The Greek islands Patmos Patmos Hotels Patmos Beaches Patmos Sights Patmos Restaurants Patmos car Rental
Patmos Me inside the monastery of Patmos Patmos town Patmos monastery Patmos
Patmos Patmos Patmos Patmos Patmos beach
Patmos island map Nederlands

Patmos is the name of a Greek island in the Aegean Sea, situated in the group of the Dodecanese islands (of which it is the most northern island). The small, about 34 km˛ large island has a vulcanic origin and is inhabited by around 2600 people. Grapes (for wine), olives and tomatoes are cultivated on the island, but the inhabitants live from fishing and especially from tourism, because Patmos is one of the centers of Christian religion. Countless cruiseboats visit the harbour of Skala, for a visit to the famous monastery of St. John, which is situated on the highest top of the island.

Patmos is a little gem and one of my favourite islands to visit. On four of my five holidays in this region I have also visited Patmos, the first time just out of curiosity, the other three times because I liked it so much I wanted to go back. And after returning to Patmos after eleven years in 1997 or so it struck me that almost nothing had changed and that the shape and the size of the Skala (harbour) and the atmosphere of Patmos had pretty much stayed the same. I could even rent my old apartment and nothing had changed there. I think they even had the same furniture and the same fridge. They did build a couple of more houses, but not much. I found only that the village of Grigos had expended a bit and that some of the buildings there had gone and others had been put in their place. The ambience at the beach had remained the same though. Also during our visit in 2007 the feeling had stayed the same with friendly people and those special vibes that make you feel happy.

Patmos is excellent for making walks and excellent for a beach-holiday. It is relatively quiet (except in the Skala or in the monastery after the cruiseboats sailed in), the tourists and the inhabitants are friendly and free. You can be who you want to be. It is not a party-island where young people drink themselves unconscious in a disgusting way, but you can have some fun in the evenings and have a nice drink on a terrace or inside in a bar/dancing. There are nice little places in the harbour where in the evening you can go to for a drink. You can just sit there and relax or you can dance inside. The people on the island are happy and they have a smile on their face, service in most restaurants is wonderful and the food delicious and cheap, and again: served with a smile (most times, haha).

We found out that the restaurant in the street just behind the harbour served the best food at a very cheap price (Pantelis - many Greek people go there for their dinner. It is also always busy). The people working there are funny and really sweet (they still had the same staff in 2007 as in 1997). In Skala you will also find the best bakery of Greece. If you want to rent a place you can find a real bargain. We rented a big apartment in the centre with a small patio both in the back and in the front (1997). As a matter of fact everything on the island is sort of cheap.

Patmos has no airport, so you can only reach it by boat. It has good connections with for instance Samos and Kos. The first thing you will notice when Patmos comes into view is the enormous monastery that dominates the Chora (or: captital) on the mountain, and that overlooks the harbour. Patmos is a religious island. A visit to this monastery is an absolute must, because it is really beautiful. Also visit the treasure-chamber while you are there, with the amazing religious objects and textiles. You cannot go in wearing shorts or a t-shirt that shows too much, so bring a pair of long trousers or something if you plan to go in, or you will have to wear a piece of cloth. We have seen a lot of guys looking like drag queens while we were there. Making pictures inside the monastery is no longer allowed, which is a shame. Probably this is because they want to sell their own pictures and make money out of it, it's big business. I cannot think of any other reason but greed. This was the reason why we didn't visit it anymore in 2007.

In the chora you also have wonderful views over the island. The liveliest and nicest village on the island though is Skala (the harbour). It is situated on a part of the island where the island is almost split into two, and within a few minutes you can walk from east side of the island to the west side. It is a cosy village with a town-beach that is not too bad. It is close to the main road, but that is its only disadvantage, because even the main road is not that busy, and the beach itself is fairly quiet with good sand and some ducks to complete it. If you take the main road and walk either to the right or to the left you will stumble upon other nice beaches, some very quiet, or if you are lucky even completely deserted. The beach in Patmos town isn't bad at all, but there are plenty of other beaches you can choose from within walking-range, and it doesn't really matter what direction you walk.

Patmos Patmos Patmos Patmos Patmos beach
Patmos Patmos Patmos Patmos Patmos

You can't miss it, the island of Patmos, because as you sail in on the ferry you will see the monastery on top of the mountain reaching for the sky. Patmos is together with Tinos still one of the most important Greek religious centres. But this is not reflected in the atmosphere on the island, which is pretty relaxed. The people are very friendly and open and the island is just a place to feel happy. Patmos has an attractive mix of small hills and beach lined bays. The largest village of the island is Skala. This is an friendly little place made up of tavernas, Cycladic style houses and a beach.

Although Patmos is popular with the tourists and gets frequent visits from cruise boats it doesn't feel overcrowded. There are also no really big hotels on the island. From Skala there are caiques that go to the beaches of Psili Amos and Lampi (high season), as wel as to the beach islands of Arki and Lipsi.
For a larger map of Patmos island - click here.


Most of the hotels, apartments and studios in Patmos are situated in the Skala of Patmos (where the ferries dock) or in the coastal village of Grikos. In Skala, which is situated in a narrow part of the island the village goes from one side of the island all the way to the other side. In the harbour where the ferries sail in, there is a not unattractive beach, and at the other side of the village there is a small pebble beach that is not too inviting to go for a swim. It is called Hohoiaka Beach, but it is also called Sunset Beach, for obvious reasons. In Grikos / Grigos, where there has been a lot of building going on these last few years, and some new hotels were erected. Here you find also a nice beach. Outside the high season it can get pretty quiet here and facilities close. Skala on the other hand is always alive, even for instance in September. The few times I have been to Patmos I have always stayed at the same spot, in a studios with a veranda, alongside the main road that leads from one side of the the island to the beach on the other side.

A special place - Mathio's Studios in Sapsila Bay on Patmos
Patmos, Hotel Mathios Studios Patmos, Hotel Mathios Studios Patmos, Hotel Mathios Studios Patmos, Hotel Mathios Studios Patmos, Hotel Mathios Studios
Patmos, Hotel Mathios Studios Patmos, Hotel Mathios Studios Patmos, Hotel Mathios Studios Patmos, Hotel Mathios Studios Patmos, Hotel Mathios Studios
Above: 3 pictures of Jakoumina's secret beach, and 2 pictures of Sapsila Bay, second row: Mathia's Studios, the view and the church on the beach.

In 2007 we did it differently and we had booked a studio in the Bay of Sapsila, on walking distance (2500 meter) from Skala, on the way to Grikos. Because we travelled early (beginning of May) lots of hotels were still closed, and finding an apartment or studio just on good luck is a crime. Mathio's studios was opened and looked very nice. The walk to Sapsila Bay we have made regularly and it is fun. We always made a short stop there. In the bay there are a couple of houses, a small church and there is a small beach, where I have really never seen anybody at all.

On this spot, on a hill in Sapsila Bay, are the Mathio's Studios. They are not very expensive. There are 5 studios and 2 apartments and prices in 2009 are between 50 and 80 euro. Jakoumina, the lady that runs the apartments and studios turned out to be a real sweetheart, and such an honestly nice person, and the studio she had reserved for us had the "wauw-factor". It was so tastefully and personally decorated that it felt like a home, and we loved our large balcony with privacy, that overlooked the Bay of Sapsila. The perfect place for a cup of coffee in the morning or an ouzo in the evening. There was a nice kitchen with all the things that you could possibly need, the beds were top, and there was a large bathroom with a good hot shower and plenty of towels.

Patmos, Hotel Mathios Studios Patmos, Hotel Mathios Studios Patmos, Hotel Mathios Studios Patmos, Hotel Mathios Studios Patmos, Hotel Mathios Studios
Patmos, Hotel Mathios Studios Patmos, Hotel Mathios Studios Patmos, Hotel Mathios Studios Patmos, Hotel Mathios Studios Patmos, Hotel Mathios Studios

The accommodation was sort of standing apart from other buildings and away from the traffic and the noise. But the best was Jakoumina's secret beach that you can get to through the garden. It is set off the road and it's lovely: the nicest little beach we have seen on the island of Patmos, and we never saw anybody when we were there. We found the peace and quiet that we are looking for and at the same time were not too far from the Skala. All apartments and studios have a seaview and in front there is a nice garden with flowers and with Jakoumina's vegetable plot. It was a great place to relax. Thanks again Jakoumina for your friendlyness and your hospitality. We loved the studio, Sapsila Bay, your secret beach and you. Thank you for making us feel so at home. We hope to be back soon :)!!

Note: from the first of June untill mid October another secret can be found in the bay below (Sapsila Bay) when Benitos Taverna opens its doors. Valentino, Caroline Hererra, and Richard Gere have all had dinner here and according to a restaurant guide of Greece this romantic waterfront restaurant is in the top 10 of special places for food and atmosphere. I haven't been there yet (usually I am there in May) but you might want to find out for me!!

Send an e-mail to the Mathio's Studios on Patmos.
On Season Tel.: +30 22470.32583 On Season Fax.: +30 22470.32583 Off Season Tel.: +30 22470.32119

Stone holiday house in Sapsila Bay on Patmos
Patmos, Hotel Mathios Studios stone cottage, vakantiehuis Patmos, Hotel Mathios Studios stone cottage, vakantiehuis Patmos, Hotel Mathios Studios stone cottage, vakantiehuis Patmos, Hotel Mathios Studios stone cottage, vakantiehuis Patmos, Hotel Mathios Studios stone cottage, vakantiehuis

Mathios Studios also rents out a stone traditional house in the Bay of Sapsila. It is suitable for 2 or 3 people.

Send an e-mail to inquire about the traditional stone house on Patmos.
On Season Tel.: +30 22470.32583 On Season Fax.: +30 22470.32583 Off Season Tel.: +30 22470.32119


Patmos Hotels - Traditional Houses Irini, Loukakia Beach
Traditional Houses Irini Traditional Houses Irini Traditional Houses Irini Traditional Houses Irini Traditional Houses Irini
Traditional Houses Irini Traditional Houses Irini Traditional Houses Irini Traditional Houses Irini Traditional Houses Irini

Built right above Loukakia Beach in Patmos, the stone-built Traditional Houses Irini consists of rustic-style villas with fireplace and free Wi-Fi. Each features a stone-paved yard and furnished verandas where guests can enjoy breakfast overlooking the Aegean Sea. Beamed ceilings, dark wood flooring, old mirrors, Patmian tiles and sea-blue cupboards decorate the air-conditioned Irini Houses. Each includes a kitchen with a traditional dining area, oven and espresso machine. A living room with sofa, LCD satellite TV and DVD player is offered.

Guests can pick home-grown fruit and vegetables from the garden. Breakfast ingredients, such as tea, coffee, jams and juice, are replenished daily. A traditional breakfast is also available upon request and at extra charge. Fish taverns can be found on Grikos Beach within 700 metres. Staff can organize visits to the cave of the Apocalypse or boat trips to nearby islands such as Mykonos. Massages, tennis games and Greek folk dance lessons can also be provided. Patmos Town with the imposing old mansions and the Monastery of Saint John is a 10-minute walk away. Patmos Port is at 1.5 km and free 2-way transfer can be arranged

Check availabilities and prices & book Traditional Houses Irini on Patmos Greece - klik hier.


First there are of course the two beaches in Skala, the ferry harbour, but in the close surroundings of this village and on walking distance there are other nice beaches. Grikos, at about a five kilometer distance from Skala, is a former fishing village that has been growing out to be one of the tourist resorts on the island of Patmos, with a variety of hotels, apartments, studios and some restaurants. In this village there is a nice beach with a couple of tavernas to have a bite to eat. Also between Skala and Grikos, in the Sapsila Bay, there is a small beach. The village of Grikos is a small tourist place in the bay of Petra, with the remains of an antique building on a rock at the entrance. The bay of Petra is protected because of the island of Tragonisi in front of it.

Patmos Patmos Patmos Patmos Patmos
Patmos Patmos Patmos Patmos Patmos

Meloi Beach is a little walk to the other side, north of Skala. It is a sandbeach and it is pretty good. At this beach you will find the camping of Patmos and there is also a taverna. Beyond this beach are some more beaches, of which Agrolivado is the first one. Here you can also have something to eat or drink, because there are a couple of tavernas at the beach.

Further up north is the beach of Kampos which is also turned into a small tourist resort complete with a taverna, a mini market and watersports-facilities. From the beach at Kampos the road leads to the other beaches: the beaches of Vagia, Lampis and Livadi Geranou.

The beach of Vagia is situated in a small bay/cove and it is ideal for people that love it quiet. It is a sandbeach with some pebbles. There are no facilities on this beach (so no restaurant and such, bring your own water and food, or a bit behind the beach there is a taverna).

The beach of Geranou is situated at the northeast coast of Patmos. It is a pebble beach with some larger stones, and the last part you have to walk over an unpaved road through fields that are closed with fences (they keep goats in this area, so you are requested to close the gates behind you). on this beach there are no facilities and it is a quiet place.

The beach of Livadi Kalogiron is situated in the northwest of Patmos. This beach is quite large with pebbles and small stones, and it can be reached over an unpaved curling path that leads off a mountain.

The beach of Lampis is also situated in the north of Patmos. This is a pebble beach with colorful pebble-stones. On the beach there is a taverna that is opened during the high season, and outside of that period it would off course be wise to bring a bottle of water and something toy eat. You can reach Lampis beach over the road that leads from Kampos.

The third beach on the northcoast (in the northwest) is called Lefkon. It is a pebble beach. because of its position the beach is usually litttered with piles of seaweed. The last part of the road to Lefkon is unpaved.

In the south of Patmos island is the beach of Psili Amos. This is the most beautiful beach of the island, but also the most difficult to reach. There are some tamarisk trees for shade and there is a small taverna. Allthough naturisme is officially forbidden on the religious island of Patmos, you can normally find some naturists on this beach, because it is so remote. From Skala there are daily boattrips to the beach of Psili Amos, or you can rent a motor and from Diakofti (a beach at the narrowest part of the island) reach the beach after a 20 to 30 minute walk.

Patmos Patmos Patmos Patmos Patmos
Patmos Patmos Patmos Patmos Patmos

The monastery of St. John was founded in 1088 by the monk Christódoulos, with permission of the Byzantine emperor Alexios I Comnenus. It was build near the cave where it is said, the apostle John, who was banned by the emporer Domitianus, wrote the last book of the New Testament, the Apocalyps (or revelations of John), in 95 AD. John was send to Patmos because he had spread the word of Christ in Ephese, but after Domitianus died in 97 AD he supposedly returned to Ephese and died there at a very old age. The Cave of the Apocalyps is now a part of the small monastery complex, just under the top of the mountain where the Chora is situated. The cave is still in fairly authentic state and can be viewed.

The monastery gives the impression of being a fortres that offered protection from pirates. The monastery church is richly decorated with frescoes from the thirteenth century, the library with old books, writings and documents, and the treasure chamber with an abundance of relics, icons and other valuable items. The attractive village (Chora) at the bottom of the monastery developped because workmen and artists, that helped build the monastery, started to live here in order te be protected from the never ending threath of pirates.

Patmos Patmos Patmos Patmos
Me on Patmos island

When the Turks occupied the island in 1537, this in a strange way, meant the beginning of great florishing for the island, because the Turks not just chased away the pirates to more western areas, they also didn't like to inhabit small and infertile islands like Patmos. This is why they left the local government to the monks, that could uninterruptedly spread the christian faith and the Greek language and culture. In 1713 there was even a very influential clerical highschool founded on the island.

After the aknowledgement of the Greek independance in 1832 the island remained under Ottoman rule, and after that the monastery, as did the Ottoman empire, started to decline.

At the beginning of the 20th century the island of Patmos became a part of Italy, together with the whole of the Dodecanese, until it was reunited with Greece in 1948.

Despite the development of modern tourism the moral and spiritual influence of the monks has stayed big, and religious days make up a large part of the life of the inhabitants.

ferries Samos - Patmos - Kos ferries Samos - Patmos - Kos

Patmos does not have an airport with daily connections to Athens like some of the other islands. From Patmos there are daily ferries to Piraeus and to most of the Greek islands in the Dodekanese, like Leros, Kalymnos, Samos, Rhodos en Kos. The closest international airports are in Kos and in Samos. To avoid long hours on the ferry from Piraeus it would be a wise choice to fly from Holland, Belgium or elsewhere to one of these two islands, and take the ferry from there. It's very easy to combine Patmos with another island if you like to islandhop.

The Nissos Kalymnos of A.N.E. Kalymnou sails from Pythagorion (Samos) to Agathonissi, Arki, Patmos, Leros and Lipsi to Kalymnos (see picture on the left) and Aegean Flying Dolphins has fast boats from Pythagorion to Patmos, Lipsi, Leros, Kalymnos and Kos (see picture on the right). If you want to know for sure you must check the routes / schedules of the ferries on the internet, because it is impossible for me to keep track of all the changes. If you can't find your trip than maybe it is not online yet: check later.

© Hans Huisman, Truus de Graan, 2014
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