Photo: simonjenkins

Get swept up in your safe haven in Patmos

Before you even step off the boat, from afar and even through the ink-black cloak of midnight, it will hit you – a sense of peace, of permanence, of serenity. The turreted outline of a thousand-year-old castle-like monastery stands proud at the very top of a hill. Square squat homes drape around it, hugging it, touching roof-to-wall-to-balcony over winding streets as if these countless homes are holding hands, a bond unbroken through time. Then close your eyes and breathe in deep – let the unmistakable waft of eucalyptus trees lull you until you give in. Because this is Patmos – strong, proud, calm, immutable. The island of serenity that’s willing to offer you a sense of peace learned and fought for over countless centuries. Patmos doesn’t change. It doesn’t need to. But if you let it, it will change you.

When you visit Patmos, one of the most beautiful islands in the Dodecanese, its imprint on your soul remains long after you leave. It becomes an echo you take with you, to infuse the rest of your life with the same sense of timeless serenity. And Patmos only needs a few hours to get you hooked on its unique vibe. You’ll fall in love with towns that seem built within castle walls, their winding streets shaded by vaulted archways supporting balconies and courtyards just above. No matter where you look, there’s more to what you’ll see. Opulent historical homes are hidden behind plain unassuming facades, but step within for a tour and you’ll find indoor wells of unknown depths collecting rainwater, works of art, a blacksmith’s long unused furnace. Follow a handful of stone steps to a mystical cave that changed history – and still has scholars and theologians fervently attempting to interpret the manuscript and prophesies divined and penned within its eerie chamber. Hike up through town and pass through a gate that will take you back a thousand years, to treasures and relics and a cathedral unparalleled in the world. Then follow a unique network of paths to hike through a cultural tour of this stunning island to combine ecotourism and cultural activities. Top it off by taking a dip in crystal-clear exotic waters before sailing to a network of nearby islets that play a crucial role in the local ecosystem. Sight-seeing, sports and sacred locations – Patmos hands you everything you need to find sanctuary – physically, mentally and spiritually.

Spiritual Patmos – The Cave of the Apocalypse and the Monastery of St. John Theologian

Photo: simonjenkins

Patmos is proud of many sites and attractions, but if you want to experience the exact place where history changed, where Patmos began its journey as the Patmos known and loved by thousands each year, then make your way to the Cave of the Apocalypse. Located between the towns of Hora and Skala, visit this astounding site and you’ll be able to feel the charge in the air as soon as you climb the few stone steps and go inside. The significance of the cave dates back to 95 AD, when St. John the Theologian fled persecution and sought sanctuary in Patmos. And in Patmos, in this cave, he changed everything. Because it is within this very cave that he divined the Book of Revelation and predicted the signs leading to the Apocalypse. And as you’ll stand within the eerie silence of the cave’s chamber, you’ll get a glimpse of the Saint’s life. Admire the unique geological formations within the cave. It has a number of boulders that almost float down, that look as fluffy and weightless as a cloud hovering above the altar, icons and candles adorning the cave walls.

Tour the cave chamber and you’ll find what looks like a rip in the stone – this is where religious texts say St. John heard God’s voice telling him the secrets of the Book of Revelation, booming through the gap in the cave’s stone wall. Nearby you’ll see a shelf made of rock which was used by Prohoros, the Saint’s student and scribe, to record everything St. John said about the Apocalypse. And beyond you’ll see the small rock ledges that St. John used as support as he prayed. Regardless of faith, the sense of serenity and peace in this cave is palpable – take your time to soak in the hushed mysticism of the cave. Admire the many icons that sparkle in the gold light shining from forests of lit candles. And you’ll feel the weight of history there – history that changed Patmos and led it to flourish within Christendom, and a history born of predictions that to this day are analyzed by scholars and priests alike.

Photo: simonjenkins

From the Cave, make your way to Hora town and then up the hill to the Monastery of St. John the Theologian. Admire the monastery’s castle-like Byzantine architecture, with a turreted outer wall that stretches almost to the sky designed to keep people out as well as in and an enormous main gate. You’ll feel like you stepped back in time to a place where this castle housed both monks and warriors, embraced spirituality and scholarship as well as cut-throat politics. You’re not wrong, because the Monastery was a place of contradictions. Built in 1088, the Monastery was founded by Ossios Christodoulos after he received a Chryssobull decree from the Byzantine Emperor Alexi Komninos granting Patmos fiscal independence – thus making both the island and the Monastery a key player in the political arena from Byzantine times and beyond. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Monastery of St. John Theologian fostered spiritual scholarship, navigated political intrigue between warring Venetian and Ottoman empires, and opened its gates to offer refuge to Patmos’ local population during pirate raids.

You’ll feel this sense of political and religious power from the moment you reach the Monastery’s main gate – and look straight up. Because from the stone rafters right above you, scalding oil and boiling water was poured down on invading pirates and warriors by desperate monks in a final attempt to keep locals safe. As you walk through this huge door to be welcomed in the Monastery’s now-peaceful courtyard, remember that this gate was once called Fonias – the Murderer – because along with serenity, the monastery had to brutally fight to protect its people and Patmos itself. But then as soon as you step within those soaring stone walls, you’ll find a beautiful courtyard with flowing vines and flowers, peaceful monks in meditation, and crowds of visitors taking in this unique aura.

Don’t miss out on a quiet tour of the Cathedral – an architectural, religious and historical gem that will infuse you with a sense of history rarely found elsewhere. Admire one-of-a-kind 12th, 16th, and 19th C frescoes, a stunning, intricately hand-carved wooden altar from 1820, and a three-part style of Byzantine architecture that seems to embrace visitors within its dark stone walls. From the Cathedral, head to the Sacristy which doubles as a museum. Tour the exhibits and admire ancient icons, religious vessels and relics. It’s the biggest Sacristy in the Aegean and holds unique treasures, including the 11thC mosaic icon of St. Nicholas, the actual Chryssobull issued to Ossios Christodoulos and the 6thC Purple Codex famous for the purple color of the parchment itself, gold and silver text, and one of the most important manuscripts of the Gospel of Mark. From there, head to the Monastery’s Library, where you’ll admire 1200 religious manuscripts, more than 3000 books of unprecedented historical value and importance, as well as Ossios Christodoulos’ many books which also constituted the origins of the Monastery’s now vital and immense collection. If you’re an art enthusiast, you’ll be delighted with the Monastery’s workshop. This beautiful room is where all icons and artifacts are brought for restoration, so ask the craftsmen for their secrets – both about the technical process and little-known facts about the artifacts themselves.

Photo: simonjenkins

Hora Town – medieval beauty that beckons you

If you’re an architecture and history buff, you’ll revel in the beauty of this stunning medieval town. Hora Town hugs the monastery, creating an extra ring of fortification around the religious castle-like monastery. This town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well, and you’ll understand why as soon as you wander through its many winding streets and admire Patmos’ one-of-a-kind architecture. Widely believed to be the most beautiful medieval town in Greece, Hora will beguile you from the very beginning of your tour with its many mysteries and secret gems. Begin exploring by following Hora’s historical roots – visit the homes along the winding cobblestone streets right outside the Monastery’s imposing walls. These low, square stone homes were built by craftsmen who built the Monastery itself and are the oldest in town. From there head to the Alotina district and witness the charm of this ancient neighborhood built by refugees fleeing Constantinople after the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453. Then go to Kritika district where Cretans found a new home after fleeing Crete in 1669.

And as you make your way through Hora’s oldest neighborhoods, you’ll see the unique charm of this medieval village. Different architectural styles sit side by side, with large Neoclassicals next to modest homes. But they all have the same fortress-like feel, with white or gray stone walls, turret-shaped sections, Gothic windows, external stone staircases and a distinct castle-type aura as walls are draped with the greenest ivy or brightly colored flowers. And you’ll see the fortification behind the plan of the town as soon as you realize these homes were built wall-to-wall, with balconies touching the roof of the houses just down the hill, creating a maze of clustered neighborhoods designed to throw off pirates storming streets and invading armies rushing up the hill to the Monastery. Tiny alleys meander under vaulted ceilings and arcades that support adjoining balconies above, turning quiet streets into dark eerie tunnels. Notice all the unique features that adorn Patmos’ windows and doorways, turning everyday doorframes and gates into works of art that seems riddled with secret codes and symbols. This style, called Mandomata and unique to Patmos, boasts a combination of crosses and Byzantine symbols carved in doors and windows to ward off evil – and will take you back to the days of medieval superstition and suspicion.

Photo: simonjenkins

But the real mysteries and secrets lie beyond these mystical doors, inside average-looking homes where wealthy families kept the facades of mansions modest and unassuming to misdirect greedy pirates. Once inside though, the true architecture of Patmos will reveal its many mysteries. You’ll be astounded by the vaulted ceilings sweeping across open-space ground floors, with archways that turn everyday rooms into Medieval arcades. Tour the island’s famous mansions – you’ll find indoor stone wells hiding in living rooms, their depths unknown to this day. In nooks beside kitchens you’ll find blacksmith’s furnaces, carved into stone walls, a throwback to the Middle Ages. Wander through dining areas and you’ll be enchanted by furniture and silverware dating back to 17thC Russia. Peek into bedrooms and you’ll be awestruck by 15thC icons, a work-of-art crib from 1913, and a hand-carved wooden console that’s a unique masterpiece. With the eeriness of its vaulted streets, unique architecture from Asia Minor not found on islands and which has been painstakingly preserved, and many secrets hiding behind mystical doors, it’s no wonder Patmo’s Hora is considered the Princess of all of Greece’s main towns, with the sturdiest homes in the Aegean.

The perfect blend of ecosports, nature and culture

If you love hiking, walking and mountain biking, Patmos offers all you adrenalin junkies an ideal way of exploring its many treasures. Follow Patmos’ Paths of Culture, which combines a network of ancient footpaths with modern ecosports, and cultural and natural sites. Clearly marked, you’ll enjoy biking, walking or hiking your way across centuries’-old footpaths – and along the way get a perfect tour of Patmos’ many treasures.

The most popular route from Skala to Hora and back takes you through lush pine and cypress forests to the Cave of the Apocalypse and the historic Patmiada Seminary founded in 1713 and an important academic center. Take some time and explore Skala Town, built on a tiny strip of land connecting two almost separate parts of Patmos. Explore Skala’s police building – a perfect example of Italian architecture – as well as Neoclassical homes. Archaeology enthusiasts will love the trail from Skala to Kastelli. Hike up – or take your mountain bike – to the top of Kastelli where you’ll explore the ancient city of Kastelli. Remains date back to the 3rdC BC, so explore the Hellenistic wall made of volcanic trachyte rock, Roman fortifications, and evidence of the local Temple of Apollo. If you prefer to hike close to the sea, follow the Aporthianos footpath that begins right at Patmos’ famous windmills at the very top of the highest hill in Hora Town. Make sure you take in the beauty of these stunning 16thC stone windmills that have been completely restored and are now fully functioning then hike or mountain bike up the mountain and take in awe-inspiring views of Patmos bay.

Nature lovers will rejoice in the stunning wetlands and well protected ecosystem around Grikos and Petra. If you love hiking while taking in nature’s treasures, follow the footpath from Hora to Grikos Bay to Petra and Diakofti. The lake and wetlands here are a protected site where a vibrant ecosystem of wild ducks, swans and heron seek refuge. Make it a point to explore a unique rock formation that also played a pivotal role in Patmos’ history – Petra tis Kallikatsou, or Kallikatsou Boulder. Riddled with natural and manmade caves, it served as a temple for Aphrodite and then was taken over by monks who lived in tiny caves. You can still see the stone steps carved by monks, as well as natural reservoirs that collected rainwater and manmade niches for votive candles and other religious offerings – both during Christianity and in Antiquity. It’s a pivotal archaeological site with remains dating back to 1100 BC. Then hike or bike your way from Stavros to Prasovouno to Psili Ammos and back for a challenging route that will take you through a ravine, stunning cliffs and a lush forest. If you’d rather take a more relaxed approach to exploring Patmos’ beautiful countryside, follow the ancient paths that take you from Hora to Kipi and the Holy Monastery of the Annunciation. Here you’ll meander through lemon, orange and carob tree orchards, enchanting vineyards, and along an elevated path that snakes through countless wells. Avid mountain bikers and hikers will also revel in Patmos’ three mountains – Genoupas, Hondro Vouno and Profiti Ilias, the island’s highest peak.

Photo: simonjenkins

If you’re an experienced sea kayaker, explore Patmos by rowing your way along the coastline. You’ll find isolated coves with crystal-clear green waters and exotic white-sand shores as well as more popular, well-organized beaches. Don’t miss Lambi beach up north which boasts so many colorful stones you’ll think a treasure-chest full of gems was emptied across the shores and into the water – and in the dark, under the moonlight, the brightly colored rocks sparkle underwater. As you row along the coastline, visit Koumaro forest near Lambi – one of only three surviving Arbutus forests in Greece. Then make your way to a tiny island across from Grikos Bay where you’ll be able to wander along with herds of wild goats. Make sure your travels also take you to Arki Islets, a network of tiny islands that not only boast pristine exotic beaches but also a vital ecosystem. Wild birds, lizards and flora create a unique ecosystem around Patmos, supported by a pristine habitat. Don’t miss out on the island’s environmental research center on Arki Islet. Then hike through the islands to find secret coves perfect for swimming.

Patmos offers visitors a perfect sanctuary, so soak in the peace and serenity this stunning island exudes by exploring the natural and cultural beauty Patmos is famous for. Exotic beaches, tiny islets whose cliffs seem to flutter as they shelter birds, unique forests, and winding ancient footpaths revived for modern ecosports. Dark caves that changed world history, a castle-like monastery guarding treasures, vaulted streets between medieval neighborhoods, and doors with secret codes. Close your eyes, breathe it in and be ready to explore. You’ll be changed forever.

Written for ecotourism-greece.com by Christina Condomaros

 

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Location - Patmos

Lambi Beach (Lambi Bay near Palia Mandra village)

This one-of-a-kind beach will not only astound you because of its crystal-clear waters and wonderful surroundings, but also because the pebbles that cover the shore and spill into the seabed sparkle with all shades of colors. If you go at night, you’ll see the bottom of the sea awash with color. Don’t take them home, though. It’s against the law.

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Patmos is a wonderful island for birdwatchers, as its pristine ecosystems and traditional developments fostered the protection of natural habitats throughout the island. Not only is Patmos’ landscape crucial for migratory birds, but there are a number of islets surrounding Patmos that sustain birdlife and a vital ecosystem.

Photo: Νίκος Προμπονάς

Arki Islets

If you’re a nature lover and a birdwatcher, the Arki network of tiny islands is a perfect day trip for you. Arki’s islets boast rugged landscapes that attract migratory birds because of their pristine and vital ecosystem. Whole cliffs and boulders are often covered in birds. Migratory and domestic birds, lizards and flora create a unique ecosystem around Patmos, supported by this well preserved pristine habitat. Don’t miss out on the island’s environmental research center on Arki. Then hike through the islands to find secret coves perfect for swimming.

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Wetlands and Lake around Grikos Bay and Petra

Patmos’ insistence on resisting commercial development led to the preservation of pristine ecosystems close to town. Nature lovers and birdwatchers will love the wetlands and lake near Petra. They are both protected sites where a vibrant ecosystem of wild ducks, swans and heron seek refuge. Patmos is a vital stop for migratory birds, and as such will delight nature lovers.

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Sea canoeing is a wonderful way of exploring Patmos’ stunning coastline. You’ll find isolated coves with crystal-clear green waters and exotic white-sand shores as well as more popular, well-organized beaches.

Don’t miss Lambi beach in the north which boasts so many colorful stones you’ll think a treasure-chest full of gems was emptied across the shores and into the water – and in the dark, under the moonlight, the brightly colored rocks sparkle underwater.

Photo: grikos.com

As you row along the coastline, visit Koumaro forest near Lambi – one of only three surviving Arbutus forests in Greece. Then make your way to a tiny island across from Grikos Bay where you’ll be able to wander along with herds of wild goats. Equipment can be found at a number of organized beaches. Don’t forget to ask instructors for tips or directions.

Although Patmos is too hilly to be pleasant for regular bikes, mountain bikers will rejoice in the many routes and trails that will take them through forests, wetlands, mountains and even to cultural sites.

Mountain Trails:

As Patmos is a hilly, mountainous island, these routes offer avid mountain bikers a real adrenalin high. Tour Patmos’ three mountains, without any routes to guide you, and you’ll feel like you’re on a true adventure. Genoupas Mountain and Hondro Vouno Mountain offer a number of lush landscapes for nature lovers, including small forests, herbal underbrush and a route through farmland that’s traditionally plowed using oxen. Then go up Profiti Ilias, the island’s highest peak, to admire the stunning view.

Skala-Hora Route:

Cycle through lush pine and cypress forests to the Cave of the Apocalypse and the historic Patmiada Seminary which was founded in 1713 and became an important academic center. Take some time and explore Skala Town, built on a tiny strip of land connecting two almost separate parts of Patmos. Explore Skala’s police building – a perfect example of Italian architecture – as well as Neoclassical homes.

Skala – Kastelli Route:

If you love mountain biking and archaeology, this is the trail that will keep you intrigued. Cycle to the top of the hill to explore the ancient city of Kastelli. Remains date back to the 3rdC BC, so explore the Hellenistic wall made of volcanic trachyte rock, Roman fortifications, and evidence of the local Temple of Apollo.

Aporthianos Route:

Take your mountain bike and get lost along the Aporthianos footpath that begins right at Patmos’ famous windmills at the very top of the highest hill in Hora Town. Make sure you take in the beauty of these stunning 16thC stone windmills that have been completely restored then cycle up the mountain and take in awe-inspiring views of Patmos bay.

Hora – Grikos Bay – Petra – Diakofti Route:

Explore the stunning wetlands and unique ecosystem around Grikos and Petra. If you love getting your adrenalin rush while taking in nature’s treasures, follow the rugged footpath from Hora to Grikos Bay to Petra and Diakofti. The lake and wetlands here are a protected site where a vibrant ecosystem of wild ducks, swans and heron seek refuge. Make it a point to explore a unique rock formation that also played a pivotal role in Patmos’ history – Petra tis Kallikatsou, or Kallikatsou Boulder contains a number of caves used for worshipping gods in Antiquity and were then inhabited by monks.

Stavros – Prasovouno – Psili Ammos Route:

If you’re an experienced mountain biker used to rugged unexplored trails, this route will become one of your favorites. This challenging landscape leads to a number of pristine natural wonders and will take you through a ravine, stunning cliffs and a lush forest.

Hora – Kipi – Holy Monastery of the Annunciation Route:

Take your mountain bike and explore Patmos’ agricultural areas. Go at a more leisurely pace as you cycle through lemon, orange and carob tree orchards, enchanting vineyards, and along an elevated path that snakes through countless wells.

Photo: www.greeka.com

Patmos is ideal for divers. Visibility and general conditions are perfect for diving, and there are a number of diving centers that have certified instructors willing to train you or take you to the best dive spots. The island’s pristine marine ecosystems sustain flourishing aquatic life. There are a number of reefs, sea caves, shelves and drops that provide perfect places for underwater exploration. One popular dive spot is Kinopa Reef, with marine life that intrigues all divers.

Photo: www.disciara.org

Patmos’ local cuisine will enthrall even the most discerning connoisseurs. There are mouthwatering appetizers, main courses and desserts that make the most of the island’s local produce. Natives of Patmos take pride in their one-of-a-kind dishes that never fail to sweep visitors off their feet.

Vegetarians will love the variety of excellent dishes offered throughout Patmos’ many traditional tavernas. Local specialties include melitzanes gemista, which are eggplant slices stuffed with wonderful local cheeses and herbs. Another dish you mustn’t miss is a fried platter of chickpeas and eggplant. Peppers stuffed with spiced herbs make up another mouthwatering dish that vegetarians will find delightful.

Appetizers will definitely not disappoint either. A variety of local cheeses are a must at all the quaint tavernas. Try Patmos’ unique cheese pie, or Patmiotiki tiropita, which is stuffed with wonderful local cheeses inside a fluffy crust shaped like an apple pie. Though tiropita is a staple food throughout the country, Patmos’ version is unique.

There are a number of traditional Patmian desserts that will satisfy even the most demanding sweet-tooth. Along with orange and lemon spoon sweets and preserves sourced in local orchards, you must try pouggia, which are little sweets made of phyllo pastry stuffed with almonds and walnuts and sprinkled with caster sugar.

Wine enthusiasts will delight in the fact that Patmos is reviving its viticultural tradition. Locals are proud of a new plan designed to restore vines and vineyards in the region of Petra. Called Patoinos Plan – or Wine of Patmos Plan – its aim is to focus on local varieties and bring out the region’s unique flavors. Make sure you order a bottle of wine with the Domaine Patoinos label – you’ll be part of a new revolution in Patmos’ vineyards.

Patmos is revolutionizing eco-tourism by creating the Paths of Culture, a network of ancient footpaths that guide hikers and walkers around the island’s many cultural and natural sites. Clearly marked, you’ll enjoy walking or hiking your way across centuries’-old footpaths that give you a tour of Patmos’ many treasures while offering stunning views and a glimpse into how locals traveled in ages gone by.

Photo: www.monopatiapolitismou.gr

Skala-Hora Route:

Hike through lush pine and cypress forests to the Cave of the Apocalypse and the historic Patmiada Seminary which was founded in 1713 and became an important academic center. Take some time and explore Skala Town, built on a tiny strip of land connecting two almost separate parts of Patmos. Explore Skala’s police building – a perfect example of Italian architecture – as well as Neoclassical homes.

Aporthianos Route:

Photo: www.monopatiapolitismou.gr

Get lost along the Aporthianos footpath that begins right at Patmos’ famous windmills at the very top of the highest hill in Hora Town. Make sure you take in the beauty of these stunning 16thC stone windmills that have been completely restored then follow the path up the mountain and take in awe-inspiring views of Patmos bay.

Skala – Kastelli Route:

Photo: www.monopatiapolitismou.gr

If you love hiking and archaeology, this is the trail that will keep you intrigued. Trek to the top of the hill to explore the ancient city of Kastelli. Remains date back to the 3rdC BC, so explore the Hellenistic wall made of volcanic trachyte rock, Roman fortifications, and evidence of the local Temple of Apollo.

Hora - Grikos Bay - Petra – Diakofti Route:

Explore the stunning wetlands and unique ecosystem around Grikos and Petra. If you love getting your adrenalin rush while taking in nature’s treasures, follow the rugged footpath from Hora to Grikos Bay to Petra and Diakofti. The lake and wetlands here are a protected site where a vibrant ecosystem of wild ducks, swans and heron seek refuge. Make it a point to explore a unique rock formation that also played a pivotal role in Patmos’ history – Petra tis Kallikatsou, or Kallikatsou Boulder contains a number of caves used for worshipping gods in Antiquity and were then inhabited by monks.

Hora - Kipi - Holy Monastery of the Annunciation Route:

Photo: www.monopatiapolitismou.gr

Hike through Patmos’ agricultural areas. Go at a more leisurely pace as you hike through lemon, orange and carob tree orchards, enchanting vineyards, and along an elevated path that snakes through countless wells.

Stavros - Prasovouno - Psili Ammos Route:

Photo: www.monopatiapolitismou.gr

If you’re an experienced hiker used to rugged unexplored trails, this route will become one of your favorites. This challenging landscape leads to a number of pristine natural wonders and will take you through a ravine, stunning cliffs and a lush forest.

Mountain Trails:

As Patmos is a hilly, mountainous island, these routes offer avid hikers a real adrenalin high. Tour Patmos’ three mountains, without any routes to guide you, and you’ll feel like you’re on a true adventure. Genoupas Mountain and Hondro Vouno Mountain offer a number of lush landscapes for nature lovers, including small forests, herbal underbrush and a route through farmland that’s traditionally plowed using oxen. Then go up Profiti Ilias, the island’s highest peak, to admire the stunning view.

Patmos’ Islets:

Jump in one of the many boats around Patmos harbor and sail to Arki Islets, a network of tiny islands that not only boast pristine exotic beaches but also a vital ecosystem. Hiking is the only way of touring these vital islets, so take in all the wild birds, lizards and flora that create a unique ecosystem around Patmos and the pristine habitat that offers them shelter. Don’t miss out on the island’s environmental research center on Arki Islet. Then hike along the coast to find secret coves perfect for swimming.

Patmos is proud of its artistic heritage and that also includes traditional ways of crafting ceramics and pottery. Explore the medieval alleys that wind through Hora and not only will you find art galleries and craftsmen at work, but you’ll be delighted by the number of ceramics – both as artwork and as everyday objects. Skala Town also boasts a number of pottery workshops, so don’t hesitate to pop inside and admire the artwork.

Photo: www.12ne.gr

Patmos is an extremely popular destination, with thousands of cruise-goers and independent yachts arriving each year. The island’s tourism development steered far from commercialization and as such Patmos attracts high-end tourism. If you love to sail, this is one island that you must not miss. Many of its exotic beaches and idyllic coves are accessible only by boat. If you sail your way along Patmos’ coast, it will be an unforgettable experience.

Photo: www.sailmenow.com

Aspri Beach (near Skala Town)

Take a dip, take in the sun and immerse yourself in the caress of stunning crystal-clear green waters. It’s one of the best beaches, and not only is it a quiet place for solitary swims, but you’ll also be thrilled with the wonderful views of the nearby monastery. It’s also very close to town, so you can take a break from exploring and go for a relaxing swim.

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Didimes or Tou Liginou Beach (near Livadi Geranou village)

If you love nothing more than combining ecosports and fun, then go on a short hike down an ancient path to find this stunning beach. It’s called Didimes, or twins, because a huge boulder separates the beach, turning Didimes into two separate bays. The rugged landscape and aquamarine waters will lull you into believing you’re on an exotic island.

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Kato Kambos Beach (near Kambos Town)

If you’re looking for action and watersports, then Kato Kambos beach is the ideal place for you. Long stretches of sand, blue green waves and all the equipment you need for your favorite sport. It’s a favorite among locals and tourists alike, and you’ll be happy you joined the crowds and took a dip after you dive into its cool waters.

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Lambi Beach (Lambi Bay near Palia Mandra village)

This one-of-a-kind beach will not only astound you because of its crystal-clear waters and wonderful surroundings, but also because the pebbles that cover the shore and spill into the seabed sparkle with all shades of colors. If you go at night, you’ll see the bottom of the sea awash with color. Don’t take them home, though. It’s against the law.

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Livadi Geranou Beach (near Livadi Geranou village)

Accessible via boat or after a short hike, this wonderful beach offers stretches of golden sand that seem to unroll before you, welcoming you to one of the most stunning beaches in Patmos. There are lots of trees that dot the sand, so it’s perfect if you want to spend the day and bring along a picnic. The crystal clear waters will certainly beckon.

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Meli Beach (near Skala Town)

Take a dip in this stunning stretch of perfect crystal-clear water. The natural landscape also provides wonderful views, and the thick line of trees along the coast offers hot swimmers plenty of shade. If you’ve got kids, it’s perfect as it’s sheltered from wind and offers calm, almost waveless waters. It’s a wonderful place to kick back and relax.

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Petra Beach (near Kalikatsou Boulder)

There’s nothing more rewarding than coupling exploration with a relaxing swim. Admire Kallikatsou Boulder with its many caves, carved stone steps and rich religious history and then take a dip in Petra beach. Its cool crystal-clear blue waters will invite you in after spending some time in the sun taking in Kallikatsou’s secrets.

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Psili Ammos Beach (near Diakofti village)

If you want to explore or have an adventure on your way to a swim, then sail to Psili Ammos or hike through rugged landscape to find this exotic beach. Fine white sand meets blue-green water in what’s widely believed to be Patmos’ most beautiful beach. Don’t miss it as you’ll be transported to someplace rather tropical.

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Vagia Beach (near Kambos Town)

This wonderful pebbled beach is caressed by turquoise waves and this idyllic setting will surely sweep you off your feet. You can either walk there or take a quaint boat and sail in. Either way, it’s a swim that will rejuvenate you and give you a sense of peace that’s only fitting in this serene island. Take a picnic with you and spend the day.

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Lambi Beach (Lambi Bay near Palia Mandra village)

This one-of-a-kind beach will not only astound you because of its crystal-clear waters and wonderful surroundings, but also because the pebbles that cover the shore and spill into the seabed sparkle with all shades of colors. If you go at night, you’ll see the bottom of the sea awash with color. Don’t take them home, though. It’s against the law.

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Patmos also plays a role in literature, in the Odyssey and Aeschylus’ and Euripides’ plays, as Patmos is believed to be the place where Orestes sought refuge. Patmos played a key commercial, political and religious role in Antiquity and throughout the Byzantine era through Ottoman and Venetian occupation.

Photo: www.patmos.gr

Patmos fought to fight commercialization in its tourist infrastructure and faithfully maintained traditional building practices and architecture. This ensured that the island’s natural landscape and vital habitats and the ecosystems they support were able to flourish despite the island’s popularity.

Photo: Keesus

Wine enthusiasts will delight in the fact that Patmos is reviving its traditional viticulture and helping local varieties of grapes flourish like they did in the past. Locals are proud of a new plan designed to restore vines and vineyards in the region of Petra. Called Patoinos Plan – or Wine of Patmos Plan – its aim is to focus on local varieties and bring out the region’s unique flavors. Make sure you order a bottle of wine with the Domaine Patoinos label – you’ll be part of a new revolution in Patmos’ vineyards.

Photo: www.patoinos.gr

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Grikos Hotel 2 *

Dodecanese / Patmos
Book with booking.com

Grikos Hotel 2 *

Dodecanese / Patmos
Book with booking.com

Grikos Hotel 2 *

Dodecanese / Patmos
Book with booking.com

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