Patmos is a small island of the Dodecanese group, close to Leros
. It has a peculiar deeply indented coast and its architecture reminds more of the Cyclades style with the dominating whitewashed houses. The Chora (main village) of Patmos is one of the most impressive capitals of the Dodecanese group along with that of Astypalaia and Symi
- built amphitheatrically on a high hill and around castle.
Patmos is connected via ferries to Piraues and all the rest islands of the group, as well as to Ikaria
which are part of the North Aegean islands. The ferries arrive at the port of Skala
, just below the Chora. Patmos is declared a "Holy island" or "Sacred island" and it is a religious spot for pilgrims because of St. John who lived on the island while he was in exile. St. John mentioned Patmos in his Book of Revelation which he wrote in a cave, known as the Cave of the Apocalypse. The cave is a main sight on the island, along with the Monastery of Agios Ioannis Theologos (St. John the Theologian) which rises up on the top of Chora, built in 1088 and resembling a fortress. The village grew up along its wall.
Except for Skala and Chora, the other two settlements of the island are Grikos
, although accommodation and restaurants can be found around some of the beaches. Traveling on Patmos is easy and fast, you can drive from the northernmost to the southernmost part for less than 40 min. All settlements are concentrated close to the central part of the island and the port. The beaches are various - pebbly or sandy, organized or not, close to the villages or remote. The sandy beaches of the island are Psili Ammos, Meloi, Agriolivadi, Grikos and Kampos (the last two with small pebbles around the shore). Psili Ammos lies on the southernmost coast and it is accessible by boat or on foot via a narrow path (about 30-40 min walk) but it does not mean it is isolate - you will always find someone there because it is known as the most beautiful beach on the island and in the summer a small cantina sells drinks and lights snacks. Water sports can be found on Kampos and Agriolivadi which are the most organized beaches on the island. Petra is another famous beaches of Patmos, no matter pebbly, due to its peculiar shape and the big rock on it. Vagia and Lambi are pebbly and more tranquil.
Activities and interesting places on Patmos:
- The Monastery of Agios Ioannis Theologos
- Chora (Patmos town) with its authentic architecture and panoramic views from the central square
- The Cave of the Apocalypse where St. John lived (declared a world heritage site by UNESCO)
- Patmos windmills right below Chora
- The ruins of Kastelli, an ancient acropolis west of Skala, providing view of three gulfs and the sunset
- Boat tour around Patmos and the tiny islets that surround it
- Daily trip to the neighbor archipelago of islands, among which the inhabited Lipsi and Arki