditional meals in one of the many restaurants downtown. In Skala, Pantelis is probably the most popular, chosen both by locals and returning visitors every year.
For a lunch with a view, there are several restaurants on the Bay of Grikos worth a try. Ktima Petra serves excellent local dishes while Plefsis innovates and surprises. If you‘re looking for some sophistication, try Nautilus, a wonderful venue with one of the most spectacular views of the island, Livadi Geranou.
So much to explore
It’s easy to see why Patmos has grown in popularity. Offering history, religious pilgrimages, breathtaking views, and an elegant yet tranquil atmosphere. Boasting first class cuisine, exclusive accommodations, and some of the most beautiful beaches of the Dodecanese, Patmos is a wonderful place to unwind and explore.
Gabi Ancarola is a travel writer, journalist, and translator specializing in Greek destinations, Cretan wine tours, and gastronomic experiences. She writes about family travel for several magazines. Gabi runs the travel blog, The Tiny Book, where you can find more advice for families traveling with tiny, curious adventurers around the Mediterranean and in farther lands too.
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