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Patmos in Greece
Patmos belongs to the Dodecanese islands and is located almost as far up as you can get in the Dodecanese. The closest neighbouring islands are Lipsi and Leros. It is a small island; both to the surface and the number of residents here live 3,050 people distributed in two larger villages, and some smaller communities.
The square in Chora.
The capital is Chora (540 inhabitants), and the largest tourist resort is Skala. The surface is 34 km2 and the highest peak - Hondros - measuring 228 meters above sea level.
Patmos is a pleasant little island that attracts tourists who yearn for sun and sea, and visitors from the Christian world visiting the famous Monastery of St. John. The island is often referred to as the Greek Jerusalem.
Monastery of St. John in Chora.
It was on Patmos that St. John the Divine received a revelation from God that the world would come to an end. In 95 AD St John was banished to Patmos from Ephesus in Turkey. He hid himself in a cave for two years. In the cave, he talked with God, and it resulted in the Book of Revelation, or Apocalypse.
The cave is still there, and so is the fissure in the rock where St John talked to God. So they say. If it were not for the fissure it would not be so many cruise ships outside Patmos' port town Skala. The cave is well-visited, and not only from the cruise visitors. I have also been there, and I'm just a regular Island hopper. :-)
TRAVEL TO PATMOS
If you're travelling on your own it is easiest to go by air to Samos and continue by ferry to Patmos. The small ferry Nisos Kalymnos leaves from Pythagorion on Samos to Patmos every second day. Boat connections with Piraeus, Athens' port, is also good, usually daily connection during high season.
Taverna at the beach of Skala. Monastery of St. John in the middle of the picture.
GETTING AROUND IN PATMOS
Patmos is a small island with few roads. The best way to explore the island is by moped. There are also bicycles for rent. In Skala there are several car, mopeds and bicycle rental services.
Grikos is my favourite village on Patmos.
VILLAGES IN PATMOS
Skala is Patmos' port and the village where most things happens and also where most tourists stay. There are plenty of tavernas, cafes and bars. In Skala there is a beach that will do just fine for a morning or evening swim. Do not miss Restaurant Pantelis into the narrow alleys near the port, looking like a tourist trap, but appearances are deceptive. Great food and low prices.
View of Skala.
Skala is located at the narrowest part of Patmos. The beach at the far left called Hohlakas, and is nothing to write home about, but the sunset is beautiful from there.
Chora looks, from a distance, like an impregnable fortress, the Monastery of St John the Divine dominates. It is a typical Greek Chora with many small alleys lined with whitewashed houses. Chora is pretty desolate and silent, except for the area where the monastery lies, of course.
BEACHES IN PATMOS
Psili Amos is definitely the best beach on Patmos. Unfortunately it lies a little out of the way. Either you go with a bathing boat from Skala, the trip takes about an hour each way, or you get there on your own. If you drive a moped or car, you first go to Diakofti, park there, and then walk over the mountain. The walk takes about 30 minutes.
Psili Amos beach.
The beach consists of fine sand and it really is inevitably for a swim. Plenty of shade from tamarisk trees. The nice beach taverna that lies under the trees is in itself worth the walk here.
On the north-east of Patmos lies some of the island's best beaches. The first of the beaches are Meloi, which is wonderfully located in a bay. Kambos beach is one of the better beaches, and perhaps the most popular. It's a long, fairly fine sandy beach in a bay with green-blue water. Here's the most you can imagine in terms of beach facilities.
Livadi Geranou beach.
Lambi beach at the top of the northeast is a long pebble beach. Many go here to eat flambéed saganaki. I can highly recommend it! Petra is also a nice beach, but a bit rocky. As well as Sapsila is a cozy beach, just like the Vagia and Livadi Geranou.
SIGHTS IN PATMOS
The Cave of the Apocalypse and the Monastery of St John the Divine (see picture at the top of the page) is two sights that no one misses, of course. The grotto is not much to see unless you believe in the Bible. The monastery is more worldly and well worth visiting. The monastery was founded in the 11th century and it is one of the most important monasteries in Greece.
ACCOMODATION IN PATMOS
If you're not travelling during high season there is no problem to find good accommodation. When the ferries call at the port there are letter of rooms waiting with colourful signs and brochures. Most options are in Skala and there is where most tourists stay. In Chora, it is hard to find a place to stay. Below we have hand-picked some very good hotels in Skala.