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5 Best things to see & do in Patmos

  • Patmos, Greek Islands, Greece

Last updated: 18 June, 2023
Expert travel writer: Rachel Howard
  • Patmos, Greek Islands, Greece

Greek Orthodox Easter

Bucket List Experience

Greek Orthodox Easter

Easter is the biggest event in the Greek calendar, and it’s celebrated on Patmos with great pomp.

Pilgrims throng to the island to attend liturgies in the Cave of the Apocalypse; on Easter Thursday, the Abbot bathes the feet of a dozen monks in imitation of the Last Supper; and on Easter Sunday, the Second Resurrection is read in seven languages and red eggs are handed to the congregation.

Easter on Patmos offers a unique immersion into Greek culture, but it’s deeply traditional and almost exclusively attended by locals and Greek pilgrims, so don’t expect to party.

Good for age: 18+

Duration: 1 week

When: April/May

Freq: annually

Cave of the Apocalypse

  • Patmos, Greek Islands, Greece

Cave of the Apocalypse

Experience

This creepy cavern is where St. John the Evangelist had his apocalyptic revelations (which became the last book of the New Testament). Adorned with 12th-century wall paintings and shimmering icons, the sacred grotto is often packed with Greek pilgrims, as well as day trippers from the many cruise ships that service Patmos.

Good for age: 18+

  • Patmos, Greek Islands, Greece

The majestic, mystical Monastery of St John dominates Chora and the whole island. Built in 1088, the monastic complex is surrounded by buttresses and battlements, originally intended to protect the monks from pirate attacks.

As well as an extraordinary collection of icons (one allegedly by El Greco), the on-site museum brims with rare books, carvings, silverware and religious robes. It’s both a place of worship and scholarship, with more than 2,000 manuscripts dating from the late fifth century.

The monastery contains no less than ten chapels (though most of them are off-limits to the public).

Good for age: 18+

Lambi Beach

  • Patmos, Greek Islands, Greece

Lambi Beach

Experience

A tranquil beach in the north of the island, famous for its beautiful, multicoloured pebbles. But beware: you can be fined if you remove any pebbles from the beach.

Good for age: 4+

Psili Ammos beach

  • Patmos, Greek Islands, Greece

Psili Ammos beach

Experience

Patmos is short on sandy beaches, but Psili Ammos (meaning ‘fine sand’) is a gem. It’s only accessible by water taxi from Skala or a one-hour hike over the hills from Grikos, rewarded by ice-cold beer and stewed goat at the shady taverna on arrival.

Good for age: 4+