5 reasons to discover the Holy Island, Patmos

Patmos, the most northern Island of the Dodecanese. Famous because of the Cave where Saint John wrote the Apocalypse. The Island overwhelmed me with its peaceful and blissful atmosphere, the relaxing and quiet beaches, its beautiful nature and its inspiring history.

The Island is not touristic at all, most visitors are Greeks. However, the inhabitants are very hospitable and they love to share the natural charms of Patmos with those who take the time to visit this beautiful place. Patmos is a place of pilgrimage for all Christianity thanks to its religious history.

It is incredible to drive through the beautiful history or enjoy complete quietness on one of the many beaches.

If you are considering Island hopping through the Dodecanese Island you should definitely put Patmos on your list. Patmos has a special place in my heart, so in this blog I will give you 5 reasons to discover the Holly Island Patmos

For a visual impression, click on the picture below:


The 5 reasons to discover the Holy Island, Patmos

The Magical Sunrise, I do have a thing for sunrises. The world is still quiet, there is a whole new day waiting for you and every sunrise is unique. I prefer enjoying the sunrise during a morning run. However, on Patmos a morning walk or a morning swim is also a very good option. Mornings are always quiet, but the island Patmos has an unique blissful atmosphere which makes it even more peaceful to enjoy the Sunrise.

The Monastery of St John and the Cave of the Apocalypse, the main reason I wanted to visit Patmos. I had read about the Cave of St John, the place where Saint John wrote the Book of Revelation while he was exiled to Patmos. According to the book I’ve read during my preparation for Patmos, you could have a look in the Holy Cave. However this “having a look” was not what I expected. The cave functions as a place of worship. There were a lot of Greek orthodox people and it was obvious that Ben and I were just tourists with no idea what we were supposed to do. However, the people were very kind and explained us how it worked. It was a unique and special experience. Interesting is that you can still see the traces of Saint John’s residence, like the niche carved in the rock where he rested his head and another niche that he used to help himself up.

The Monastery of Saint John is built on one of the highest points of Patmos (the hightest point is the Mt Profitis Illias, 269 meters high), and for this reason visible from almost all over the island. It might be hard to reach since it’s so high, but Ben and I rented a car which made it very easy. Nevertheless the view during the trip upwards is stunning.

The monastery is an important place for the monastic tradition and pilgrimages on Patmos, but also the architecture and history of the monastery is very valuable. I am not sure if I was more impressed by the blissful atmosphere, the beautiful architecture, the interesting history or the life of the monks that are walking around.

The Monastery actually has the look of a medieval castle from the outside, especially when you look toward it from below. The inside of the Monastery however, is a labyrinth complex on multiple levels. There are cute white galleries and lovely small churches everywhere. The courtyard is in the centre of the monastery and laid with beautiful pebble mosaic, as you can find everywhere on the Dodecanese Islands. The inside of the main church is incredible, unfortunately but understandable it is not allowed to take pictures inside. Very interesting is also the museum, where you can find extremely valuable possessions of the Monastery. Most of them are gifts, highly decorated with rare fabrics, gold and silver.

Visiting the monastery of Saint John and the Cave of the apocalypse was such an special experience, I do not know how to describe them in words.

A Stroll through Chora, the cute white village beneath the impressive Monastery of Saint John. While walking through Chora I couldn’t stop taking pictures. This place is one of the most picturesque places I have ever been. The traditional lovely houses, the open areas and blooming gardens, the small squares and the labyrinth of streets, I love everything about this place. I could have walked here for hours .

It’s unique nature and quite beaches. Ben and I actually rent a car, because otherwise we wouldn’t have enough time to see the island. Driving through the hills of Patmos is incredible. I was impressed by the stunning views from the hills to the rocky, grassy, but lovely nature of Patmos, the white houses in the small villages, the deep blue ocean and the Islands nearby.

Patmos offers many different kind of beaches. Ben and I preferred the more quiet beaches. I think I can say that Paralia Panagia Gernaou is one of the best beaches I have ever been. This beach is at the eastern part of the island, the tour by car was amazing, and the beach itself is surrounded by nature. It is a very peaceful place perfect for a picnic.

The Harbour of Skala, the place where people are arriving and leaving the beautiful island of Patmos. Although this small city is much more bustling than Chora, you can still feel the peaceful atmosphere. However, this is the place where you should go for shopping and dining. Skala offers you a lot of souvenir shops and cute Greek Fashion stores. Keep in mind that shopping in Skala can be a bit expensive. furthermore there are a lot of places where you can sit down, enjoy breakfast, dinner or a traditional Ouzo. The food that is served is very traditional, but not expensive. I also really liked the craft shops with nuts and sweets.

Useful information

Special ticket package: €4,-
Includes a visit to the Monastery, the church and the museum

Rent a car: €40,- to rent a small car (Hyundai I10) for 24 hours, depending on your needs and requirements you can rent a bigger car which will be more expensive.

Prices for food: Restaurants will cost about €20,- (without alcoholic drinks), A cheap meal will cost about €10,- and a Gyros lunch will cost about €3,-.

Shopping: Of course this completely depends on what you are looking for, but keep in mind Patmos offers mostly luxury (fashion) stores and craft food stores, which can be quite expensive.

Getting there: The only option to visit Patmos is by boat. We booked our ticket with Direct Ferries, I have put the link at the end of my blog.

How much time you need: The Island is Patmos is not that big. It took Ben and me two days to do enjoy the 5 highlights I mentioned above. However, if you are looking for a good place to calm down, relax, enjoy life and find your inner peace you may like to stay a bit longer.

Bonus Tips

Finding a rental car is pretty easy, you will find Car rentals everywhere in Skala, especially close to the harbour.  Ben and I just asked around until we had found something that met our requirements.

Don’t hurry, not only because this will ruin the peaceful and relaxing atmosphere, but also because most visitors are Greek. This means that however the people, waiters and sales assistance are very hospitable and really would love to help you, they are Greek and take their time. You can read more about this in my previous blog.

Wear covering clothes, of course not when you are going to the beach, but when you are planning visit to The Monastery of St John and the Cave of the Apocalypse make sure you are appropriate clothing. This means that at least your shoulders and knees should be covered.

Useful links:

Practical information: Monastery of Saint John

Patmos Beaches

Another Great travel Blog

Direct Ferries 


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