Overview of Patmos
Known as “The Island of the Apocalypse” and “Jerusalem of the Aegean”, Dodecanese Patmos combines successfully the reputation of being a top religious destination with so many more surprises. On the one hand, Orthodox and catholic pilgrims from all over the world flock to Patmos to see the cave where St John wrote the Book of Revelation and also visit the island’s landmark, the Monastery of Agios Ioannis Theologos.
On the other hand, the island attracts numerous visitors who wish to enjoy peaceful vacations with a cosmopolitan, chic twist. The volcanic origin, rocky landscape and varied coastline of Patmos blend together in a charming way – you can see that for yourself if you explore the island’s marvelous beaches and network of old paths. Tourism is well developed in Patmos, but hasn’t spoiled at all its traditional character. This is obvious in the busy port of Skala, a restless, accommodating settlement that features the ruins of an ancient acropolis, buildings of Italian descent, churches, low-key nightlife options and all kinds of facilities.
Moving on to Chora, the aristocratic capital, you realize why it’s one of the most elegant among the Greek islands – together with St John’s grotto and Monastery form part of the UNESCO world heritage sites, too. Below the Monastery in Chora, lies a maze of alleys, whitewashed houses, captain mansions, neat tourist shops, restaurants and bars, as well as the summer houses of foreigners who fell in love with the island and come back here every summer. They are not the only ones, of course. Spiritual and sophisticated, divine and human, the island “where God spoke”, as locals say, is beloved by so many – it is truly an Aegean revelation.
: The most popular beach of Patmos is situated at the crowded settlement of Kambos. It is sandy, organized, with clear shallow waters. Here, you can lay under the shade of tamarisk trees, practice water sports or hang out at the bustling well-known beach bar. : A wild beauty, one of the island’s top beaches, with golden sand, lovely waters, dunes and tamarisk trees. It attracts campers and nudists at its south part. It is accessible either by a 30 min walk or by boat taxi (40-60 min trip). A tavern is also available. : Two successive, identical small pebbly bays with crystalline waters, separated by a huge rock. Ideal to enjoy peaceful moments by the sea. : From Grikos beach you can partly see the island’s trademark “Petra of Kalikatsou” - an imposing rock that seems to be emerging from the sea (and also a former hermits’ shelter), where the fully organized beach of Petra is located. : Famous for its multicolored pebbles (increasingly less, as many visitors tend to take some with them), this beach offers beautiful waters, the nice shade of tamarisk trees, a beach bar and a restaurant. : The closest beach to Skala (only 15 min on foot) is sandy, with tamarisk trees and the basic amenities mainly available at the nearby camping site of the island.
: Skala/Sapsila, International cuisine. : Skala, Italian cuisine.
: Religious or not, this is the number one attraction in Patmos, among the best of all the Greek islands. Between Skala and Chora, the Monastery is built around the cave where St John experienced his revelatory vision during his isolation days. It is advisable to visit it early in the morning to avoid noisy groups and respect the strict dress code. : Dominating the top of the hill in Patmos’ Chora, this grey-wall imposing complex resembles a mysterious fortress that contrasts beautifully with the whitewashed houses below. It is an impressive architectural maze of chapels, cells, cisterns and other spaces, including the exceptional library and museum that host some of the most important ecclesiastical treasures of Greece. : Lipsi is the largest of Patmos’ satellite islands and also tourists’ favorite - a tranquil, unspoiled paradise with pristine beaches, accessible by boat from Skala. The boat tour also includes the islets of Arki, Marathi and Agathonisi – similar in character, with peace and quiet guaranteed. : This day, dedicated to one of the biggest religious orthodox celebrations, acquires even more importance is Patmos. Feasts are held into a both solemn and festive atmosphere, inviting visitors to participate and enjoy. : Try the local delicious cheese pies and sweets with honey and nuts.
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