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Why Should I Visit Patmos?

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Patmos at a glance

Patmos is one of the most unusual Greek islands, a combination of the cosmopolitan, the stately and the spiritual. Known as the “Jerusalem of the Aegean”, it is one of the largest religious centres in the Christian world, thanks to the Cave of the Apocalypse and the Monastery of St. John the Theologian.

This sacred island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has long attracted writers and artists, but also members of the international jet set, as it perfectly combines cultural interests with discreet luxury. With a capital that is a true jewel – it is one of the most expensive regions in Europe – and superb exotic beaches, it has no shortage of earthly delights, but maintains an otherworldly quality. It is a sanctuary for those looking for a place of quiet retreat, and at the same time a mecca for pleasure-seekers soaking up the bright Mediterranean sun. You can enjoy it by choosing one of the tickets to Patmos.

10 reasons to visit Patmos
  1. To visit the Cave of the Apocalypse where, according to tradition, the Apostle John had the visions that led him to write the Book of Revelation (the last book of the New Testament).
  2. To explore the beautiful and atmospheric Patmos Town, much of it built in the 16th and 17th century, with its narrow winding streets and vaulted passages, whitewashed mansions with gothic features, and neoclassical captain’s houses with courtyards full of jasmine and pelargoniums.
  3. To admire the imposing fortified monastery of St. John the Theologian, one of the most important places of worship and pilgrimage in the Christian world. Built in the 11th century, the monastery includes ten chapels, a pottery workshop, an ecclesiastical museum, and a library housing untold treasures.
  4. To taste Patmos cheese pie, perhaps the best-known example of the island’s gastronomic tradition.
  5. To go on an excursion to the exotic islands of Arki and Marathi, havens of tranquillity and natural beauty (by boat from Skala).
  6. To admire the unique architecture and decor of the famous mansions in the Aparthiana neighbourhood of Patmos Town and the area south of the Monastery.
  7. To go to the Patmos Sacred Music Festival, which attracts leading performers of Byzantine and classical music from all over the world.
  8. To watch the sunset from the ancient acropolis at Kasteli.
  9. To climb to the top of the imposing Kalikatsou Rock, a strange volcanic outcrop at the southern end of Grikou Bay, for a unique view of the sea. Also known as “Petra”, this strange formation with round “windows” on its surface was once inhabited by hermits. Said to emit a powerful energy, it is a popular site for meditation and yoga.
  10. To enjoy the magnificent view of the island and the Aegean from the church of the Prophet Elijah at the highest point of the island (269 metres).
The top 5 beaches

Lampi: Famous for the rare coloured pebbles that resemble miniature works of art and shimmer in the sun, the island’s northernmost beach is a paradise of wild and untouched beauty. For lovers of peace and quiet – and high waves! There is a taverna and a beach bar for food and drink.

Psili Ammos: A sandy beach with tamarisk trees and clear turquoise waters, made even more stunning by the exotic beauty of its coloured rocks. It is secluded and can be reached either by a 30-minute walk from Diakofti or by boat. A taverna divides the beach into two halves, one for nudists. It is ideal for lovers of adventure and those seeking peace and quiet.

Petra: A beach of wild beauty with white stones and deep waters. One end is dominated by a huge rock that is worth climbing for its beautiful view, while cormorants and other wild birds also frequent the area. The beach has sun beds and umbrellas, and from here, it is possible to swim to the tiny island of Tragonisi in the middle of the bay.

Kato Kampos: The island’s most popular and lively beach is sandy, with cold, clear, shallow waters. It is ideal for water sports such as kitesurfing, windsurfing, wakeskating, and wakeboarding, and has umbrellas, sun beds, tavernas and beach bars. As it is sheltered from the wind, its waters are always calm and suitable for young children.

Livadi Geranou: A sandy beach with calm waters and idyllic scenery combining the blue of the sea and the green of the surrounding hills. It is ideal for people looking for somewhere to relax far from the seasonal north winds, and they can visit it by choosing a ticket to Patmos. There is also a small taverna here.

Don’t leave Patmos without…
  • Hiking the island's fantastic culture trails. Follow the Aporthian Way, the ancient path that connects the port of Skala with Patmos Town.
  • Visiting the Netia Boatyard near Skala to see how traditional wooden caïques are built.
  • Exploring the excellent galleries in Patmos Town to admire works by Greek and foreign artists.
  • Looking round the impressive Nikolaidis Mansion in Patmos Town, a two-storey house with gothic elements that is now a museum and gives a good idea of what life was once like on the island.
Tasty experiences
  • If you choose a ticket to Patmos, it is worth trying aubergines with chickpeas, a traditional dish of fried slices of aubergine baked with chickpeas in the oven.
  • Enjoy courgette flowers stuffed with rice or feta cheese.
  • Don't miss the famous local cheese pie, a large tart filled with three cheeses and topped with cinnamon and sugar. It is an ideal snack for when you are out and about and also makes a hearty breakfast.
  • Satisfy your sweet tooth with achladakia (almond sweets in the shape of little pears) and poungia (fried “purses” of pastry filled with mazouni, a mixture of honey, almonds, walnuts and nutmeg).
  • Sample stiforadika (local spiny chicory), samphire, peppers or squid yemista (stuffed with rice, raisins and pine nuts), octopus and onion stew (stifado), marinata (a fish dish with garlic), meatloaf, pork braised in wine, goat in lemon sauce, stuffed rabbit, and fishcakes made with cod and squid.

In 2009, Patmos topped Forbes Magazine's list of Europe’s 10 most idyllic places to live.

Patmos Town, the Monastery of St. John the Theologian, and the Cave of the Apocalypse are UNESCO World Heritage Sites (1999).

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