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The Cultural and Natural Riches of Patmos


As our ship sailed through the Aegean Sea to the Greek island of Patmos, my excitement began to build.  I had read quite a bit about Patmos’ rich history and natural beauty before we left for our trip, and this was one of the places I was most interested in exploring. Patmos is one of the northernmost islands in the Dodecanese chain. The most densely populated areas of the island are Chora

Poros Island Bay

Poros Island Bay

(the capital) and Skala (the commercial port), as well as two smaller communities, Grikou and Kampos. We spent most of our time sightseeing in Chora, visiting the famous Monastery of St. John the Theologian and the Cave of the Apocalypse (both UNESCO World Heritage Sites).

The monastery of St. John was founded in 1088, near the cave where the apostle John is believed to have written the last book of the New Testament, the Apocalypse (or revelations of John), in 95 AD. Tourists can now visit the Cave of the Apocalypse, which is part of the small monastery complex. The monastery’s church is also a sight to behold, with intricate thirteenth century frescoes, relics, and detailed icons.

Inside the monastery of St John

Inside the monastery of St John

Patmos’ varied landscape and temperate climate make it the perfect destination for nature lovers. Inland, there are many hills and plateaus. Along the coastline, one finds numerous coves and bays- perfect places for sitting and enjoying a bit of solitude. There are several lovely beaches located near Skala (around the harbor and within close proximity to the villages). Grikos, a former fishing village turned resort, and the nearby Sapsila Bay are also great places to catch a few rays and take a dip in the Aegean. These are livelier beach scenes, with tavernas nearby. If you’re looking for a quieter place to spend the afternoon, try Vagia or Geranou- both smaller beaches located in coves. Arguably the most beautiful beach on Patmos is Psili Amos, located on the south side of the island.

After taking in all of this culture and natural beauty, you will no doubt be hungry. Here are some of my suggestions for quality and affordable eats on Patmos:

Cave of the apocalypse

Cave of the apocalypse

Aigaio Café in Skala
Aigaio is located in the smaller square (near the post office) on Skala’s main street. This is the perfect place to grab breakfast, coffee, or sandwiches.

Oasis Taverna in Grikos
A charming small taverna with the usual Greek dishes and salads- be sure to try the cheese pie!

Pantelis Restaurant in Skala

This is a lovely restaurant for lunch or dinner. It is located to the right of the main square (on the side street, adjacent to the bakery). The moussaka, saganaki and tzaziki are excellent, as is the chicken and potatoes, which comes in a large portion- almost enough for two.

Written by Jen Westmoreland Bouchard for

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Thursday 19th of September 2013

[...] group and is located in the center of the Archipelago, with Samos to the east, Mykonos to the west, Patmos to the south and Chios to the north. It is just one of the many islands covered in Mattie’s [...]

Patmos island greece

Wednesday 6th of January 2010

Very informative post. Dodecanese Islands is a located in south east of Greece. Dodecanese Islands is in three categories such as Northern, Central and Southern Dodecanese. Patmos Island is one of the Northern Dodecanese Islands. Here climate is also very nice In the month of august most of tourist visit. There are many attractions such as port of Skala, Skala is the Kambos village, church of the Annunciation, Kambos beach, Cave of Apocalypse.

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