Πάτμος – Dodecanese

Patmos is a major sightseeing destination. It is considered a holy island, as it was here St. John wrote “The Apocalypse”. It attracts a great many visitors, but it still has not lost its charm. It is in fact an absolute gem of an island, surprisingly peaceful. Its claim to fame is mostly the monasteries, but also the beautifully situated hilltop village of Hora. This village has one of the most incredible settings in the whole of the Aegean, and is very well kept. The harbour town of Skala is also nice, even with its a bit more urban feel.

Nude (or even topless) swimming is supposedly banned, still a de facto (at least partly) nude beach does exist (see walk 1 below). Also many other nice beaches which out of high season are almost deserted.

Some care should be taken in selecting eateries down in Skala I guess. An excellent taverna just one street behind the harbour is “O Pantelis” (open the entire day). A very nice restaurant is the “Old Harbour”, but higher priced of course. Arion is an excellent and classy place for refreshments. Up in Hora you can find “Vigalis”, which is a good spot. Be sure to check out their garden.

Selected walks:

For walks, see Samos Patmos Northern Dodecanese by Dieter Graf (referred to below as “/Graf/”). On the web have a look at Patmos Greece Holiday and Travel Guide by Foxy’s Island Walks.

•1 SKALA – HORA – PSILI AMMOS (+ RETURN) (my total time 6h12, this includes about an hour enjoying the sea and the sand, about an hour of lunch and refreshments on the way back as well as stops for photography; +-598m, 4 laps): This is walk 19 in /Graf/. For once a completely delightful and unproblematic walk :-). I just question the map tracing of the walk in Hora. If the windmills were visible I think Graf must actually have walked the road, not any village street. Anyway, it should be hard not to find the way.

The walk starts by using the old byzantine path from Skala to Hora. It is possible to combine it with a visit to two important monasteries. If you want to visit, decent dress is obligatory: Long trousers for men, skirts for women. First stop is the Monastery of the Apocalypse. After just a couple of minutes on the byzantine path, a narrower path (unmarked!) goes left among pines towards it. When finished there, if you want a shortcut, there are steps leading straight upwards that eventually rejoin the byzantine path higher up. You will walk the whole stretch of that path on your way back down anyway. Second stop is then the Monastery of St. John. 

Unfortunately the “infrequent” visitors to Psili Ammos are now more frequent, and the beach is starting to feel a bit crowded. Still it is semi-nude.

• Good starting points: • Skala

• How to get there: • By ferry from some islands • By ferry from the mainland • By hydrofoil from some Dodecanese and Northeast Aegean islands • By cruise ship • By tour boats from the nearby islands

• More info: • Patmos Greece Holiday and Travel Guide by Foxy’s Island Walks

This page was last modified at November 1, 2009.