Fast Facts

  • Location: In Dodecanese Islands in Aegean Sea west of Turkey
  • Significance: UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Attraction Type: A historic island
  • Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year
  • How to Reach: By flight to Leros, Kos, and Samos islands and then by boat
  • Nearest Airport: Athens International Airport

Patmos is both a pilgrimage and an activity destination. Referred to as the Jerusalem of the Aegean, Patmos in Greece inspired St. John to pen the Revelation of the Apocalypse. Both Continental and Orthodox Christians consider this a sacred associated with a number of parables. For nature lovers, Patmos is charming, tranquil and exquisite. Whether you go there for salvation or for rejuvenation, this Aegean island is certain to amaze you.

There are a number of fables describing the formation of this picturesque island. According to one fable, Selini, the moon goddess wanted the sunken island of Letois in the name of Artemis daughter of Leto to be brought to the surface. With Apollo’s help and Zeus’ intervention, this ocean floor island was brought to the surface. In another fable, a group of pirates tried to attack Christodoulos while he was building St. John Monastery. On seeing the pirates coming to attack the devout, Christodoulos sought divine intervention as there was no place to flee or hide. God to answer Christodoulos’ prayer overturned the pirate ship and transformed it into an island.

St. John, one of Christ’s disciples, was sent on exile to this Greek island where he took refuge in a cave below a hilltop temple of Diana. It is believed that here St. John received an oracular message which he recorded as ‘The Revelations’. He also composed the Fourth Gospel in this cave, which is now revered as the Holy Grotto of the Revelation. Also referred to as ‘the Cave of the Apocalypse’, it is reachable by climbing down about 43 steps. The Revelations of St. John were noted by his disciple Prochoros at about 95 AD.

Activities in Patmos
While touring Patmos, visit the Monastery of St. John constructed by Abbot Christodoulos with patronage from Anna Dalassini the King mother. The construction of this monastery was completed in 1088 with the initial phase being completed by monks from Constantinople. Initially, women were debarred from entering not only in this monastery but also the island. However, now they are allowed to stay at a safe distance from this monastery. The Patmaida is remarkable for its outstanding frescos dating back to the 12th, 13th and 14th centuries. The icons in Patmaida are beyond comparison, particularly those of St. Jacob, and St. Theodoros. Paintings of E. Skordilis, M. Damaskinos, and Th. Chios stand out for their brilliance and subtlety. Artifacts in silver, velvet and other textile materials are stunning.

Adventure lovers would find this destination irresistible. Psili Ammos is the most exotic of Patmos beaches, while Kambos beach is the most organized one decked with enough umbrellas and sunbeds. All beaches offer opportunities for swimming, sailing, surfing, and water skiing. You could also try out Meloni, Agriolvadi, and Lampi beaches. Along the sea coast, quaint fishing villages provide perfect escapades for an inspiring stroll.

Staying in Patmos
Patmos has a selection of accommodation ranging from hotels to rented apartments. Among the hotels, you could choose between Alexandros in Grikos, Golden Sun in Grikos, Delfini in Skala, Doria Bay Hotel in Skala, and Patmos Paradise in Kampos. In case you prefer staying in rented apartments, 9 Muses in Grikos, Le Balcon in Plorisontas, Romantica Village in Skala, and Epavli in Chora are among the notable options.

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