Patmos is part of the Dodecanese island group. Enjoy numbers? It's at 37 20' N. 26 35' E.
Why You Should Go to Patmos:Few travellers cruise the Aegean without a stop at the island of Patmos, home of the sacred cavern of the Apolcalypse where John was inspired to write the Book of Revelations. Cracks in the wall of the cave are said to have appeared when he heard the voice of the Lord.
It's easy to see why John found Patmos a worthy retreat. Sometimes called the "Jerusalem of the Aegean", it is an official pilgrimage site for members of the Catholic faith. Cast out of Ephesus, St. John the Evangelist was exiled to Patmos.
Where to Stay: Most of the better hotels are located away from Scala, the main port, though it does offer some rooms and apartments. One critically-acclaimed choice at Grikos is the Hotel Petra.
White Key Luxury Villas offers some Patmos options.
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What To Do:Patmos is undeniably religious in character, though like any Greek island it has its share of tavernas and even discos. A visit to the Cave of Revelations and to St. John's Monastery are essentials. But Patmos has always made at least part of its living from the sea, and the small port is active. Visiting the nearby smaller island of Lipsi is another option.
On my visit, I watched in fascination as one vigorous net fisherman unloaded his catch - vividly colored sea urchins, small silvery fish, and a globular orange sea creature that was eagerly purchased by Greek matrons waiting nearby. I wasn't able to find out what this delicacy was - maybe I didn't really want to know! Other sightseeing on Patmos includes visits to local smaller islands, pauses at the active monasteries and nunneries, and wandering through the towns, modern, medieval, and ancient.
Travel Tips for Patmos:As a regular cruise ship destination, Patmos can be crowded in summer, but the cruise ships tend to disgorge their travellers in shifts. If you're travelling independently, the island and its attractions will be less crowded in the early morning and late afternoons.
As is the case with many of the islands, the harbor in Patmos is not deep or large enough to allow most cruise ships to dock directly, and passengers are removed by small tenders. Be careful on these little boats. The shifting waves can cause them to move suddenly against the pier, and injuries are not uncommon. In the space of five days I saw three accidents, one which resulted in an injured leg requiring a cast. My group was travelling in fall, when the water is rougher, but the Aegean at any time of year is unpredictable.
My method to ensure a safe embarking or disembarking was to grab hold of either a high part of the boat itself or, preferably, the burliest one of its captains or crewmen. Trust me, this had no flirtatious intent - it was a matter of survival. They usually are standing by to help you disembark. The trick is to never let go until both of your feet are on the pier or on the deck, as the case may be.
Events on PatmosMarch 16th is the day of St.Christodoulos the Wonder-Worker of Patmos
Cruises to PatmosPatmos is a cruise-line favorite and is visited by many cruise operators. Two possibilities are Compagnie du Ponant, a small-ship luxury line with a French flavor, and Variety Cruises, but there are many other options.
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