Patmos is one of the best religious Greek islands you should visit during a Greece vacation. With the Cave of the Apocalypse as the top site, this little island is perfect for a day trip. Enjoy this Paradise of Patmos island by spending at least 1 night to enjoy the local atmosphere, religious sites and for some island exploration!
Arriving On The Paradise of Patmos Island
My Blue Star Ferries boat from Rhodes arrived on the island of Patmos at around 11pm at night. This was completely doable arriving from Rhodes with a 5-6 hour journey. I can highly recommend that you book a cabin as this is much more pleasant to have your own space and bathroom for the journey, and a short nap in this case!
Where Is Patmos Greece?
Firstly, where is Patmos? This island can be found in the Aegean Sea and close to the islands of Lipsi and Leros. It is easily reachable by boat from many islands too, such as the one I took from Rhodes, which stopped on the way at Leros.
Patmos Greece Facts
Patmos is an idyllic location for a beautiful greek vacations, due to its small size but beautiful landscape and beaches. But did you know the following Patmos facts?
- There are just over 3000 residents living here
- In 2009, Patmos was named as “Europe’s most idyllic place to live” in the Forbes magazine
- You can see the monastery from every part of the island
- There are only 4 little villages on Patmos
- It is mostly visited due to the religious history of John the Baptise writing the Book of Revelation
Where To Stay – Captain’s House
Informing the lovely owner of the Captain’s House hotel, she stayed up so that I could check in. However she shared this was quite common for tourists arriving at this time with the boat so it was not any hassle. It was also only 50 meters from where the boat docked, perfect!
Waking up to the Greek sunshine was bliss. The room was the perfect size for 2 nights on the island Patmos. With towels, sheets and soaps provided, the small shower and toilet room was clean and suitable. I had a one bedroom room looking out to the port with a small balcony. If you are up early, you can watch some of the fishermen boats and locals start their day.
For a relaxing afternoon on Patmos, enjoy the quiet lounge area of the hotel next to the pool!
Paradise of Patmos Island Activities
Enjoy Breakfast On The Beach
Staying at Captain’s House Hotel, you can enjoy the delicious breakfast buffet by sitting on the beach. This is so lovely, even during off peak season as I was the only one on there! The whole beach area to myself. It was so relaxing to watch the locals start their fishing boats and get ready for their day – a true holiday feeling.
Rent A Car, Scooter or Quad Bike
I can recommend renting from Faros Moto Rent, who was extremely friendly and helpful when I wanted to rent a car for one day only. Since I was on the island of Patmos in October, slightly after peak season, I was able to rent a car as soon as I turned up at their location. But I can imagine that if you are visiting in peak season, reserve a car in advance. They mostly had quad bikes and scooters which is also great to get around on the island.
For one day I paid only 35 EUR, perfect to explore this paradise of Patmos island (which is doable in only a few hours too!). The car was a little Hyundai 5 door for this price.
Dine in Skala For Date Night
There are many places to eat in the harbour town of Skala. As my hotel was based here, all was within 10 minutes of walking. Dress up nicely and head into the city around 7.30/8pm to join the locals eating out. Else if you have a hotel with food, head out for the night for a local Greek beer at one of the cosy restaurants.
Walk To The Beach
From the Harbour of Skala, you can walk west to the other part of the village. You will end up walking through the rest of the town area, followed by some residential area to the beach. It will only take you 15 minutes walking. There were a few restaurants here, perfect for the sunset, but they were closed as I was visiting in October just out of the peak season.
Else, I can recommend to drive to:
- Lampi Beach – this is on the north part of the island, and it was a beautiful little area with a stoney beach.
- Panagia Geranou Beach – an empty beach with gorgeous island views
- Lefkes Beach – for that perfect sunset beach moment!
Swim At Petra
I’m sure the sea in Greece is lovely everywhere, but taking a swim at Petra is a great location on the island of Patmos. What is unique about Petra is the large volcanic rock on the edge of the water. This rock is the ‘Stone of Kallikaltsou‘ and believed to be once an archaeological site. Used for sacred ceremonies as well as a location for a temple.
Relax In The Capital Of The Island Chora
Chora (or Hora) is the main capital of the island of Patmos. This is the location of the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian, located at the top of the island.
Just like other Greek islands, Chora has pretty whitewashed residential houses, small alleyways and beautiful flowers growing all over the place. During peak season, it is likely extremely busy with the daily tours and tourists visiting the island, but in October it was lovely to walk the empty pathways.
TIP: If you don’t rent a car or scooter on the island of Patmos, it is only an upward walking route of roughly 30 minutes (if you are usually active). There are some cut through paths straight from the harbour town of Skala that heads straight up to the top!
Enjoy A Greek Salad With The Best Island View
Jimmy’s Balcony restaurant is most definitely recommendable! They had some delicious choices on the menu that made it hard to choose, but I couldn’t resist a fresh Greek salad. I found a spot at the front edge of the restaurant to enjoy the most beautiful views of Patmos from the top. Once my salad was finished, I enjoyed a few more drinks here before saying goodbye to the lovely owners. This is a true Paradise of Patmos Island feeling!
Walk To The Windmills
Walkable from the main Chora streets, three restored windmills stand tall looking down into the harbour of Skala. This is also a fantastic viewpoint for the island and harbour. They were not open during my stay, but when they are, you can get a mini private tour.
Patmos Historical Sites
The Greek island of Patmos is considered a religious biblical island, nicknamed Jeruzalem of the Aegean sea and “Holy Island of Christianity“. This is because in the year 95 AD, apostle John the Theologian stayed for at least 18 months and wrote The Revelation last book of the New Testament. This was written in what is now known as the Cave of The Apocalypse.
Cave of The Apocalypse
The Cave of the Apocalypse can be found towards the top of the mountain. Here it is believed that the last book of the Bible, Book of Revelations was written here John the Theologian (Agios Ionannis). When entering the cave, check out the mosaic entrance showing visions of John. I found that inside was bigger than I expected. However I was still glad that there were no coach tours at the cave when i visited, else the cave would have been full, so try to avoid busy times. Just like many other places in Greece, this is also a Unesco World heritage site since 2006.
Monastery of Saint John the Theologian
This sacred monastery is considered one of the most important within the Aegean Sea, founded from the 6th century. The whole settlement includes 5 chapels inside and beautiful shrines. There are also marble tables that have been preserved. While visiting this area, you will see the monks who still worship and follow the teachings of St. Christodoulos from his stay in 1088 to 1118. The monastery can be seen from far away, due to its perfect location at the top of the mountain at Chora.
Patmos Restaurants To Try
Like I mentioned above, Skala is the perfect place to try local Greek cuisine. For that Paradise of Patmos Island feeling, I can recommend the following restaurants for your visit, that I was lucky to try during my stay on Patmos island.
- Alas Grill House – This place I ate at twice during my stay, once for lunch and once for dinner. Great fresh food, juicy meat choices and fast service. Photo below is from here!
- Memento Creperie Cafe – An ice cream and pancake place, need I say more? Yum!
- Jimmy’s Balcony – like mentioned above, the absolute perfect spot in Chora for a Greek salad and a view!
- Milli Veranda – Another cute place at Chora with the beautiful view.
- Sagittarius – It might be a Greek restaurant, but I enjoyed a pizza here one evening and it’s definitely recommendable!
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This paradise of Patmos island is a really pretty location for 2 or 3 days max, being able to see the island and all the historical locations with plenty of time. In October, it was just out of peak season, which made it perfect to meet the locals and enjoy some delicious meals without having to wait long.
- Think about renting transportation in advance if visiting during peak times, else organising it when you get there is completely fine.
- Take it easy – the island is small and easy to see all within 2/3 days max
- Find yourself relaxing with a cold drink (and a bite to eat) at one of the viewpoint restaurants listed above!
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