Journey to diverse experiences
Patmos, the mysterious island of Apocalypse, is a place of exceptional beauty and a unique holiday destination. It “marries” mysticism and solemnity with cosmopolitan life, inviting traveler to a journey of endless and diverse experiences.
There is definitely something magical about Patmos. Small and fiendishly remote, Patmos has a special aura that captivates the savvy traveler. It’s one of those out – of – the – way unspoiled and sophisticated retreats ideal for those who seek calm, limpid waters, fine beaches, chic vibes, laid-back atmosphere and exquisite architecture.
Steeped in mystique, the dazzling capital of the island, Chora, crowned by the majestic Μοnastery of St. John the Divine, is considered one of the most beautiful Aegean towns. A crenellated fortress brimming with Byzantine treasures, the monastery exudes a powerful influence over the island. The church has also kept nightlife in check, though you’ll find plenty of action in the little bars clustered around it. There is actually a handful of fashionable bars, but the lucky few enjoy private parties on roof terraces dangling between sea and stars.
Hidden behind high walls and carved doors are gracious whitewashed mansions of the 17th century that add to the mystic ambience surrounding Chora. Most of those houses have been renovated with great respect for our cultural heritage and the local traditional architecture and as such the majority of them do not feature a swimming pool.
Cosmopolitan life is nothing new to this island which has been gathering famous personas from Arts and Design every summer for many years now.
If you are a gastronomy lover, then Patmos is your paradise! The pride of the island is the fine traditional cuisine and one may find a plethora of gourmet and traditional cuisine restaurants for exceptional dining in Patmos.
The island has a wonderful coastline with exceptional charming bays to choose from with sandy and pebble beaches to hidden coves and stunning cliffs to explore on foot.
The soul of Patmos has a distinctive allure and a tempting charisma of tranquility to magnetize you with its diverse beauties.
CAVE OF THE APOCALYPSE
It is believed to have been the sacred cave where Saint Ioannis heard the voice of God and wrote the Apocalypse. In the cave, visitors can admire the cross engraved by Saint Ioannis, as well as the three small cracks on the rock through which the voice of God came, symbolizing Holly Trinity. A visit to the Cave is really a unique unforgettable experience.
SAINT IOANNIS THEOLOGOS MONASTERY
Built in the 11th century, this monastery dominates the high cliff above the island capital and resembling a medieval castle. The monastery has been declared a world heritage monument by UNESCO. It houses 10 chapels, a laboratory of pottery, the Ecclesiastical Museum with a treasure of orthodox icons, embroideries and objects used for religious purposes.
Located in the monastery of Saint Ioannis, the Ecclesiastical Museum houses a treasure of religious objects including icons, church utensils, vestments and embroideries, as well as important manuscripts.
ANCIENT ACROPOLIS – KASTELLI
Strategically situated at the northern part of Hora, the ancient acropolis has a view to all three bays (Skala, Hohlaka and Merika), while it is dated back to the Middle Bronze Period. Visitors can see the ruins of the ancient fortification wall, towers and one gate, but Kastelli is also the ideal place to watch the sunset.
ASPRIS (OR LEFKIS) BAY
In this area of Western Patmos, ruins of prehistoric accommodations have been discovered. A genuine travel back to time!
ROCK OF KALIKATSOUS
On this rock featuring carved stairs, caves and wells, ceramic utensils of 1100 B.C. have been found as well as tools made of stone.
Housed in the Semantiris Residence, built in the 17th century by craftsmen from Smyrni, the Museum hosts paintings, old furniture and objects of the island’s everyday life through the centuries.
Skala is the port of the island, pretty famous for its unique architecture. Among its beautiful buildings, the “Italian” building that houses the Post Office, the Hellenic Tourism Organization and local authorities stands out. It was built in 1932, boasts a three-floor tower and many arches at the ground floor.
The island’s capital is among the most picturesque island capitals in Greece. With its whitewashed houses of traditional Greek insular architecture and its mansions made of stone, Hora is connected to Skala with a narrow street. At Hora, visitors can also see the house of Emmanuel Xanthos, one of the founders of “Filiki Eteria”.
Explore the most idyllic place to live
The secret behind Patmos’ popularity is the wide range of things one can experience. The laid back pace really draws you in, while the air inspires to take full advantage of the season at hand. The waters revive you and the sun seems to shine with magnified rays making you feel unique and alive.
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.
Alternatively, take one of the cruise boats from the port of Skala that offer daily excursions to the best beaches of the nearby islands. If you are looking for a more exclusive experience you can rent the whole boat with a skipper.
Enjoy trekking by taking one of the old walking paths (monopatia) that used to be the island’s main transportation routes. Nowadays they are sadly deserted, but they are nonetheless important pieces of history as they offer significant insights into the way people used to live as well as stunning island views. The old footpaths cross the island and lead to tiny chapels, small settlements, secluded beaches and hilltops with breathtaking view to the sea. A popular route to take is the old road from Skala to Chora and back. Trekking is best in autumn and spring, when the weather is not so hot. In summer, long hiking can be quiet uncomfortable.
In the afternoon have lunch in the seaside taverns. In the evenings, have a drink in a lounge cafe-bar under the stars.
This is a tranquil sandy beach, with calm and clean waters. All the cliffs that surround the area are filled with trees, making the green of the trees and the blue of the sea the dominant colors. Perfect for relaxation and tranquility, Livadi Geranou beach is the place to be in order to enjoy a calm swim protected from Meltemia winds especially during August. A small tavern located near the beach will add a hint of fresh fish and local delicacies to this small heaven.
Petra is an organized beach with large white pebbles. At one end of the beach there is a huge rock, “Petra” (that means stone in Greek), a true challenge for visitors that choose to climb on. The view from the rock is amazing. Petra hosts crows and other wild birds, so we suggest visiting the place to admire the beautiful scenery and the exceptional natural environment.
Agriolivado is an organized sandy beach, with relatively warm shallow waters. The view to the little island of Saint Thekla is magic and there is also a nice beach on the island accessible with a canoe from Agriolivado. Moreover, around Agriolivado there are many bights and bays waiting to be explored.
Psili Ammos is a secluded sandy beach with turquoise waters, accessible only by boat (a 45 minutes’ boat trip from Skala) or by bus to Diakofti and then walking for about 20-30 minutes through a path that leads to the beach. There is a tavern that separates the beach in two parts, one of them being used by nudists. Psili Ammos is not recommended when it is windy and on Sundays of August, because it is too crowded.
Sapsila is a tranquil sandy beach at Eastern Patmos. It is easily accessible and is one of the two beaches on the island where the sea water is not ice cold. Sapsila village is a small and quite fishing settlement that offers a well-developed infrastructure to facilitate visitors and make their visit a pleasant and relaxing experience. Seaside taverns, quality accommodation units and a traditional ambience combined with a charming coast will surely leave the sweetest taste!
Meloi is an easily accessible beach and hosts 2 taverns and the unique organized camping of the island. It is very rarely windy and has shallow waters that are ideal for children. The morphology of the beach includes rocks, sand and little pebbles, while tamarisk trees invite visitors to rest under their shade.
Grikos is a picturesque fishing village with a big sandy beach and many smaller sandy beaches next to it. It owes its cosmopolitan flair to the sailing boats that moor in its port. There are cafeterias, bars, taverns and restaurants either on the beach or in a walking distance from it. Guests can enjoy the wonderful view of the sailing boats and the bays around the village.
Lambi is famous for its colorful white, grey, black, yellow, pink and light blue pebbles, of various sizes and shapes. The water is crystal clean and there is also a cafeteria/beach bar and a restaurant with local dishes.
Vagia is a pebble beach in the northeastern part of Patmos, a few minutes’ drive from Kampos, the island’s most cosmopolitan beach. Vagia is a tranquil beach, with ice cold waters and trees that provide dew and shade during the hot Greek summer. Visitors can buy water or a snack at the cafeteria located close to the beach.
DIDYMES PARALIES (TWIN BEACHES)
Didymes Paralies (twin beaches) is a set of two almost identical beaches located at the eastern part of the island, close to the island’s port, Skala. Both beaches are sandy, non-organized and belong to identically shaped bays. Didymes Paralies are easily accessible and almost every traveler who has visited Patmos has swum in their clean waters.
Kampos is the island’s most popular and cosmopolitan beach. It has crystal cold, transparent waters and offers all facilities of an organized beach, including a beach bar and water sports. It is widely preferred for its wonderful weather conditions, since the sea at Kampos is almost always calm. The ideal choice for day at the beach!
Taste Patmos gastronomic wealth
If you are a gastronomy lover, then Patmos is your paradise! The gastronomic wealth of Patmos is boundless, comprising a large variety of local products, recipes and dishes, which gift visitors with yet another unique experience.
Local vegetables, fruit, the celebrated local Patmos tyrópita (an open-top cheese pie with a filling of mixed local cheeses), stuffed kalamária (squid), anthónero (rose water), fragrant bread and the famous sweet poungí (literally: pouch or purse, in this case made of pastry) with honey or icing sugar, are but just a few of the flavoursome delights that Patmos has to offer.
In the numerous small tavernas and restaurants of Patmos Island, visitors have the opportunity to taste both homemade traditional recipes and fresh fish or handmade sweets, while some of these delectable treasures can also be purchased from the island’s zacharoplastía (patisseries).
The island is increasingly attracting young people, so, there is a handful of fashionable cafes and bars for more active nights.
THE LUXURIANS offers an exclusive booking service to the best restaurants and bars on the island, based on its fully supported recommendations. The comprehensive ‘little black book’ that we have compiled and update every year, lists restaurants and bars in every spot on the island.
Just lay back and let your personal concierge with first-hand experience make all arrangements on your behalf.
This amazing dessert is the most famous specialty of Patmos. Pougkia are actually stuffed nests of honey, almond, nuts and nutmeg, fried in seed-oil. The pougkia stuffing is called “mazouni” and can be eaten separately as a dessert on its own.
STUFFED GOAT OR GOAT “KAPAMA”
A traditional recipe offered in weddings and also as an Easter dish. The goat is stuffed with liver, dry and fresh onions, mincemeat, eggs, rice, local cheese and parsley, and baked in the oven. Residents of the island started using this recipe because it was more economic than plain goat or lamb meat, and large families could not feed solely with meat on Easter after 40 days of fast.
SCHINOPSOMO / SCHINOPITES
Fluffy bread and pies made with local herbs.
CHICKPEAS WITH EGGPLANTS
Although chickpeas are mainly served in Greece as a soup, this recipe suggests they are placed in between two layers of fried eggplants and baked in the oven as a sandwich. Apart from chickpeas and eggplants, ingredients include tomatoes, olive oil and onions.
CUTTLEFISH AND SQUID BURGERS
Who says burgers can only be made with meat? For this unique dish all it takes is a blender and fresh cuttlefish and squid from Patmos’ crystal sea, along with the ingredients for any burger: onion, soaked bread, olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper.
This delicious salty pie is a tart with three different types of cheese and cinnamon. Great as an appetizer but also suitable for breakfast or a snack!
When to go
Like most Greek islands, Patmos is enjoyable in late spring – when the landscape is still green, the sea has warmed up to feasible swimming temperatures, but the crowds have yet to descend – and early autumn, when the summer hordes have departed and the sea is at its warmest. In both spring and autumn, you can expect attractive prices for villa accommodation compared to summer. But take note – not too late in autumn; after late September many facilities close down and storms do hit.
Patmos is a famous worldwide destination for the celebration of the Orthodox Easter and for many years during this period the island has been frequented by intellectuals, artists, royalty and celebrities from all over the world.
Patmos has a mild Mediterranean climate, enjoying about 3000 hours of sunshine per year. During the summer (starting in late May), the atmosphere is limpid and the sea temperature is ideal for swimming until October. Like in most Aegean islands, the sea is not calm during the afternoons in August due to a local wind called “meltemi”. There are about 80 days of rain per year, mainly in the period between November and February.
The national prefix for Greece is +30 if you are calling from abroad. All numbers in the capital Athens start with the prefix 210 and are followed by 8 digits (e.g. 210-3227400).
The Area Code for Patmos is: +30 22470. If you wish to call abroad, you have to start by dialing the other country’s national prefix (i.e. 0049 for Germany, 0044 for England etc.) and continue with the area code and the number where you wish to call.
Euro Bank Notes: Are available in 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500. It is not always easy to receive change for 200 and 500 Euro Notes.
Patmos does not have an airport. The closest airport is the airport of the island of Leros, but flights are more frequent from Athens or from airports abroad towards Kos, Rhodes and Samos. Local itineraries connect Patmos to the aforementioned islands on a daily basis during the summer. For more information on flights to the airports close to Patmos, please visit:
Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos: www.aia.gr
Olympic Airways: For accurate timetable and ticket costs visit Olympic Air website www.olympicair.com
Athens Office: +30 210 355 0500, 8018010101
Aegean Air: For accurate timetable and ticket costs visit Aegean Air website www.aegeanair.com
Tel.: 801 112 0000/+30 210 6261000
Patmos is connected by boat with Piraeus, the other islands of the Dodecanese, but also with other islands of the Aegean Sea, like Samos and Ikaria. The boat from Piraeus takes about 7 hours to reach the port of Patmos in Skala. The trips from the nearby islands of the Dodecanese last about 1-1.5 hours, while the trips from Ikaria or Samos last a little longer.
BLUE STAR FERRIES: For accurate timetable and ticket costs visit Blue Star Ferries website www.bluestarferries.gr
Tel.: 18130 / +30 210 8919800, 210 -4274009-010
ANEK LINES: For accurate timetable and ticket costs visit Anek Lines website www.anek.gr
Tel.: +30 210 4197470
DODECANESE SEAWAYS: For accurate timetable and ticket costs visit Dodecanese Seaways website www.12ne.gr
Tel: +30 22410 70590 (Rhodes Headquarters)
Useful telephone numbers:
Piraeus Port Authority: +30 210 42 26000
Patmos Port Authority: +30 22470 31231
Patmos is a small island and has a good network of local transportation. Buses depart from Skala to Hora, Groikos and Kampos, and pass through many villages / beaches in-between.
You may also use the Boat Owners Association to organize your own boat trip to little islands around Patmos, or enjoy the boat trip around the island.
Local Buses: +30 22470 31666
Taxi Service: +30 22470 31225
BOAT OWNERS ASSOCIATION OF PATMOS: +30 22470 32664
There is a daily connection with Leipsous with the boat Patmos Express that departs at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. every day during the summer months.
Rent a Car / Motorbike
Patmos is ideal for renting a car or a motorbike. Please note that local authorities are very strict concerning the use of helmets while riding a motorbike.
Banks and ATMs
The following banks have branches and ATMs in Patmos:
National Bank of Greece: In Skala. Tel.: +30 22470 34040
Commercial Bank (Emporiki Bank): In Skala. Tel: +30 22470 34140, +30 22470 35000
Dodecanese Cooperative Bank: In Skala. Tel: +30 22470 33370
Money can be exchanged in the bank branches listed above.
The Greek post office is called ELTA. A wonderful building of Italian architecture, known as the “Italian building”, houses the post office of Patmos in Skala, along with other public services offices.
Post Boxes in Greece are YELLOW for normal post, usually with 2 slots for INTERNAL POST (meaning inside Greece) and post for ABROAD. RED Post Boxes are rarer and they are used for URGENT mail. You shouldn’t expect to find such boxes in the island. REGISTERED mail is always handled and given a receipt for at the POST OFFICE.
Post Office in Patmos Tel. no: +30 22470 31316
The Police Station is accommodated in the same building with the Post Office in Skala.
Tel.: +30 22470 31303.
Municipality of Patmos
The Municipality of Patmos has a user friendly portal, which contains useful information: www.patmos.gov.gr
The Municipal building is located in Hora.
Tel.: +30 22470 31235
Radio Taxi: +30 22470 31225
Tourist Police: 171
Port Authority: +30 22470 31231
Hellenic National Meteorological service: +30 210 9699101-3
ELPA (Car breakdown tourist information service): 174
International press is hard to find on the island, so visitors should think in advance and take it with them before arriving at Patmos.
Fire Department: 199
Patmos Health Center: +30 22470 31211, 22470 32669
There are two pharmacies in Patmos, both in Skala:
Kleopatra & Stylianos Karafotakis, Tel.: 22470-31650. Mob.: 6974557351
Christodoulos, Pelagia & Konstantinos Voutzoulidis, Tel.: 22470 31500, 22470 31083