Its impressive topography with sheer cliffs and volcanic soil creates stunning views from almost every corner. No wonder why it has always been one of the most loved tourist destinations in Greece attracting thousands of visitors, including royalty and celebrities from all around the world. All that while maintaining its genuine feel and charm.
A World Heritage Site
The island is a significant Christian pilgrimage site. Its Cave of the Apocalypse is where St. John the Theologian (St John the Divine) is said to have transcribed the Book of Revelations (=Apocalypse), the last chapter of the Christian Bible. Exiled on Patmos in 95 AD, he preached to, baptised and prayed with the island’s inhabitants. Eventually, Patmos came to be considered sacred.
High above the Chora, a fortress-like 11th-century monastery dedicated to the Saint overlooks the whitewashed houses of the hilltop village. The monastery was founded in 1088 AD; it is home to invaluable relics, rare documents, icons and other Orthodox treasures gathered here during the 900 years of its existence. Several religious customs take place each Easter creating an atmosphere of mysticism and excitement. On the night of The Resurrection, the Holy Light makes its way from Jerusalem to Patmos. Likewise, on Holy Thursday, the church celebrates the service of Niptiros, a grandiose ceremony representing Christ washing the feet of the Apostles.
In 1999, the Chora and the Cave of the Apocalypse was declared a Unesco World Heritage Site.
The Impressive Chora
The Chora is a glorious settlement built at a stunning location. Whitewashed houses bearing Gothic and neoclassical features, labyrinth alleys with arcades, colourful shutters and balconies dominate its architecture. They all attest to the rich history and human capital of feudal lords, wealthy merchants, distinguished captains and artists that left their mark since the 16th century. Here you will not only find cafes and terraces but also art galleries, elegant boutiques and expensive jewellery shops.
In hot the summer months you will quickly feel the need to head back towards the water. Take the downhill foot path that starts from the Chora and goes all the way to the harbour. It takes no longer that 30’ to reach Skala and the gorgeous views along the way are highly rewarding.
Places to Swim
Patmos has an unusually long and impressive coastline. It offers an attractive mix of sandy and pebbled beaches and numerous coves providing excellent shelter from all winds. Livadi Geranou is our favourite swimming spot, about 20’ sail from the harbour. It is a great place for swimming and snorkelling, and you can also visit the nearby St George islet located just 300m away. There are other great places to swim such as the well-organized Kampos with its water sports facilities, Petra beach with the round large pebbles, the sandy Psili Ammos, and Lampi with its colourful pebbles.
There are several dining options around the harbour, ranging from low-key tavernas to high gastronomy restaurants. Try the traditional dishes such as the “Patmiotiki” cheese pie, stuffed squid, stewed lobster, wine cooked rooster, the local made Kalathatos cheese and the “kapama” goat meat. Our favourite desserts are ‘Apidakia’, Sviggoi and Pouggia. The local produce also includes thyme honey and wine, which we highly recommend tasting.