Europe

Patmos: The Greek Islands’ Best-Kept Secret

Beautiful view, Patmos, Greece

Don’t miss this view! Image courtesy of Beth Santos.

Everyone knows about the luxurious and idyllic Greek Islands. Honeymooners flock to Santorini and Mykonos for brilliant sunsets, clear skies, and cocktails over crystal blue water.

And while we don’t mind the well-trod path, Go Girls are constantly on the lookout for local spots and hidden gems.

Today, we’re letting you in on one: Patmos.

About Patmos Island

Patmos is conceivably one of the smaller islands (just 34 square kilometers) of the Dodecanese, an island group in the Aegean Sea. To get there, visitors can fly into the airport of its big sister, Kos, then take a 2.5-hour ferry ride. Ferries also run from some of the other smaller Greek islands and Turkey (just 18 minutes away).

In the islands, beauty is kicked up a notch: What seems to be a normal ferry ride for the Greeks would be a luxurious cruise for my American self. Soak in the sun on the upper deck as the tiny Greek islands sail by.

Though Patmos is not completely isolated (Its regular population is about 3,000.), you’ll find fewer tourists than you will on other islands. The tourists you do find tend to reside within the European Union.

Where we stayed

Skala Hotel

Skala Hotel, Patmos, Greece

Image courtesy of Beth Santos.

There is no lack of places to stay in Patmos, and no matter what your budget, you’ll be sure to find something with an incredible view. The Skala Hotel was kind enough to offer us a few nights of accommodation to check out their spot (see our disclosure statement here). The hotel itself is a less than a five-minute walk from the ferry docks and in the dead center of Skala, the most populous area of Patmos. You’ll find the entrance under flowering arches of hot pink bougainvillea.

Skala Hotel, Patmos, Greece

Image courtesy of Beth Santos.

We loved our stay at the Skala Hotel. Not only was the staff incredibly helpful and friendly, but the rooms were clean and well maintained. Wifi is free and accessible everywhere, and all rooms have a balcony view – of the Aegean Sea out front or the flowering hillsides in back.

Besides an impressive continental breakfast complete with local produce (eggs, watermelon so juicy it drips down your chin, and fresh Greek yogurt), the hotel also features a large pool with – our favorite part – a poolside bar with submerged seating. If the sea (just across the street) weren’t calling our names, we would’ve stayed poolside forever.

Getting around Patmos

Beth of Go Girl Travel Network on an ATV in Patmos, Greece

Image courtesy of Beth Santos.

Our friends were jealous of our stay at the Skala Hotel as it was so incredibly close to everything, with restaurants, shopping, and beaches just a couple minutes’ walk from our room.

But don’t forget to venture outside of Skala’s wonders. For just 15-30 Euro per day, you can rent a moped (with moped license) or ATV (with car license) to get yourself around Patmos. It’ll end up being cheaper and more convenient than relying on taxis, and possibly a thousand times more fun. There are places to rent vehicles all along the main drag. If you don’t have a reservation for an ATV, just take a walk around town and see what places have availability.

Things to do in Patmos: What not to miss

Cave of the Apocalypse – the beginning of the end of the world

Cave of the Apocalypse, Patmos, Greece

Image courtesy of Beth Santos.

Patmos is most known for being the site of where the Christian Apostle, John, wrote the Book of Revelation, the last book of the New Testament. It was in what is now known as the Cave of the Apocalypse that he wrote about the fate of our world. No visit to Patmos is complete without an eerie visit.

Hora & The Monastery of St. John

Hora, Patmos, Greece

Image courtesy of Beth Santos.

It’s hard not to notice the Monastery of St. John as you approach Patmos. The castle that defends the monastery was created in 1088. Inhabitants would drop boiling hot oil from the top of the castle upon anyone trying to break inside.

After visiting the monastery itself, get lost in the streets of Hora, the surrounding village. This was easily our favorite part of Patmos island – maze-like cobbled roads wind under arched tunnels, past epic hilltop views, and through adorable town squares. If you stop by after sunset, you’re sure to catch sight of some of the locals – little old women and men who have lived in Patmos their entire lives.

Visit one of Patmos’ 365 chapels

St Demetrios Chapel in in Patmos, Greece

Image courtesy of Beth Santos.

Patmos lays claim to 365 chapels – one for every day of the year – on its land. Take your vehicle and explore some of the adorable Greek Orthodox houses of worship. Our favorite was the St. Demetrios chapel up on a hillside near Kampos. You’ll probably need an ATV to get there, but the view is incredible.

Have an evening drink at Art Cafe in Skala

Art Cafe in Patmos, Greece

Image courtesy of Beth Santos.

One of the only rooftop bars in Patmos is Art Cafe, an adorable two-level spot with cozy couches, flickering candles, and soft jazz music. Ask the German-born owner for her mastiha specialty – a mojito-like drink made from the local Greek liquor mastiha, from the mastic tree, native to the island of Chios.

The liquor itself has a strong resin smell with a rather unappealing quality. But when made into a mojito, it adds an irresistible wooded aroma that you just can’t get anywhere else.

Explore the beaches

Every beach in Patmos is different, so try a new one each day of your visit. Lambi Beach features stones with interesting colors and designs. Petra has a fascinating boulder that juts out of the water. Kampos is chock-full of visitors, restaurants, and umbrellas for rent. Each one has a different flavor and promises a unique experience.

The great thing about the Greek Islands is this: Once you’re there, you have nothing but options. Make sure you spend a couple of days in Patmos while visiting her more well-known sisters. You’ll be spoiled by the quiet serenity you find in this less-populous gem.

Have you been to the Greek Islands? Which island was your favorite?

Beth Santos
Founder and CEO of Wanderful, creator of the Women in Travel Summit, enthusiastic lover of ice cream, picnics and art.

You may also like

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Europe