Monday, September 11, 2017

5 Things to Do In Patmos, Greece

A small island in the Aegean Sea, Patmos, Greece is a must-see destination for travelers who are also history buffs. It’s rich in Christian history, preserved medieval architecture, and Greek mythology. That Patmos is the island where St. John wrote his Revelation makes Patmos a popular pilgrimage site for Christians, but its long history and tranquil beauty appeal to travelers from all over the world. Here are some of our favorite things to do in Patmos.

Some of the beautiful preserved architecture in Chora

1. Explore Historic Chora

Chora is the capital of Patmos, surrounding the Monastery of St. John. In medieval times, the hilltop position of the town, narrow alley ways, and imposing fortress surrounding the monastery were all for the purpose of protecting them from attacks by pirates or Turks. Nowadays, there’s not much threat of either, but much of the history of the town is still clearly seen in the still-standing fortress, white-washed captain’s houses, and windmills dating back to the Renaissance. Exploring Chora feels like taking a step into real history, but there are plenty of modern cafes and shops to be visited as well.

The entrance to the Cave of the Apocalypse

2. See the Cave of the Apocalypse

Patmos is a beautiful tourist destination now, but once it was a remote island used for exile. It was Patmos to which St. John was banished. The Cave of the Apocalypse is believed to be the place where he received and wrote his Revelation. Declared a World Heritage Site, the cave is carefully preserved and tourists can see mosaics depicting St. John’s visions and the rock that he used as a pillow while exiled there.

The Monastery of St. John in the distance of this scenic view

3. Visit the Monastery of St. John

Once you’re finished with the cave, visit the thousand year old Monastery of St. John. The courtyard offers a peaceful place to pray, meditate, or simply take in the beauty. Inside the church are a wealth of ancient texts, vestments, and relics that can’t be found anywhere else. The library is only open to scholars, but contains over 2,000 documents and manuscripts. Visit in the morning if you don’t want to struggle with the heat and the crowds.

Chris Cafe at Chris Hotel in Skala

4. Dine at Artsy Cafes in Skala

Patmos isn’t just a great destination for historic religious sites. There’s also a vibrant art scene in Patmos. Skala is an excellent place to satisfy your coffee fix and see some unique art at the same time. Koukoumavla Bar is decorated from wall to wall with quirky, colorful artwork. The simply named Art Cafe is full of artistic wall hangings, a full bookshelf, and beautiful roof garden seating. The main port of Patmos, Skala is also an excellent place to find some of the best Patmos hotels.

A view of one of Skala's beautiful beaches

5. Enjoy the Crystal Clear Beaches

Of course, you can’t go to an island in Greece and not hit the beach at some point. The beaches of Patmos are beautifully kept with crystal clear water and pebbled shores. Skala Beach is the most popular beach in the summer, but you can find secluded, non-organized beaches like Lambi and Psili Ammos to get away from the crowds. Near the bay of Sapsila, you can find Loukakia beach, with beautiful, shimmering water and a barrier of trees and bushes to give this beach a more private atmosphere.

While you’re searching for a Patmos hotel for your stay, consider Chris Hotel in Patmos. Located in Skala, Chris Hotel is close to all the best shops and grocery stores. They not only provide excellent service, but have their own waterfront cafe and beer where you can look out at the beauty of the Aegean sea from the comfort of your hotel. Trust me, this is a site you won’t want to miss!

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