10 Best Things to do in Patmos

The Aegean island of the Apocalypse is known as the place where Saint John the Theologian wrote the Book of Revelation. 

It’s a nostalgic destination, offering wild beauty, a striking coastline with light blue waters, a medieval Chora, a maze of alleyways filled with cascading bougainvillea, and beautiful doors; the imposing Holy Monastery of Saint John the Theologian, great food, and friendly locals. Patmos is an unspoiled island that you should explore at your own pace. 

Make sure you add these 10 things to do in Patmos to your list for when you visit! 

1. Get wonderfully lost in the alleys of Patmos’ Chora 

Insights Greece - 10 Best Things to do in Patmos
Charming alleyways

The capital of the island, Chora, stands on top of a hill overlooking the Aegean Sea. It is perhaps one of the most charming Choras of Greece. The whitewashed houses, the elegant fortified medieval mansions with the magnificent low doors, and characteristic small windows stand out as they contrast with the dark, fortified walls of the Monastery of Saint John. Take a serene stroll through the alleyways and passages and feel the peaceful and spiritual atmosphere. For dinner choose “Vaggelis” that sits in one of the most intimate squares in the world. The setting is gorgeous, likewise the food. 

2. Have breakfast or a “meze” at Katoi 

Insights Greece - 10 Best Things to do in Patmos
Traditional eatery

At the entrance of Chora, you will find a breathtaking place that has been open since 1627 and carries memories of over 300 years. “Katoi” is a traditional kafenio with an atmosphere that reminds visitors of old Patmos through engravings, photos, old objects, and true Greek hospitality.  Here the steaming coffee is accompanied by handmade sweets while the mezedes that accompany the tsipouro and ouzo came are straight from Yiayia’s secret treasure chest. The small veranda outside with the stunning view is a reminder of how beautiful life is. 

3. Enjoy the sunset from Jimmy’s Balcony

Insights Greece - 10 Best Things to do in Patmos
Polina enjoying the majestic views

Housed in a traditional 1795 building, at the entrance of Patmos Chora, very close to the Monastery, Jimmy’s balcony is the place to be for panoramic views across the north side of the island. Here you can see the nearby islands and the port of Patmos in Skala while enjoying tasty and very well-cooked dishes. The owner, Jimmy, has many stories to tell you, so you should definitely take the time to chat with him. 

4. Relax all day long at Atmos Patmos

At the beach of Kambos, there is a new gem, under the name of Atmos Patmos. It is an exquisite and authentic beachside restaurant that provides high-quality food for those that wish to combine fun and enjoyable ambiance with skillful cooking into one extraordinary dining experience. From morning until night, you can unwind by the sea. 

Insights Greece - 10 Best Things to do in Patmos
Meet local artisans

5. Meet the artist Andreas Kalatzis at his unique gallery in Chora 

It is not easy to pass by his gallery, settled in a 1740s traditional home, and not take a look. You will probably spot Andreas Kalatzis, barefoot, working on an art piece, or other artists painting on the floor. Everything about him, his life, and his work are incredibly inspiring. If you ask for his business card, he will take a small piece of paper and draw at that very moment something different each time, depending on what he sees. On the back, he will write his name and telephone number. In the gallery, you will find a beguiling mix of abstract oils, sculptures, and quirky photography. 

6. Explore Skala, the main port of the island

Insights Greece - 10 Best Things to do in Patmos
Wander around the port

Skala is the largest settlement on the island, located right at the center of Patmos. Here you can discover the 17th century Church of Agia Paraskevi of Cavos with its magnificent view, an ancient ruin of an acropolis, the Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi, and the church of Panagia Koumana. After sightseeing sit down at the long-standing taverna of Pantelis (running since 1950) and enjoy traditional Greek cuisine. Once a week, there is live Greek music where everybody dances in the middle of the street. And don’t leave before tasting the delicious handmade Italian ice cream from Gelateria Marechiaro, known as “O Italos”.  


7. Have a romantic dinner by the sea at “To Tsipouradiko Mas”

Insights Greece - 10 Best Things to do in Patmos
Discover nearby villages

At this place, you sit on tables that are literally on the sand next to the waves; enjoy the sunset and the sea breeze while you savor seafood delicacies at its’ best. This is the exact image of a heavenly dinner in Greece we all have in mind as we try getting through winter.  

8. Take a day trip to the islands of Arki, Marathi, and Lipsi

Join a boat excursion that runs daily from the northwest end of Skala quay to the islets of Arki, Marathi, and Lipsi. Arki and Marathi offer exquisite sandy beaches while Lipsi has more to see and do.

9. Visit the Monastery of St. John and the cave of Apocalypse

Head to the thousand-year-old monastery early in the morning in order to avoid the heat and enjoy the breathtaking views. The Cave of Apocalypse is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The tour guides explain the story of St John and the revelations he received from God through a cleft in the rock in the year 95AD. 

10. Have dinner at Benetos

Insights Greece - 10 Best Things to do in Patmos
Seaside dining

Located at a charming spot by the sea, Benetos is an elegant restaurant set on a farm by the sea, at Sapsila, just outside the town of Skala. Benetos serves classic Mediterranean dishes with a modern twist, while also including some Asian-infused dishes. The eclectic menu is a result of the chef’s extensive traveling and sampling of unique regional dishes throughout Europe and the United States. Emphasis is placed on using the freshest ingredients including local fish, and fresh vegetables and herbs from their own organic garden, located in front of the restaurant. Note: it is a little bit pricey and you should make a reservation.  

How to get there

The fastest way to reach the island of Patmos is by air, via Samos, Kos, Leros, or Kalymnos. Catamarans and ferryboats depart from these islands, daily. Alternatively, you can take the boat from Piraeus that leaves 3-5 times a week and the duration of the journey is approximately 7-8 hours. 

Where to stay

Onar Patmos, a resort hotel just a few metres away from the shore, close to the fishing village of Grikos. Ideal for families, couples, or a group of friends who are looking for a luxurious and tranquil feel. 

Langada traditional farmhouse, which was developed during the centuries, around a small chapel and a central patio, overlooking Kambos beach. 

All images by Polina Paraskevopoulou © (Copyright) 

Top 12 Things to Do on Patmos Island

Patmos is an island where you feel a sense of peace as soon as you arrive. With the old town, the Holy Monastery of Saint John the Theologian, and the Cave of the Apocalypse, all named UNESCO-protected monuments, Patmos not only attracts those seeking a rich spiritual and cultural experience but also those who want to holiday on an authentic Greek island with a cosmopolitan feel.

Local and international artists, authors, fashion designers, business people, academics, and thousands of pilgrims arrive here each year to take in the natural beauty of the island, as well as its laid-back yet chic style. Although it’s located in the Dodecanese it features a Cycladic look with its whitewashed mansions, pretty beaches, and lots of lovely spots to wine and dine.

Here are the Top 12 Things to Do when visiting Patmos

Insights Greece - Top 12 Things to Do on Patmos Island
Holy Monastery of Saint John

1. There are around 360 churches on the island, and you can definitely sense the island’s unique spiritual energy as soon as you step off the ferry. Patmos is known around the world as the island where around 95 AD Saint John the Baptist wrote The Revelation, in a cave that can now be visited in the island’s Holy Monastery of the Apocalypse. Also make sure to check out the Monastery’s museum next door, containing a number of ancient texts and religious items dating back hundreds of years.

2. Patmos’ capital and main town Hora, is filled with charming alleyways, beautiful chapels, and lush courtyards. If you walk through the small streets you will come across whitewashed homes and mansions that belonged to very wealthy families, including the Nikolaidis Mansion, which has now become a museum. Hora also offers gorgeous boutiques, and a wide range of restaurants, taverns, bars, and cafes to suit all tastes.

3. Also spend time at Skala Town and the charming village of Kampos, which both have a unique beauty and are perfect places to bump into locals who make visitors feel welcome. The port town of Skala is where most people head to at night, as soon as Hora goes quiet after a certain hour. Skala is filled with lots of shops, tavernas, and all-day cafes and bars, where you can grab a drink and enjoy the town’s squares and charming little streets. Among the many sights of Skala are the ruins of the ancient acropolis and the convent of Zoodochos Pigi. 

Insights Greece - Top 12 Things to Do on Patmos Island
Skala Town

4. It’s definitely worth making your way around the bay of Skala to the 18th-century Monastery of Panagia Koumana, one of the Holy Seats (or Kathismata) of the island, serving as hermitages for monks. This one was built against a rock on of a hermit’s cave.

5. Swim at Agrio Livadi, Psilli Ammos, Plaki, or the pretty little bay of Vagia. Then head to Lambi, which has a great little tavern right on the beach. Livadi Kalagorion is perfect for a peaceful swim as well as Livadi Geranou. Make sure you also add Kambos and Petra to your list.  

6. When it comes to eating, there are plenty of options from casual eateries to fine dining. We recommend Apocalypsis Restaurant, Astir, Ostria Taverna, Oklaca Italian Restaurant, Kyma for seafood, Pernera for great vegan and for something sweet make your way to Glykaki Patmos. If you have time also try Pandelis on Marathi islet (you can only reach by boat) and Giakos Pantheon. 

7. For an after-dinner drink head to Thalami, Stoa Bar, or Koukou. 

8. For a very special evening, make a reservation at Nautilus and watch the sunset while sipping on your favourite beverage and tasting some modern Greek flavours. 

9. Get up close to Patmos’ iconic windmills, which have been operating for the past four centuries. The one windmill is a museum. Organic flour is ground there, with the milling process open to the public. The second windmill turns wind power into electricity. A contemporary use that benefits the island, for sure! And the third windmill focuses on water. Ever since they have been the true power of the island and its people. 

Insights Greece - Top 12 Things to Do on Patmos Island
Petra Beach

10. Explore the Nunnery of the Annunciation, a convent that started off as a small chapel with a hermitage until 1613 when Nikiphoros, an abbot from the monastery of St. John the Divine, renovated the building and dedicated it to Luke the Evangelist. The nunnery is home to over 40 nuns who always pray for and support their local community. The sisters also grow their own vegetables and herbs, make honey and create Byzantine embroidery called the”spitha” (spark). 

11. Make a note of visiting the gorgeous nearby islets Makronissi, Aspronissi, Tiganakia, Arki, and Marathos that are all visitable by boat. From Skala, boats leave daily for all the isles. They are quite remote but offer good taverns, crystal clear water, and beautiful coves to swim in. 

12. If you are looking for some Greek jewellery, sandals, or art, head to Ivli, Thanos, White Greek Designers Store, Kapopoulos Art Gallery, or Tourlou Art Shop. 

Stay at

Insights Greece - Top 12 Things to Do on Patmos Island
Stay at a historic house by Chora Patmos 360

There are some great accommodation options on the island and for some wonderful villas check out Patmos Eye, for boutique-style hotels head to Petra Hotel Suites to Patmos Aktis Hotel. And the beautiful range of historic houses by Chora Patmos 360 is a wonderful choice that is sure to make your stay here extra special. 

Getting there 

Patmos does not have an airport and is reachable only by an eight-hour ferry boat trip from Piraeus port, which departs Athens about 3 times a week. Patmos is also connected by ferry with Rhodes, Kos, Leros, Lipsi, and Kalymnos.