General Information Patmos is not a
big island, but it is one of the best known. It was here St. John had his
vision and wrote the apocalypse, and this is why Patmos is sometimes called
"The Jerusalem of the Aegean". The Monastery of St. Johns towers above the
capital, Chora, and the whole island breathes of faith and devotion.
Nevertheless, there is more to the island than its Christian reputation.
There are many nice beaches along the jagged coastline, and the people grow
fruits and olives on the green hills. The landscape invites you to take long
walks and there is much to discover.
Patmos included as one of the monuments of world heritage of UNESCO.
The Monastery of St. John the Theologian with its priceless treasures, and
the preservation of the traditional village of Chora, that was built in the
Middle Ages and the Cave of the Apocalypse were the main reasons that Patmos
had this important international distinction.
At the beginning each September, the prefectural government of the
Dodecanese in cooperation with the municipality of Patmos and the monastery
organize an international festival of religious music in the open air of the
Cave of the Apocalypse, which lasts 10 days with the participation of
choirs, orchestras and other musical ensembles from Greece and foreign
interpret works of classical and contemporary music with a common religious
History of Patmos: According to
mythology, Patmos was a present from
Zeus to his daughter
Artemis, goddess of hunting and young women. She was worshipped here in
antiquity, and the monastery of St. John was built on her temple.
The island has probably been inhabited since prehistoric times, and it went
through the same changes as the rest of the Dodecanese. It paid tribute to
Athens in the 5th century BC, belonged to the Macedonians in the 4th century
BC, and was taken by the Romans in the 2nd century BC.
The Romans used Patmos as a place for exiles, and that's how St. John ended
up here. He was ostracized from Miletus by the Roman governor for preaching
the Christian faith in AD95, and stayed here for two years. The island was
practically deserted during Byzantine years and was given to a monk named
Christodoulos in 1088, and he started planning the monastery.
In the 11th century the work on the monastery started, and its power was to
extend over the island's borders, to such a degree that the island was never
occupied by neither Turks nor Venetians. The only attacks came from pirates
now and again.
In 1912 the island was invaded by Italian forces, and liberated in 1948.
What to See Whether you are
interested in history and religion or not, the Monastery of St. John is a must.
Its real name is Agios Ioannis o Theologos ("St. John the Theologist") and it
looks like a huge fortress above Chora. In fact, it was built as a fortress in
the 16th century, since the island needed some sort of defense when pirates
In the monastery you can visit the Byzantine church decorated with exquisite
style frescoes and the Byzantine icon of St John, donated to the monastery by
the empiror of Byzantium Alexios Komninos, in a crypte inside the the church are
the relics of the blessed monk Christodoulos , worth to see also is the treasury
and the museum. The two chapels next to the church of St. John are dedicated one
to the Virgin Mary and the other to the blessed Christodoulos.
The Cave of Revelation lies between Chora and Skala and is where St. John had
his vision. There is a crack in the roof where Jesus appeared to him and John
dictated his vision to his disciple Prochorus. In the cave you can see a cross
engraved on the rock which according to tradition, was made by Saint John. The
Cave is surrounded by the monastery, which stands out with its white colour. A
few steps carved in the rock leads in to the monastery. The Cave is at the
lowest level of the monastery of St. John, and you can go there passing from the
chapels of St. Nicholas, St. Artemios and St. Anna, which is next to the Cave.
The nunnery of Zoodochos Pigis ("Life-giving Source") lies in Chora and can
sometimes be visited, but the most active nunnery is outside the village and is
When visiting all of the above, make sure you are dressed properly: women must
wear long skirts and have covered shoulders, men must wear long trousers.
If you are up for a climb, visit the monastery of Profitis Elias
("Prophet Elias") where you'll get a fantastic view since it is the
highest point of the island (269m). On a clear day you'll see as far as
the islands of Lipsi, Leros and futher to Turkey.
In Kastelli hill are the ruins of the ancient citadel of the ancient
capital of the island with a fortification wall and the foundations of
three towers. The foundations of an ancient temple dedicated to Apollo
are near to the church of St. Constantine
In general, Chora is well worth walking around in. It is built like a
labyrinth to keep the pirates away, and has many nice houses and little
shops. In Chora also is the home and of Emmanuel Xanthos one of the
founding members of the Society of Friends that was the first
revolousinary organisation during the war of Indipendence in Greece.
What to Do
: The island is quite windy, so it is good for windsurfing Renting a car
or a moped is also a good idea so you can explore the
island on your own.
Patmos has football and basketball stadiums and
tournaments of Beach volleyball are organized in the
summer. There are also daytrips to the small
neighbouring islands Marathi, Arki and Lipsi. At Grikos
you can rent a small sailing boat.
There are about 20 beaches to choose between. Explore
the little bays and find your own paradise. There are
both pebble beaches and sand beaches. Nudists go to
Psili Ammos, as well as people in swimming costumes. The
sandy beach of Grikos looks like a lake because there a
small island in the front. another nice beach is in the
area of Petra The beach is lovely Petra. Diakofti has
fine sand and Kampos beach is one of the best in Patmos.
Other beaches are Merikas. Vagia, Aspri ,Agriolivado and
also some nice beaches can be found on small islands
Nighttlife:You'll find some bars
and discos in Chora and Skala. The atmosphere is more relaxed than
anything else, but you can enjoy some good nights out.
Food There are several taverns in Chora
and Skala, but also in the smaller villages Grikos and Kambos. Local
specialties are different dishes of fish and seafood such as squid stuffed
with rice, a specialty known to other islands of the Dodecanese, octopus
stew and octopus grilled as well as local cheeses and sweets
Shopping:You can get many
handmade things on the island, and there are several art
shops as well. The most typical souvenirs are to do with
St. John, though, and icons are sold everywhere.
Getting Around There is
only one bus on the island connecting Chora with Skala and the other
villages. Taxis are quite easy to find, and you can also rent cars and
bikes. There is also a boat that goes to several beaches, but it is
cancelled if it gets too windy.
Getting There:The most common
way to get to Patmos is to get a flight to Athens and then take the boat
from there. Patmos is also connected with the other Dodecanese with
catamarans and hydrofoils, in summer the small ship Patmos Star goes to
Leros and Lipsi.A quick way to get to Patmos is to fly to Leros which is
only half an hour with the catamaran, Patmos is connected as well with
the islands of Mykonos, Samos and Tinos.
|| Phone numbers*
| Size: 35 km2
||International code: 0030
|Population: about 2500
||Local code: 22470
|Cash machine: Yes
||Health centre: 31211
|Highest Mountain:Profitis Elias, 269m
||Port Police: 31231
|Price rate: Average
||Tourist Information Office:
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