Patmos


Patmos is situated in the north-westerly part of the Dodecanese. With its 40
km˛ and about 3000 inhabitants it is a rather small island. If you are well-versed in the Bible you probably heard about Patmos. Here on the island in 95 AD apostle John allegedly received his two visions that led to his Book of Revelation. This Book of Revelation is actually quite interesting. Its content is very controversial and the various interpretations are almost as interesting as the book itself. In the Eastern Orthodox Church for example it - although it was finally accepted as part of the canon - is not read in the Eucharistic service until this very day.

Patmos
Picture: © Nyomonyo - Fotolia.com

Luther didn't like it either. He considered it "not helpful" and it was included in his Antilegomena, a list with parts of the bible that were disputed and not necessarily considered genuine. 

These days tourism is the most important sector of the economy. That might be so but it doesn't mean that it is as infested with tourists as other Greek islands. It's actually quite all right. Even in summer it is easy to find a room. When you arrive by boat the first thing you will notice is a bunch of people at the harbor that are screaming as if they're at a stoning. No worries, these are the hotel owners that are trying to offer you a room. They only want your best so no reason to be alarmed. It's quite common in Greece to pick up tourists at the port. At first the whole things appears to be a bit chaotic but once you get used to the shouting and haggling you might as well enjoy it. A lot of competition means you are likely to get a fair price.

Worth visiting on Patmos is the famous monastery of St. John the divine (Moni Agios Christodulos). Its library is well known all over the world and considered to the host the most important collection of historical documents in the Greek Orthodox world.

There are a number of monasteries on Patmos that are dedicated to John. You won't be surprised to hear that Patmos is an important destination for Christian pilgrims. Very popular with them is the cave where Saint John received the revelation from Jesus. It's also known as the "Cave of the Apocalypse". I know that sounds a bit scary but its safe. The cave is recognised by the UNESCO and protected under their world heritage program.

Even if you are not a pilgrim you'll enjoy the visit. Patmos is beautiful. There are many small inlets and bays with excellent beaches. Most of them are shingle beaches but that doesn't make them less pretty. I personally prefer them to sand beaches especially when it is a little bit windy.

Skala on Patmos
Picture: © Nyomonyo - Fotolia.com

Patmos capital is Skala. This is where you arrive and where you'll find most of the restaurants and rooms for rent. Stefanos Camping – the only camp site on the island - is about 2 kilometres away. Historically the capitol was Hora. It's half an hour walk away from Skala and a lot less touristy. Depending on what you want you might as well stay there.

By bus you get to the beautiful little fishing village Grikos and also to Kampos with its excellent sandy beach.

Getting to Patmos: It's relatively easy to get to Patmos. There are frequent ferries from and to Piraeus (Athens port), Leros, Kalymnos, Kos and Rhodes. It's also possible to go to Samos from here.

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