The Cave of the Apocalypse
The legendary cave where, according to tradition, the Apostle John wrote the Book of Revelation (the last book of the New Testament) lies half-way between the port and Patmos Town. The monastery complex also includes the church of Saint Anne, the chapels of Saint Nicholas and Saint Artemios, some monastic cells, and the ruins of the old Patmiada Ecclesiastical School.
This atmospheric town of labyrinthine cobbled streets with vaulted stone passages, white mansions, and courtyards full of geraniums and jasmine was built around the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian between the 16th and 17th century. The island’s picturesque windmills are nearby. Admire the impressive 19th-century captains’ houses and the neoclassical Town Hall (1884), make a stop at the fashionable art galleries, and relax with the locals in the cosmopolitan Agia Levia Square.
The Monastery of Saint John the Theologian
Dating from the 11th century, this imposing monastery is among the most important places of pilgrimage in the Christian world. It has ten chapels, an ecclesiastical museum, a pottery workshop, and a library of priceless treasures. The monastery is fortified with a 15-metre-high polygonal wall.
The mansions of Patmos Town
Built between the 16th and 19th century, the renowned mansions of Patmos testify to the growth of the island’s upper middle class. They are notable for their distinctive architectural and decorative elements, with gothic and neoclassical influences. The most famous of them, from the 19th century, are known by the names of the wealthy sea captains and merchants who were their first owners. One of them, the stately Nikolaidis Mansion, now operates as a museum, and gives a good idea of what life was once like here.
A major natural attraction of the island, the rock formation in Grikos Bay resembles a sculpture of volcanic stone. It is named after the local cormorants. According to legend, the carved circular cavities on its surface were “sacred seats” for hermits. Said to radiate a strange energy, it is a popular place for yoga and meditation.
The trails of Patmos
The island is famed for its unique culture trails that follow age-old routes. Don’t miss the fabled Aporthian Way, the stone path that connects Patmos Town with the port of Skala. It offers splendid views of the Aegean, Perdikari Valley, the Cave of the Apocalypse, and Skala.
The island’s commercial and recreational heart beats in its port and second largest settlement, which dates from the 17th century. At the Netia Boatyard you can see how traditional wooden caïques are constructed.
The ancient citadel of Patmos stands on a fortified hill overlooking the bays of Skala, Merikas and Hochlakas. The area has been inhabited since the Bronze Age, and the well-preserved remains of the 4th-century-BC fortifications are clearly visible. It is a wonderful spot from which to see the sunset.