For some people religion plays a great role since it gives strength and hope for life. Some special places where sacred events have taken place, help understand more that God exists, interferes with the life of human beings and that you gain spiritually if you visit them.
One of these places is Patmos, the biblical and Apostolic island of the Aegean Sea because, firstly, a biblical text was written there and secondly, one of the twelve Apostles of Christ stepped on it. John the Evangelist, the Theologian.
The island is the most northern of the south eastern side of Greece, the Dodecanese complex, almost 3000 people live there and it is about 34 square Km.
The highlights of the "Jerusalem of the Aegean Sea", as the island is characterized, are :
1) The Cave of the Revelation or the Grotto of the Apocalypse; the volcanic opening of the earth in which, as it is strongly believed by the majority of the Christian denominations, the book of the Revelation was written.
2)The Greek Orthodox and Coenobic Monastery of John the Evangelist, the author of the eschatological book of the New Testament.
Patmos is a volcanic island because of its geographical location, it is located at the meeting point between two geological tectonic plates, so it is rocky, primitive in some places, with pebbly beaches, terraces everywhere and a little bit of green, small "forests" consisting of gum trees, pine trees and cypress trees.
The island is small so the visitor is able to take pictures of it especially if he stands at high places, for instance a special hill close to three windmills of the 16th century which is also close to Chora, the capital city of the island, a medieval settlement which has been declared by the unesco as a world heritage site.
Please, don't miss the Treasury, one of the most important Museums of the Mediterranean Sea, which is located inside the Castle monastery of John..Books, icons, ritual vessels, clothing of priests, manuscripts and a whole floor with archaeological items...
You can discover the place either by renting a car, a taxi, the local bus or the coaches by the local agencies. You can also walk using the old donkey paths..you can hire also boats to go around the island or to discover the nearby islets. I recommend that you should taste the local cheese pie, pastry with cheese and eggs in it, the "pougi", a local sweet, pastry stuffed with honey, rose water and nuts.
For shopping wander about Chora, the capital city, or Skala the busiest, biggest in size and population settlement of the island or the settlement of the farmers, Kampos...
In August and September there is a festival of Sacred Music held just outside the holly Cave of the Revelation and also a festival of traditional For younger visitors but also for many others as well, you can stay late in the night by drinking your wine or your beer in one of the nightclubs or bars of the island starting from Chora, music stops earlier because of the Monastery, and finishing in Skala in the morning.
The best time to visit is during spring, late spring, but also autumn, early autumn because of the weather, prices also are low and the island is less crowded.
Guiding in Greece’s sites, monuments, historical cities and museums is not allowed by law to anyone who is not qualified and is not a holder of the official Ministry of Tourism ID card. Guided tours and visits by professional qualified tourist guides can be arranged for individuals or groups via a travel agency or directly with a tourist guide in the Thessaloniki or any other place upon request.
To come to Patmos, you have to choose between two options: the normal ferry boat from Piraeus that covers 163 nautical miles in around 8 hours...or a flight from Athens to the nearby islands that have an airport, like Samos, Kos, Kalymnos, Leros . From these islands you can come by hydro foils or Katamaran.
Alafakis Nick Professional Tourist Guide BA Theology University of Athens Greek-English languages
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