The seahorse-shaped Patmos is a Greek island of stunning seascapes and immense cultural significance. Rising from the Aegean Sea, Christians embark on pilgrimages here from all across the world, seeking out the small hillside cave, said to be the location where St. John penned the Book of Revelations, in AD 95. Whether you’re religious or not, there is something of the divine in this gorgeous island - a place of sanctuary fringed by crystal-clear waters and blissful beaches.
Sleepy, whitewash towns gleam in the strong sunshine, while cats slink between the crumbling walls of this ruggedly beautiful island. High on the hillside, above the cobalt-blue bay, you’ll find the sacred chapel, where an exiled John of Patmos is said to have entered the Cave of the Apocalypse and prophesied of the end of the world’s fire and brimstone – a striking juxtaposition with the peaceful serenity of the calm location.
Higher up you’ll find the 11th-century Monastery of St. John, which offers spectacular views of the island’s mounds curving around like a scorpion’s tail. It stands watching over the island like a fortified crown. Sun-wrinkled, black-robed, monks climb the streets up to this World Heritage site, where bells peel out melodically. Inside, vaulted chambers and stunning frescoes tell stories amid the striking religious iconography. Chora’s incredible narrow streets - moulded white - are an enchanting place to lose your bearings, spreading below the monastery. Elsewhere, blissful beaches stretch out across the coastline, or this remote Greek island’s curves can be admired while bobbing offshore in a sailboat.