Travelling to Patmos by ferry
In my opinion the best and most authentic way to travel to an island is by ferry. And Patmos – having no airport - only can be reached by ferry (or flying dolphin).
Coming from Western Europe the most convenient connection to Patmos is sailing with the ‘old’ ferry boat ‘Nisos Kalymnos’ from the port of Pythagorion on Samos. Pythagorion has an airport with frequent flights to/from most countries in Europe. This ferry is more reliable than the flying dolphins, because it is sailing the whole year and does have just a few cancellations, due to weather conditions.
Our crossings (both times) were very pleasant having nice sunny and warm weather. So we were able to sit on deck and enjoy the boat ride with two stops: one at Agathonisi and Arki. These are both almost inhabited and bare rocks, surrounded by turquoise sea and beautiful bays. The crossing takes about 3 hours. A one way ticket was € 7.- (May 2007).
Some tips for your ferry crossing:
- Nisos Kalymnos is only sailing on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
- Leaving from Pythagorion at 14.30 (Sunday 15.30) and Patmos 11.00 (Sunday 11.50)
- A taxi ride from the airport of Samos to the harbour takes about 20 minutes.
- Buy your ticket at a booth near the port in Pythagorion (Samos) or at their agency in Skala (Patmos); see picture.
- information/schedules about this ferry (and other ferries to/from Patmos) see: www.openseas.gr / www.gtp.gr / www.greekferries.gr
- always check the schedules with your host/accommodation. Or ask one of the travel agencies on Patmos, for instance Astoria Travel (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- schedules of the Nisos Kalymnos: http://www.nostalgia.gr/timetable-nissoskalymnos.html
- more information about getting to Patmos is available on: http://annaiannis.wordpress.com/english/how-to-get-to-patmos/
Fast ferry or flying dolphin
Another possibility to travel over the Aegean Sea to Patmos is by a so called flying dolphin. These ‘fast ferries’ are much faster than the traditional ferry. A crossing from Samos to Patmos will take about 1 hour; it is also possible to catch a flying dolphin in Kos (also with airport), which takes more than 2 hours. It is much faster but also more expensive than the regular ferry; a one way ticket Samos- Patmos is about € 20,-
The Aegean Flying Dolphins are operating only in summer season (mid May - mid October; see http://www.nostalgia.gr/timetable-aegeanfldo.html) and due to wind and waves there are rather often cancellations. During our first visit to Patmos (from Kos) we had to wait two days before we could make our trip.
These flying dolphins are ideal for making day trips from Samos to the holy island of Patmos. They leave daily from Samos (Pythagorio) at 8.00 am and will return in the afternoon, which allows visitors to see the most important sights.
More information about getting to Patmos is available on: http://annaiannis.wordpress.com/english/how-to-get-to-patmos/
The website of OpenSeas has good information/schedules of these flying dolphins(www.openseas.gr). But always check these schedules with your host/accommodation.
Taxi on Patmos
Patmos has also some taxis. Most of them are driving tourists from Skala to Chora to visit the cave of the Apocalypse and the Monastery of St. John. But if you stay for a longer period on the island and don’t want to rent a car or scooter, you can use a taxi to visit one of the other villages, remote chapels or beaches.
There are taxi stations in Skala, next to the port where the ferries and flying dolphins arrive and in Chora, just outside the town at the end of the ‘mountain’ road.
A taxi ride from Skala to Chora is about € 8,- We used taxis twice: once for a visit to the monastery and once for a 200 metres drive when it was raining cats and dogs to go from the main square in Skala to our hotel. We kept dry for three euros !!
Rent a car to explore the island
If you want to see more than just the road between Skala and Chora consider renting a car to explore Patmos. Of course it is possible to visit the main places of interest by bus and even taking a taxi might be cheaper sometimes. But with our car we were free to go where and when we wanted. If you are on a daytrip to Patmos a car (or scooter) is the only way to see more remote parts of the island.
Patmos has about 10 rental car companies, most of them are small local owned agencies. We had ours from ‘Rent a Car Stratas’, just opposite our hotel, 100 metres from the port on the Chora Road. We only paid € 30,- for a one day rental (including petrol), but I think it was ‘a friend of a friend price’.
For other rental car companies: just watch the signs in Skala or ask a local. Depending on the car and season consider a rate between 35 and 50 euros a day.
Don't forget a map of Patmos, otherwise you will get lost easily.
Travelling by bus on Patmos
Patmos is a rather small island and has only four settlements. Still it is possible to travel to Chora, Grikos and Kampos by bus, although the frequency is not too high. All buses do leave from the bus stop next to the port, where the ferries and flying dolphins arrive.
The most important and frequent line is Skala – Chora (to the Cave of the Apocalypse and the Monastery of St. John). Especially the bus leaving at 9.25 am from Skala can be used by travellers from Samos, who are arriving with the flying dolphin. A one way ticket is just a couple of euros.
You can enjoy a luxury trip in these big cruise ships which offer many activities and entertainment during the cruise. All of them have swimming pool and restaurants, as also night clubs.
A note: Not so young people prefer these cruises.
During an Aegean cruise...
Patmos is one destination of the most known Aegean cruises, a 4 days cruise, in the most known greek islands and also in the turkish port Kusadasi: Mykonos, Kusadasi, Patmos, Heraklion (Crete), Santorini.
Royal Olympic Cruise
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons