Patmos | Dodecanese
37.2500° N, 23.1333° E
If there's one thing that defines Patmos, it is the quality of the light. There is an awe-inspiring beauty in the way that the sun reflects on the sea's glittering surface and the electrifying palette of the sky as each day comes to an end, imbuing the landscape with a surreal feel. Even during the peak season's social whirl, the island seduces visitors with its dreamlike sceneries that inspired St John to write his Revelation.
Patmos belongs to the Dodecanese group of islands, yet its landscape is mostly rugged with a divine coastline full of sandy beaches and secluded coves. Built on top of a hill, the monastery of St John, a UNESCO World Heritage Monument, inspired the island's architecture that captured the spirit of its surreal beauty. The older houses were built tightly together to protect the locals from nature's force and the threat of invaders.
ChoraThe architecture is stunning. Wander around its labyrinth of streets to really appreciate the details - the arched alleyways, the neoclassic city-hall, the plazas, the whitewashed houses that explode with colour from the bougainvillea, the little shops and cafes and the churches that pop up at every corner.
The Monastery of St JohnThe immense 11th century monastery that crowns Chora was built in 1088 and resembles a medieval fortress. Indeed, the monks used to alert the island when pirates were attacking, and used the small opening above the gate to throw hot oil on intruders. Inside the monastery you will find a museum with a stunning collection of religious treasures.
The Monastery and Cave of ApocalypseThe monastery is built around the cave where St John wrote his Revelation, the last book of the New Testament. It also includes three churches, Agia Anna, Agios Artemios and Agios Nikolaos. The monastery is situated between Skala and Chora and is one of the most important religious sites of Christianity.
Patmos International Film FestivalPatmos has a strong cultural identity, with art and cultural events throughout the year. One of the most important is the International Film Festival which takes place in late July and includes screenings, workshops, seminars and a short film competition.
Patmos' religious background is a huge part of its identity. There is a sanctuary-like atmosphere that inspires total serenity. The villages are traditional, the beaches untouched, even the music played in the bars and restaurants is played at a pleasantly civilised volume.
Skala is the island's port and main settlement, its waterfront lined with colourful bars and restaurants. Despite being the centre of activity, Skala has managed to maintain the laid-back charm that has turned it into the heart of the island. Visit the ruins of the ancient acropolis, the convent of Zoodochos Pigi, the Italian Building and the islet Petrokaravo. And after a day of sightseeing, head for one of the elegant restaurants and bars and mingle with the locals and tourists.
Chora has its own distinct charm, with its winding alleys and well-preserved neoclassical buildings. Visit the mansion of Nikolaidis to see a perfect example of a traditional Byzantine home. Explore the galleries, notably artist Andreas Kalatzis’ Patmos Gallery. Find out about the Festival of Religious Music that takes place in late August.
You can also visit the beautiful villages of Grikos and Cambos, and plan a daily excursion to Arkii and Marathi, two neighbouring islets just off the coast of Patmos - you might even be able to spend the night if you're lucky enough to find a vacant room.
The ferries that leave from the port of Piraeus take about 7hrs to get to Patmos. Alternatively, you can fly to Kos and then get a catamaran from there.
A genuine aristocratic essence is generously passed to all the luxury villas in Patmos. Succumbed in the spiritual calmness of the island, the luxurious private villas one can find in Patmos have nothing to envy from residences found at other popular resorts in Greece. Chic and modern, with well-trimmed exteriors and cozy interiors, a holiday villa with pool in Patmos will take you in the island’s magical aura.