Patmos: The island of the Apocalypse


Πάτμος, Δωδεκάνησα

Patmos lays at the most northern part of the prefecture of Dodecanese between Ikaria and Leros Islands. The island is only 34 square kilometers in size, with a maximum length of 25 kilometers. Most of the inhabitants live in Chora, Skala the island’s port, Kambos and Grikos.

It is a holy island, a place of pilgrimage for both Orthodox and western Christians. It was here that St. John wrote his divinely inspired revelation, The Apocalypse.

However, Patmos is also known for its beautiful coastal areas, crystal-clear seas and sandy beaches, traditional, picturesque villages, inlets and coves and its eventful past.

Patmos, in the 15 th century was generally a communicant of the renaissance promoting the architecture, the hagiography and temple construction, announcing in advance the high aesthetics and the thriving of 16 th century.

The “inner castle”, the “Five-gated” fortification zone surrounding the Byzantine settlement, is considered by experts an excellent sign of the architectural craftsmanship at the time.

Patmos Map

Center map
Google MapsGet Directions

Patmos Attractions & Surrounding Area

The establishment of Chora started to be built 50 years after the institution of the Holy Monastery, in order to protect it from the invasions of the pirates. About 100 Byzantine families took refuge in Chora, after 1453, and built the second quarter west of the Monastery, an area called Allotina”.

Chora is the capital of the island. A medieval settlement with an architecture forming white mansions, as well as houses in the Aegean Sea style, being one of the attraction points for the visitors from all around the world. Chora is independent with regards to shops, restaurants, taverns and bars.

Skala is the port of the island and the largest town of Patmos. In Skala there are many restaurants, cafes, shops, bars and night clubs. From there you can also visit other places of the island by bus or by small speedboats or fishing boats.

Kambos is composed of Pano (Upper) Kambos and Kato (Lower) Kambos. In Pano Kambos there is the square of the village and the school, the church and some traditional taverns. In Kato Kambos there is the biggest beach of the island which is fully organized and is 5,5 km far from Skala.

Grikos is built in a magical bay, overlooking Kalikatsou. There you will find an organized beach, many taverns and some nearby quiet beaches with trees for shade. It is only 5 km far from Skala.

The Holy Monastery of Patmos: The Monastery of Saint John the Theologian began to be built in 1088 by St. Christodoulos the Latrinos, who had been granted the whole island of Patmos with a golden bull by the Emperor of Byzantium Alexis the First, Komninos.

The Monastery belongs to the Ecumenical Patriarchy; it is a Patriarchal exarchate with a Patriarchal exarch, its abbot had special benefits. The 15-meter tall walls of it were protecting the inhabitants during the pirates’ attacks. Above its two and only gates, there was what is called a killer, a type of balcony, from which the inhabitants were able to pour hot oil, to prevent the pirates from entering.

The Monastery has ten chapels, four of which are located in its yard. In the Catholic of the Monastery, there is a temple of unique art, created in 1829, by 12 sculptors. The icons and the frescos in the Catholic are of immense beauty and value.

The Holy Cave of Apocalypse: It is situated in the middle of the hill between Skala and Chora. The view from the cave and the mysticism of the atmosphere are awesome. St. Christodoulos refurbished the cave when he arrived to Patmos . Today, pilgrims can see the place at which the Apocalypse was written, the place where St. John stayed, the massive rock that opened up in there and through which God dictated the Apocalypse to St. John, the point were the Evangelist lay his head to rest and a curve on the rock, which he would hold onto, in order to rise. In order to respond to the need of the pilgrims, the southern part of the cave has been turned into a temple.

: It is a strange rock that it looks like it is immersing from the sea and it is located at the south-eastern side of Patmos Island, after the beach of Grikos. It is the place that many hermits chose to live. The hermits managed to turn this unfriendly rock into a comfortable spot by sculpting on it steps, points to put coal and candles etc.

Kasteli: Ruins of a sheltered acropolis being an example of the Hellenistic wall building of the 3 rd century B.C. Its wall is constructed of black, rough stone and it is supported by towers.

Nearby Islets: Agathonisi, Arki, Tragonisi, Chiliomodi

Famous Beaches of Patmos: Kambos, Grikos, Psili Ammos, Diakofti, Livadi Geranou, Petra, Agriolivadi, Meloi.

How to get there

By ship: from Piraeus
By airplane: from Athens airport to Leros, Samos or Kos and then take a boat to Patmos.

Patmos Photos

Patmos Useful Telephone Numbers (Calling code for Greece 0030)

Piraeus Port Authority
210 4226001-4
Patmos taxi
 22470 31225
Athens airport
210 353 0000
Patmos Health Center
 22470 31211, 31577
Leros airport
22470 22777
Patmos Police Station
22470 31303
Samos Olympic Airways
22730 27237
Holy Monastery of Saint John the Theologian
22470 31223
Kos airport
22420 51229
Holy Cave of the Apokalypse
22470 31234
Olympic Airways in Patmos
22470 34105
National bank in Skala
22470 34050
Patmos coastguard
22470 31231, 34131
Emboriki Bank in Skala
 22470 34141