About Patmos

Mystic and mysterious, Patmos is a small Greek island in the southeastern part of the Aegean Sea. It belongs of the Dodecanese group of islands and lies off the southwest coast of Turkey.

Better known for its religious significance and historic sites, Patmos features a traditional Greek landscape with narrow alleys, white-washed buildings, and tiny chapels.

The medieval capital, Chora, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that contributes to the island’s charm. It shelters the Monastery of St. John the Theologian, one of the most important landmarks on the island.

On the way to Chora, the Cave of the Apocalypse is another remarkable place to see. According to tradition, it is here that Saint John the Apostle received the visions that he later recorded in the Book of Revelation (the last book of the Christian Bible).

Yet, not everything on Patmos is about its religious sites. The island has a unique shape that contributes to its beauty, characterized by rugged hills, rocky cliffs, and a coastline dotted with coves and bays, home to fantastic beaches, like Psili Ammos or Grikos.


Patmos in a Nutshell

Essential Patmos

  • Island Group: Cyclades
  • Capital: Chora
  • Area: 34.05 km2
  • Airport: No
  • Nearby Islands: Lipsos, Leros, Kalymnos, Samos, and Ikaria

When in Patmos don’t miss…

  • The Cave of the Apocalypse
  • Saint John Monastery 
  • Hiking to Psili Ammos Beach
  • Skala, the harbor
  • A beach day in Livadi Geranou

Who Should Visit Patmos

Many visitors come to Patmos for religious and spiritual reasons, attracted by the Cave of the Apocalypse and the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian. In fact, the island is a significant pilgrimage site for Christians, especially those interested in the history of early Christianity.

However, there are many other churches, monasteries, and caves on the island that have made it one of the most remarkable destinations in Greece for people interested in religious tourism.

The island’s well-preserved medieval architecture, particularly in the capital, offers a glimpse into the country’s past. History enthusiasts interested in Byzantine and medieval history will find Patmos worth discovering.

Patmos is also an exhilarating place to visit if you enjoy off-the-path destinations, where tourism is somewhat underdeveloped, thus offering a peaceful getaway.

Not as bustling as some other Greek islands, this is an ideal retreat for those seeking a serene environment. The island can be an inspiring place for writers, artists, and creatives seeking a quiet setting for their work.

Patmos is a destination that offers a unique blend of religious pilgrimage, historical exploration, and natural beauty. It caters to a more relaxed and culturally oriented tourism experience rather than a party or nightlife scene. 


Things to Do in Patmos

Even when Patmos is not as popular as other Greek islands, there are some incredible places to see, entertaining activities, and other things you can do on the island.

An unmissable highlight in Patmos is the Cave of the Apocalypse, where tradition holds that Saint John received the visions that inspired the Book of Revelation. Not far from the cave, it’s also possible to tour the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian, perched on a hill on top of Chora. 

The narrow alleys of the medieval capital of Patmos also offer amazing vistas, featuring white-washed buildings and charming mansions, some of them open to the public.

If your visit coincides with religious festivals, don’t miss the experience of attending local celebrations. The Feast of Saint John on May 8th is the most significant event on the island.

Patmos is also a great destination for those who seek a beach holiday. The island features some gorgeous beach that never feel overcrowded, such as Psili Ammos, Grikos, Petra, and Lambi.

You can enjoy the outdoors by walking different paths. You can embark on a hike to Profitis Ilias, the highest point on the island or enjoy a relaxed walk to visit the traditional windmills at the foot of Saint John’s Monastery.

Alternatively, you can explore coastline by boat and take stunning pictures of lonely chapels, swim at hidden coves, and enjoy panoramic views of Patmos. 

If you’d like to discover more about the region, head to the port in Skala and take a day trip to nearby islands like Lipsi or Marathi to explore more of the Dodecanese archipelago.


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