Patmos at a glance
Patmos is one of the most important religious destinations in the world. The Greek state, in 1981, declared Patmos as a “Holy Island” by law, while in 1999 Unesco ranked Chora, the Monastery of St. John the Theologian and the Cave of Revelation at the World Heritage Sites. Patmos has been described as a “place of special natural beauty”.
It has won many and different awards from internationally recognized prestigious organizations. Patmos may not have the reputation of Mykonos or Santorini, but whoever comes will be back. One must once in his life see the sacred cave of the Apocalypse, where John the Evangelist wrote the book of Revelation in 95 AD. And of course the holy monastery of St. John the Theologian, built in 1088 BC in a castle style by the monk Christodoulos. It has 10 chapels and 99 cells for the monks. It has a museum with rare ecclesiastical heirlooms and a library – without wondering – unique in the Balkans with 890 handwritten cards and 13,000 documents related to the history of the monastery. Patmos is a unique island that retains its traditional character.
There are many hotel units in the port (in the city of Skala) and in Grikos, Kampos and elsewhere. There are also rooms to let with high-quality service. They belong to a large extent to locals who are engaged in tourism and are trying to provide the best services. Patmos, however, has not been associated with very large hotel complexes. Indeed, the biggest ones you will find are 70 to 80 beds. There is City Planning and Archeology that control the situation, and a businessman who wants to invest in Patmos will do it under certain conditions.
History of Patmos
In 1088 the Byzantine emperor Alexios I Komnenos gave the island to Chios Christodoulos, who founded the monastery of St. John the Theologian. Patmos experienced great prosperity thanks to the commercial contacts with Venetian Crete, while the first mansions around the monastery were built in the late 16th-early 17th century. In 1713 the famous Patmiad School was founded by the patriotic deacon and scholar Makarios Kalogera, who had studied in Constantinople.
The capital of the island, Patmos, is a traditional settlement, built by experienced craftsmen, with a technique that passed from father to son to give a set of elegance and nobility. The picture of the settlement consists of flat roofs, narrowly paved streets, with three small squares for breathing, staircases and dozens of churches.
The port and the largest settlement of the island, Skala, built in the homonymous bay, are the center of the economic and social activities of Patmos. At the beginning of the 17th century, only warehouses existed in the place of the modern settlement to serve the needs of commerce. The fear of the pirates kept the inhabitants away from the sea. Since the 19th century, when many families have settled here, Skala has begun to grow into a commercial and shipping center.
Getting to Patmos
Patmos is so small it’s a good thing that there is no airport for it would be over crowded with people and the noise pollution would be annoying.
The only way to get to Patmos is by sea (although there is an operational helicopter pad, but this is not an option for most).
Peireus to Patmos
A boat from Athens ( Piraeus ) takes 7 hours with Blue Star Ferries and 9-10 hours with ANEK ferries.
Boats leave from Gate E1 in Piraeus port daily. Gate E1 is for islands of the Dodecanese, to which Patmos belongs.
Tickets for all ferries are available from the corresponding kiosks across from the boats at the port . Do try to be there early , as some people miss their boats due to queuing for tickets.
Timetables are available only for the full tourist season of July – August. They are usually issued late June. These times sometimes change so call the Ferry office to confirm or call (+30) 14944 for a recorded message in Greek, for the boat schedules of today and tomorrow to all islands in Greece. There are also timetables for flights, trains and buses on this telephone service.
All ferry routes in Greece
There is also a catamaran “DODEKANISOS SEAWAYS” that reaches Patmos from the ports of Lipsi, Leros, Kalymnos, Kos and Rhodes. Click here for more information.
From there you can catch a flying dolphin (hydrofoil) or a small private vessel. Caution: When the wind speed reaches 6-7 Bft the flying dolphins (hydrofoils) do not leave the port they are at.
For Flying dolphin’s schedule for July-August-September click here. For other travel dates contact port authorities or travel agencies.
There are also small privately-owned ferries from different islands usually doing day tours to Patmos, their times change regularly so calling the port authorities is the only way to verify their times. Call travel agencies for more, if any details.
BUS TIMETABLE FROM 1ST OF JULY TO 31ST OF AUGUST
FROM SKALA TO HORA
a.m 7.40 9.15 11.30
p.m 12.30 1.30 3.30 4.30 5.30 7.30 8.40 9.30
FROM HORA TO SKALA
a.m 8.00 10.00 12.00
p.m 1.00 1.45 3.45 5.00 5.45 8.05 9.00 9.45
FROM SKALA TO GRIKOS
p.m 12.30 1.30 3.30 4.30 5.30 9.30
FROM HORA TO GRIKOS
p.m 1.45 3.45 5.45 7.40 9.45
FROM SKALA TO KAMBOS
a.m 8.15 10.30
p.m 2.15 6.30
FROM GRIKOS TO HORA
p.m 12.45 4.45 7.50
FROM KAMBOS TO SKALA
a.m 8.40 11.00
p.m 3.00 7.00
FROM GRIKOS TO SKALA
p.m 12.45 2.00 4.00 4.45 6.00 10.00
Things To Do And See In Patmos
For swimming we recommend the beaches such as Grikos, Diakofti, Psili Ammos, Kampos, Lefkes, Lambi, Mericha, Chochlaka, Meloi and Agriolivados. East of Patmos is Arki (Arki), a cluster of islands with bushy vegetation and few trees.
In the northern part of Patmos lies Pano Kambos, a Mediterranean village with houses built on a small hill, and others lower. Jewel of the village, the great church of the Annunciation, located on the street, in a small square. The coastal settlement is Kato Kambos with plenty of greenery, orchards, fruit trees, olive trees, pine trees, eucalyptus trees and trees on the beach. Near Kambos is Baia and Livadi, coastal settlements.
Special events such as the Festival of Religious Music, the Festival of Traditional Countries, the Festival of Taste and Tradition of the Aegean, etc., are taking place in Patmos each year. Among the hundreds of paschal destinations in our country, Patmos is a special place. The Island of Revelation offers even the most discerning visitor all that it would like to combine Easter days, but also any other season.
Patmos combines tradition and history with a tranquil atmosphere for a unique holiday, bringing the visitor to a real earthly paradise.