These are the 5 best things to do in Patmos, Greece. Before going I didn’t expect much of Patmos and I do not know why that was. We needed a base to do a boat tour to Aspronisia and visit Leros from, and ended up choosing Patmos because my Greek boyfriend’s mum said it was nice. Damn, did we get surprised. Patmos was the best surprise of all islands we visited on the 81-day Greece tour we did in 2023.
Why? First and foremost, there are lots of locals on the island living there all-year round. This means that even at the end of April, when we arrived, the port town Skala had life in it. Tourists and locals seamlessly melt together here. Locals try to protect Patmos as best as they can. They are happy with some tourists but are not looking for ‘more and more’. Lots of holiday homes aren’t rented through the internet but via-via since year and day. No big cruise ships come in here, just tiny but luxurious cruise ships with quality tourists that do also eat, drink and shop in Patmos and are actually interested in its history.
Nothing in Patmos is overorganized or solely developed for tourists. And this all, together with its important religious history makes Patmos have an almost divine energy all year round. It is truly an island that one must visit once.
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Patmos does not have an airport, only a heliport. So the only way to get there, is by ferry. You could fly to Athens and take a ferry there, or fly to one of the nearby islands with an airport and a ferry connection to Patmos (such as Samos, Leros, Ikaria). We came in from Syros island by ferry, demonstrating that even lots of the Cycladic islands with airports have good connections to Patmos
You can easily search and find ferry routes routes on the search engine of Ferryhopper and easily find a date and time of your convenience.
Or check my elaborate blogs on ferry travel in Greece for in-depth info.
Patmos is one of those places you can visit from April till October without having to worry that everything is closed. Skala always has many of its restaurants open for locals. Of course before June and after September, the organized beaches might not have their sun loungers on the beach and some day cruises won’t be running. But we opted for the private boat tour and sitting on the beach with our towel only without any issue. The only thing we missed out on were the tavernas on the square in Hora being open, they were still closed in April. But weather wise it was a perfect 22-25C during the day at the end of April, so swimming was possible even though the water was still chilly. If you are looking for divine energy and peace, Patmos is one of those islands you can easily visit off-season as well. Of course if you go during July and August it will be a lot busier, but since there is no airport, the island does not get overrun by people (let’s keep it that way).
If you spend a week on Patmos, you can see the whole island and do a boat trip to Aspronisia. I would recommend that to totally unwind and take in the energy and beauty. It is one of those rare places where because of the size and energy of the island you can do sightseeing and relax at the same time. But you can definitely see the highlights of the island in 3-4 days as it is rather small.
On our stay in Patmos, we resided at Blue Vista. The accommodation consists of a few apartments and a villa. We couldn’t have been happier! The apartments are very large, with a fully equipped kitchen and space to sit outside. You look out over the stunning Meloi beach, from where you can see the sunrise. To get to the beach it is a short, 7-minute walk downhill. From the other side of the premises you can see the most gorgeous sunset at Merika beach. It is just a 5-minute drive from the port and from Skala, and if you like walking you could also do that in about 25 minutes. Because the accommodation is so centrally located, it is the perfect place to discover the whole island from.
Now, over to the 5 best things to do in Patmos:
The heart and soul of Patmos, Chora is a captivating blend of history, architecture, and culture. Begin your exploration with a visit to the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian. This 11th-century Byzantine marvel, a UNESCO World Heritage site, offers panoramic views of the Aegean and a deep dive into the island’s Christian heritage. Next, descend into the mystical Cave of the Apocalypse, where Saint John the Theologian is believed to have received a part of the bible. As you wander further, get lost in the alleys of Chora, adorned with whitewashed houses and charming squares. Unfortunately in late April, the tavernas in Chora weren’t open yet, but in summer the central square is filled with colored tables and chairs, making it even more picturesque.
Even though Greece is not seen as a prime wine country, great wines and wineries are to be found everywhere here. Even on a tiny island like Patmos. Go to Patoinos winery, where you can take a tour of the premises and do a wine tasting. The vineyard is basically beachfront but with hills behind it and it is very interesting to listen to the effect both terrains on opposite side of the vineyard have on the taste of the grapes and the wine. They also make an orange wine, which I personally had never seen before. You can book the wine tasting here.
This is the best boat trip I have ever done in Greece and I have done quite a few… it was a private boat trip that costed a couple of hundred € but worth every penny. In the morning we met Fokas at Meloi beach, who took us to the stunny azure waters of Makronisi and Aspronisia. As we were enjoying the water, Fokas went spearfishing for us. He came back with some urchins and other fish. After having taken us to the Blue Lagoon of Arkoi islands (Tiganakia) we stopped for a bit at Platis Gialos beach on Lipsi island, as Fokas prepared the most delicious ceviche I’ve ever eaten right on the spot. Fokas is not on the internet, so if you want to do a tour with him you’ll have to message me to get his number. Alternatively you can book the same trip with Patmos Boats. Or, if you like a more economic tour to these places, take a group tour in high season with Patmos Daily Cruises. Watch the vlog below to get an idea of what a trip to these places looks like!
Day 20 of my 81-day Greece trip. NO WORDS for this beach 🏝️ and our experience of yesterday! We went on a boat trip with Fokas 💕💪🏻 from Patmos to the nearby tiny islands of Aspronisia (and Tiganaki beach and more). The waters were BETTER THAN EXPECTED EVEN! 😍 . While we were having the swim 🏊🏻♀️ in these heavenly waters you see in this reel, Fokas went 🔱 spearfishing and when he came back he had a full bag of spiky sea urchins, parrot fish and an oyster like shell 🐚 with him. He prepared all the fish 🐠 on the spot and let me just tell you, you will NEVER taste this kind of (fresh) fish in your life except on such an experience!! . Fokas isn’t even on the internet as he has so many (returning) customers for 20 years already he doesn’t need that 😁. But everybody in Patmos knows him so just ask around if you want to book this. It is not a cheap experience but definitely worth it! . Alternatively in high season you can go from Leros or Lipsi (Lipsi with the Rena 5 islands cruise) on a group tour with a larger ship ⛴️! . Are the Aspronisia going on your bucket list? . #greece #aspronisia #patmos #lipsi #beach #dreambeach #beach #bucketlisttravel #greecetravel #tzatchickie #greekbeaches #dodecanese #greekislands #greeceislandhopping #dodecaneseisland #patmosisland #traveltiktok #travel #CapCut♬ Good Vibes (Instrumental) - Ellen Once Again
As the day winds down, head to Skala, the island’s main port. There is a vibrant ambiance all year round. Locals too sit on the main square for a drink and bite at Houston. Around the square, there are several very nice boutiques and souvenir shops. But what you surely can not miss out on is a dinner on the beach of Skala at To Tsipouradiko Mas. The fava with caramelized octopus and the saganaki flambé are to die for, as well as the fact you’re sitting with your feet in the sand on an exotic looking little corner of Skala. For breakfast, do head over to the bakery Ta Kardasia to get a coffee and a delicious bougatsa crema with nutella that you can normally only get in northern Greece!
Patmos is blessed with plenty of gorgeous beaches, each unique in its charm. These are some of the best:
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