A place with intense spiritual character, Patmos in Greece is mostly famous as the island of Apocalypse. According to tradition, it was in a cave in Patmos island that Saint John the Divine was inspired the Book of Apocalypse. This is why there is a large Monastery of Saint John above Chora, the capital of the island. This monastery is surrounded by strong walls and looks like a fortress. Chora is a great place to walk around the paved paths and enjoy a view to the Aegean Sea. The most tourist place of Patmos island is Skala, while relaxing beaches are found all over the island. Holidays in Patmos can be combined with Leros, as the distance between the two islands is very short.
Grandeur and serenity. That’s what you feel when you enter the streets of Hora and the monastery. For many years, during Orthodox Easter and all summer long, Patmos has been frequented by intellectuals, artists, royalty and celebrities from all over the world. Small and secluded yet spectacular all the same, it is the island of The Apocalypse, “The Jerusalem of the Aegean”, and has a deep relationship with religion.
Mystical experiences await you here in the Dodecanese: In the dark cave where St John the Divine wrote the book of Revelation, the Monastery of St John the Theologian, and the labyrinthine streets of Hora with its impressive aristocratic homes. Visit and discover an island-monument that Unesco has declared a World Heritage Site.
Where is Patmos island
Patmos is an island of Dodecanese and lies between Samos, Leros and Ikaria, close to the Turkish coasts.
How to get to Patmos island
There is no airport in Patmos. The closest airports are located in Leros and Kos. The airport of Leros receives domestic flights from Athens, while the airport of Kos is busier and receives daily flights from Athens and international flights in summer. From both islands, visitors can take the ferry to Leros.
There are ferries to Patmos from the port of Piraeus in Athens 3 times a week. These ferries also connect Patmos with other islands of Dodecanese, including Leros, Lipsi, Kalymnos, Kos and Rhodes. The distance from Athens to Patmos is long and the trip takes 8 hours. In summer, there are local boats from Patmos to the close islands of Leros and Lipsi almost every day.
Transportation in Patmos
Patmos is a beautiful, picturesque island of the Dodecanese island complex. For Christians, Patmos is considered to be a sacred place as the Book of Revelation was written on this island, by Saint John. Two of the most frequently visited places on Patmos are the Monastery of Saint John and the Cave of the Apocalypse. However, there are many other things worth exploring and you have several different ways to do it!
Local buses in Patmos
Public transportation is the less expensive way to reach most places on Patmos. The central bus stop is located in Chora. Buses link the capital with many beaches and villages, while there are also frequent routes with direction to Skala, where the Monastery of Saint John and the Cave of the Apocalypse are located.
Car and Motorcycle rentals in Patmos
With a car or motorcycle, you can explore the island at your own pace and gain access to the most secluded spots! In case you don’t have your own vehicle, it is an excellent idea to rent a car for your sightseeing trips! Car Rental agencies can be found near the port.
Patmos travel guide
Patmos is world famous as the island where Saint John was inspired and wrote the Apocalypse, this mysterious book of Christianity. In fact, the Monastery of Saint John and the Cave of Apocalypse are the most important sights in Patmos Greece. Thousands of pilgrims come to Patmos every year to visit these two religious monuments that are so connected to this island with the spiritual vibes. Due to this spirituality, festivals of religious music and other events are organized there in summer in an effort to connect Patmos with its past.
Things to do and see in Patmos island
As the island is small and quiet, things to do in Patmos are limited. There are no organized things to do in Patmos. The island is ideal for total relaxation at the beach or in the countryside. Swimming in the wonderfully secluded beaches of Patmos is a delight. Enjoy a day under the hot sun and in the afternoon have lunch in the seaside taverns. In the evenings, have a drink in a lounge cafe-bar under the stars.
Another enjoyable activity in Patmos island is hiking. Many old footpaths cross the island and lead to tiny chapels, small settlements, secluded beaches and hilltops with breathtaking view to the sea. Hiking is best in autumn and spring when the weather is not so hot. In summer, long hiking can be quietly uncomfortable.
Cave of the Apocalypse
This sacred, candlelit grotto is believed to be the spot where St John the Divine received his visions from Christ and transcribed the Book of Revelation, 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 and the cave became the focal point of a significant religious pilgrimage.
Next to godliness
High on the hill above Hora, The Monastery of St John the Theologian is an important centre of worship. This monastery, with its significant religious history and imposing architecture, rises grandly over the Aegean and dominates the life of Patmos. The monastic community here has existed for over 900 years and the relics, rare documents, icons and other Orthodox treasures in the monastery are invaluable.
It was established in 1088 by the Byzantine monk St Christodoulos the Blessed. Each Easter, on the night of The Resurrection, the Holy Light makes it way from Jerusalem to Patmos. Likewise, on Holy Thursday, the church service of Niptiros – which occurs only in Patmos and in Jerusalem – is an event that never fails to inspire.
Feudal lords, wealthy merchants and captains from the 16th to the 19th century have all left their traces in Hora. It isn’t hard to understand why it is considered one of the most stately island towns in the Aegean as you walk in the shadow of the imposing buildings with Gothic and neoclassical features, pass under the arcades and archways, climb into alleyways that barely fit two people.
Ask to be shown the sights and stately homes of Vardikou, Palaiologou, Valvi, Foundi (of Leonton) and be transported to another time. At Nikolaidi, which has been converted to an exceptional museum, you will find a representation of a traditional home in Patmos, as well as many archaeological discoveries.
Kalikatsou: Solid as a rock
This huge rock juts out of the water and looks like a sculpture in the sea. It is a significant archaeological site. Researchers believe it was once a temple of Aphrodite and continued to be a place of worship well into Christianity. Climb up and see the carving in the rock, water reservoirs for sacred rituals and small caves where offerings were made. The view from the top is breathtaking, as the Aegean Sea unfolds at your feet.
What to do in Patmos island
These small monastic units in caves were created by monks. Beside their hermitages, they also built small temples.
Ascend to Prophiti Elias
Experience a the spectacle of the highest point of the island: large rocks scattered everywhere as if they were tossed from above, caves and – in the distance – the big blue Aegean Sea.
A historic pathway
A walk on Aporthiano road is worth your while. This old trail unites Hora with the port, Skala.
Nightlife in Patmos
The central nightlife scene in Patmos is Skala, the most tourist place of the island. Along the port of Skala, there are lounge cafes with atmospheric music and few clubs that stay open till 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning. There are also few lounge bars in Chora and Kambos. For a more peaceful night out, have a long dinner in the many taverns around the island.
The villages of Patmos consist of traditional and coastal settlements that match perfectly with the picturesque landscape of the island with the small plains, the valleys and the low hills contrasting the deep blue of the Aegean Sea.
Beaches of Patmos island
Patmos is a great island to relax and get away from daily routine. The most organized beaches in Patmos are Skala, Agriolivado and Livadi Geranou. There are also many Patmos beaches with fewer facilities but rich in natural beauty. The majority of Patmos beaches can be accessed by foot from Skala. You will find below a list with the best beaches in Patmos island.
List of All Beaches in Patmos island
- Agriolivado, map
- Kambos, map
- Skala, map
- Grikos, map
- Lambi, map
- Meloi, map
- Psili Ammos, map
- Loukakia, map
- Agios Nikolaos, map
- Diakofti, map
- Lefkes, map
- Petra, map
- Vagia, map
- Alikes, map
- Livadi Geranou, map
- Sapsila, map
- Didymes Paralies (Twin Beaches), map
Where to stay in Patmos island
Patmos Hotels: Patmos is a secluded island in Dodecanese Greece, considered an alternative destination of the Aegean Sea. Look and search Patmos accommodation, rooms, hotels apartments, studios and pensions.
Hotels in Chora on Patmos
- Patmos Chora Villas 1 & 2, Booking.com
- Chora Patmos, Booking.com
- Artemis Villa, Booking.com
- Patmos Chora traditional villa Genadio, Booking.com
- Manos House in Chora, Booking.com
- House of Sunset, Booking.com
Hotels in Kambos on Patmos
- Villa Erianna, Booking.com
- Patmos House Thea, Booking.com
- Andreas House, Booking.com
- Patmos Paradise Hotel, Booking.com
- Filio Apartments, Booking.com
Hotels in Grikos on Patmos
- Alexandros Hotel, Booking.com
- Apanemo, Booking.com
- Villa Ariadne, Booking.com
- Silver Beach, Booking.com
- Grikos Hotel, Booking.com
Hotels in Skala on Patmos
- Captain’s House, Booking.com
- Patmos Exclusive Villas, Booking.com
- Villa Zacharo, Booking.com
- Byzance Hotel, Booking.com
- Aretousa Deluxe Downtown Apartment, Booking.com