Patmos Island Travel Guide

  • Orthodox Cultural Center
    Orthodox Cultural Center
    by JessieLang
  • Chora
    Chora
    by JessieLang
  • Orthodox Cultural Center interior
    Orthodox Cultural Center interior
    by JessieLang

Patmos Island Things to Do

  • Monastery of St. John the Theologian

    This is one of the most significant monuments on Patmos, towering above the whitewashed houses of the town of Chora and visible from any part of the island. The greater part of the building was build by a priest called Christodoulos and after his death finished by 12 other monks. The orthodox Monastery of St. John has a fortress-like exterior, with...

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  • Holy Cave of the Apocalypse

    The most important period in the history of Patmos begins in the year of 95 AD, when the disciple of Christ, John the Evangelist arrived on the island. He lived in a small cave-like hollow in a rock, where according to the tradition, St. John heard the Apocalypse dictated by the voice of God through a cleft in the rock; words which he recorded in...

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  • Walk around Hora

    Hora is just a great little town. Narrow streets, white buildings with colorful doorways and flowers. It really is a treasure and great place to walk around, maybe catch some lunch, and take a lot of photos. If you go a little out of peak season and during the late afternoon you may have the whole town to yourself it may seem. Really a lot of fun...

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  • Cave of the Apokalypsis

    Patmos was in the first century a Roman prison of sorts, where men were taken to do labor and be captive and such. St. John was sent here by the Romans, and during his time here he had visions from which he compiled the book of Revelations. It is believed that he did this in the cave of the Apokalypsis. The cave, which does not allow photography...

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  • Chora – take your time

    Chora is the capital of the island. The establishment of this medieval settlement started 50 years after the institution of the monastery (12th century). And the white houses are embracing the impressive grey walls of the monastery on top of one of the hills of Patmos.The old town of Chora nowadays is an Unesco World Heritage Site.On the ‘Skala...

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  • Kastelli, not a castle

    When walking along the waterfront in Skala we saw, close to the Aghios Theologos beach, a sign “Kastelli”. We expected more or less to find the remnants of an old castle and the other day we decided to give it a try and to climb the hill above the town of Skala. The road changed into some steps and after the last houses of Skala it became a narrow...

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  • St. Nicholas Church

    This little church is just one of the 400 churches and chapels on Patmos. But we decided to visit just this church, because one of our ancestors (a certain Daniel Paleologo) ever donated his St. Nicholas Church to the Monastery of St. John. Although we later discovered that there are about 10 churches with the same name on the island and we still...

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  • Exploring Patmos by car

    We stayed four days on Patmos and next to visiting the highlights in and around Skala and Chora we rented a car to explore more of the island. We had the car just for one day and divided our touring on two half days; one trip to the northern part and the next day south of Skala.During this visit to Patmos we were really unlucky with the weather and...

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  • The mills of Chora

    Once we arrived in Chora the three wind mills, standing on a ridge, are clearly visible on the left hand side. Taking the road to Grikos we stopped just after the first bend. There starts a foot path uphill to the three mills.They are more or less restored, but it is such a pity they don’t have their wings, so they could be used every now and then....

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  • Skala – strolling around

    Skala has about 1500 residents (almost the half of Patmos) and is by far the largest town on the island. It is the centre of the social and commercial life with hotels, shops, banks (with ATM), restaurants, cafés, bars, travel agencies and so on. Skala has been built around the harbour, where every visitor will arrive. Just opposite the ferry...

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  • Zoodohou Pighis - old and picturesque...

    This ‘Nunnery of the Spring of Life’ in Chora was founded by the abbot of the monastery of St. John, in 1607. It is one of the largest buildings on Patmos and if you see an aerial photo the convent looks like a fortress.But once inside it is a picturesque place with friendly courtyards filled with bougainvilleas and other lovely flowers. The...

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  • Byzantine Path: between Skala and Chora

    Of course we travelled by bus, taxi and rental car between Skala and Chora.But during our (longer) visit on Patmos we walked up and down hill along the historic cobbled road between the two main settlements on the island. This road was constructed in 1819 – and it still looks and feels like a very old road – and is protected as an archaeological...

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  • Patmos, the holy island

    Patmos is the most northern of the group of islands known as the Dodecanese, on the northwest of the Aegean Sea in between Ikaria and Leros islands. Patmos is an island whose atmosphere is most biblical and peaceful.

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  • The "Hora" of the island

    The view of the island and the Aegean sea, is breathtaking. Hora grew up around the monastery of St. John Theologos in the late 16th c. As in all greek islands capitals the architecture of Patmos Hora is white houses and small stone roads.

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  • The Cave of Apocalypse

    On the route between Skala and Hora is the Cave of the Apocalypse. This is the cave in which St. John wrote the book of Apocalypse.

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  • Skala, the port of the island

    The port of the island is Skala, which is connected with Hora by a picturesque narrow cobbled path. It is the centre of nightlife with many restaurants , cafes, and bars and many touristic shops.

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  • The Monastery of St.John

    The monastery of St. John monastery is the most important landmark of the island. It was built in 1088 after the order of emperor Alexios Komninos. It is a medieval monastic complex surrounded by stonewalls. In the monastery there are Byzantine and post Byzantine icons, jewellery and emperors’ presents, illuminated manuscripts and rare old books....

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  • ÓðÞëáéï ôçò ÁðïêÜëõøçò - Cave of the...

    In this cave St. John the Theologian had the vision which was the source for the book of the Revelation. You can see the spot where he put his head when he lay down. When the vision finished, the rock above was cut into three parts, which look like the first three fingers of our hand, when we make our cross by the orthodox way. Today there is a...

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Patmos Island Restaurants

  • good food and service

    On our first evening, when strolling around in Skala, we were overwhelmed by the number of (Greek) restaurants. At last we decide to have our first diner at Restaurant Pirofani; they call themselves a ‘fish tavern’. Pirofani has a nice terrace, more or less overlooking the harbour of Skala.We had a (big) fish, with lemon sauce, a Greek salad and as...

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  • lacking atmosphere

    We had seen this restaurant – with its tables along one of the main roads in Skala - a couple of times and it looked very charming, especially in the evening.For a change we decided to have diner at Pantelis. Because it was rather chilly that evening we had a table inside the restaurant. But it was rather disappointing: a dining room without any...

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  • excellent views for free

    Café(teria) Restaurant Loza is located in Chora and is an ideal place to finish your visit of the Monastery of St. John or after a walk through the labyrinth of alleys in Chora. Have a warm or cold drink, a quick snack, lunch or dinner.Loza has some really nice terraces and the excellent views of Skala are for free.

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  • watch Patmian life

    It is absolutely impossible to miss the two side walk cafés on the central square of Skala. One is called Petrino and the other just Plaza. Both do have covered terraces and offer a cool place in the square to sit and relax having a cool or hot drink or a lunch. I never expected, but they both offer really good cappuccinos.If you are sitting on one...

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  • More mezes

    The Ostria is right on the sea front and has a sort of terrace out front. My first impression was "expensive/tourist trap" - seafront, seafood....however it is EXTREMELY cheap and EXTREMELY good valu. The seafood platter for 2 - prawns, maridhes (whitebait), kalamari and taramaslata would have made a full meal had we not been abnormally hungry that...

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  • Mezes!

    To Hiliomodi has a simple, reasonably priced mezes menu. Seating is either in the lane behind the building or on the smallish roof terrace (6-8 tables). Food is simple, but very tasty - mixed grilled fish, grilled prawns, gigantes. We went in Ocotber and it was packed with travellers and locals every night! Mixed fish and grilled prawns

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Patmos Island Transportation

  • 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...

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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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Patmos Island Warnings and Dangers

  • JessieLang's Profile Photo

    by JessieLang Written May 27, 2011

    I was told the cave and monastery was in walking distance of the harbor in Skala, so I decided to walk to it instead of taking a tour. Not a good idea! The road was steep, winding, and narrow. There were no shoulders and lots of traffic. I wanted to stay alive, so I turned around and went back to explore whatever the town had to offer. If you want to see it, go on wheels.

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    • Religious Travel

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Patmos Island Off The Beaten Path

  • Paleologo-home

    Chora has a lot of impressive mansions, mostly built on the Skala –side of the hill. Ship owners and merchants were living in these houses and they could watch their ships coming back home in the harbour of Skala. Some of them along the road to the monastery now houses shops and you can take a look inside and see parts of these impressive...

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  • Library of the Monastery of St. John

    The library of the Monastery of St. John was also created by the blessed Christodoulos in 1088 at the same time as the monastery itself. Nowadays it is housed in a new building, but has the same style as the other buildings. It is considered being one of the most important libraries of the Orthodox Church. It contains more than 1000 manuscript...

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  • Lambi Beach

    On the far northern part of the island is a beach called Lambi Beach. It is known for the unique rocks that can be collected on the shore side -- unlike anything I have seen. Though tourists and locals have been collecting these rocks for ages, plenty remain to be found. It makes for a relaxing day, as it is not a tourist hot spot, and being right...

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