Religious sites and festivals, fabulous food and unrivalled nature make the Dodecanese island of Patmos a perfect mixture of authenticity and creativity.
Peaceful Patmos is a natural haven of unspoiled beaches and green hills overlooking the sparkling Aegean. More than that, it’s an important religious site with Saint John the Divine’s Cave of Revelations and sacred monastery. Festivals are in abundance at Patmos – where you can drink, dance and feast with locals to learn about Greek culture and enjoyment. There’s endlessly good food to enjoy at this hub of artists, where beautiful authenticity meets joyful energy.
Though Patmos is relatively small and quiet, its two main towns are a wonderful mixture of vibrancy and authenticity. Head to Chora to wind your way through narrow alleyways with traditional tavernas, whiling away your evenings at the main square that buzzes with life once the moon comes out. At Skala – by the main port – you’ll find shops, squares, bars and excellent seaside tavernas for your fix of fresh calamari. Artists famously visit Patmos for inspiration and tranquillity and you can feel the creative vibe around town. There are even some ancient ruins in Skala, adding history to the lively scene.
The adventure doesn’t have to stop at Patmos. It’s situated in the Dodecanese archipelago so other islands lie just across the sparkling seas. Sail – either via group excursion or on a hired private boat, with or without captain depending on your sailing experience – to nearby gems like historic Leros or peaceful Lipsi, an island perfect for nature-lovers. It means you’ll experience more of Greece, soaking up spectacular views as you go.
As an island off the beaten track, Patmos is unspoiled and its nature untouched. Nowhere is this more apparent than on the stunning beaches that fold out across the island. Hire a car, bicycle or scooter to carefully drive between them, hopping off to chill out at each stretch of coast. Some offer facilities like sunbeds and beachside tavernas – others, nothing but perfect seclusion. Don’t miss Vaghia, where rainbow-coloured pebbles glisten under crystal-clear warm waters.
Greek food is traditionally fresh, simple, flavoursome and homemade with a heap of philoxenia – the loving Greek hospitality that you’ll find in the bucketload on Patmos. Sample it all with lunches at beachside tavernas – fresh fish dishes and a bottle of Mythos beer in village Grika is sunny perfection – and dinners of Souvlaki and local wine in tree-dotted courtyards and nightcaps under the stars on seaview terraces. A favourite taverna is To Kyma, perched on the edge of the water with a view of the Monastery and Chora which sparkle at night.
Paths snake through the hills of Patmos. When the sun isn’t too hot, follow the grass-lined walkways up and around the island. The views of the surrounding hills – the white cubic houses dotted below and the Aegean reaching out to the horizon – are spectacular. Discover beautiful churches and secluded coves with well-earned rests throughout. Patmos is a relatively small island so it’s possible to uncover many of its secrets on foot.
Traditional windmills have become iconic symbols of the Greek islands including famous ones on the likes of Mykonos and Santorini. Patmos has its own set: three charming stone structures high up in the hills. Two date back to 1588, used to grind wheat to supply the island with flour. You can thank them for your local bakery’s delicious spanakopita. Visit the windmills to see how they grind organic flour and learn their history in the museum – housed inside the windmill. As always with Patmos, the views are breathtaking.
There are lots of things to see and do on Patmos, and plenty of restaurants to choose from. For some more exploring, check out the best beaches near Athens. You can now either book boutique hotels or other hotels in the capital on Culture Trip.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.