Patmos is a small island in the Dodecanese yet one of the best known. "The Jerusalem of the Aegean" is a way to describe Patmos or Patnos, as it was referred to on a 5th century inscription. It was here that St. John the Theologian was exiled between 95 and 97 A.D. and was inspired to write the Book of Revelation or Apocalypse, 10th and last book of the Bible.
Patmos, situated between Leros and Ikaria, is a mountainous island with rocky soil and an abundance of small coves.
Nevertheless, there is more to the island than its Christian reputation : many nice beaches, fruits and olive groves on the green hills, majestic fortress-monastery top hill above the port, surrounded by typical white houses, small churches and sea captains' mansions, separated from each other by narrow streets, high walls and tiny squares.
Patmos is listed on the World Heritage of UNESCO for the following highlights of the island :
- The Monastery of St. John the Theologian with its priceless treasures,
- The traditional village of Chora, that was built in the Middle Age
- The Cave of the Apocalypse
According to mythology, Patmos was offered by Zeus to his daughter Artemis, goddess of hunting and young women. She was worshipped here in antiquity, and the monastery of St. John was built on her temple.
The island is quite windy, so windsurfing or renting a car or moped are among the favorite activities for holiday makers. You may also want to join daytrips to the small neighboring islands Marathi, Arki and Lipsi. At Grikos you can rent a small sailing boat.