This video by Vassilis Kostoulas includes the song Celestial Liturgy— verses of Revelation set to music by Constantine Gousis
Pondering Patmos: Today I learned that friends are considering a trip to Patmos this spring, as part of an island hopping holiday in the Dodecanese. By coincidence, I also stumbled upon a video of Patmos that was posted to YouTube only five days ago. I’m sharing it here on the blog not just to show my friends some of the island’s main features, but also to assist any readers who might be pondering a visit to Patmos themselves.
Entitled Η γη σαν ζωγραφιά, which roughly translates as “The earth like a painting,” the video runs for nearly 5 and a half minutes and offers an aerial tour over much of Patmos. It starts and ends with views of the picturesque mountaintop village of Chora and the island’s most famous attraction, the Monastery of St. John the Theologian. The film also shows several of the island’s beautiful bays, including my personal favourite, Grikos, along with the port town of Skala and some of the scenic beaches and coastlines.
If you want to see more of the island after watching this video, click over to my post Perspectives of Patmos, from March 2016. It includes two more enticing aerial videos that were produced by the Municipality of Patmos to promote tourism to the island.
For on-the-ground views of various places around Patmos, flip through my Patmos photo collection on Flickr, which contains more than 600 pictures from our visit in May 2010. Some of those photos accompany my mini trip report Greece holiday 2010: Patmos.
A flock of sheep approaches the main highway from a side road leading to the Grikos Bay resort area on Patmos island
Mass transit: One of the things we appreciate most about our Greek Island vacations is our temporary escape from the commuter chaos that clogs the city streets during the morning and afternoon rush hours back home.
That doesn’t mean we escape traffic problems altogether when we’re in Greece. It’s just that the ones we encounter are generally a lot more interesting and usually quite entertaining to see.
We stayed at gorgeous Grikos Bay on Patmos in May 2010 …
… and enjoyed meals at Stamatis taverna in the harbour area …
… at Flisvos restaurant on the hillside overlooking the bay …
… and at Ktima Petra on the road to nearby Petra beach
Fantastic food: There are two things we remember most about our first-ever trip to Patmos in 2010: the beautiful scenery at Grikos Bay, and the equally impressive meals we had at three restaurants in the Grikos area. In fact, while we were on Samos after our visit to Patmos, we kept commenting about how much we missed the food at Grikos. And to this day, we still talk about one of the delicious dishes we enjoyed during two different dinners: the roasted chickpeas at Flisvos restaurant. My attempts to recreate the recipe at home have failed miserably, so I’m hoping that some day soon we can return to Grikos and order them again!
Here’s a brief recap of our four memorable meals at Grikos Bay:
Kalikatsou Rock stands sentry at the tip of a narrow spit of land separating Grikos Bay (foreground) from Petra Bay on Patmos. The Grikos side of the spit features a curved sandy beach, but the Petra beachfront is covered with stones and rocks. Below is a brief videoclip showing views from Kalikatsou Rock.
The view from our balcony at the Andromeda hotel in Kalami, Samos
One big miss, two great hits: In my earlier posts about Greek Island views, I recounted how we were “on a roll” in terms of picking places to stay where we could see impressive scenery without leaving the hotel premises. Whether it was from our room’s windows or balcony, or the hotel’s dining area or pool terrace, we always seemed to luck out with amazing views of sea and island scenery and sometimes glorious sunsets, too. Well, that run of good views came to a screeching halt at our very first hotel destination in 2010.
Kos was our first island stop in May 2010, and we stayed at Saint Constantin Hotel in Kos Town. When I booked our room, I knew it wouldn’t have a sea view, but I kept hoping there would be something interesting to see from our balcony or somewhere on the hotel grounds. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out that way, and we wound up with our worst island views ever. Thankfully, good scenery was less than a 10-minute walk away. (The hotel itself was all right, by the way.)
Patmos was our second island, and the Hotel Golden Sun at Grikos Bay more than made up for the lousy views at Kos Town. I was already impressed by the hotel’s views while still sitting in the taxi that drove us to there from the ferry port, and when I walked onto our balcony I was totally blown away by the awesome scenery. We overlooked the full Grikos valley and bay area, and could even see the coast of Turkey. Mountains obscured sunset views, but Tragonissi Island and the mountains surrounding the bay took on a gorgeous golden glow in the late afternoon/early evening sun, and we got to see rainbows above nearby Petra Bay as a storm system moved over the region.
Samos was our final island-hopping destination, and good views continued at both our hotels there. We spent our first night in the island’s largest town, Vathi (a.k.a. Samos Town), staying at the Samos Hotel (which now also calls itself Samos City Hotel). It was situated on Vathi’s main street — a wide waterfront road that curls around the foot of Vathi Bay. Our second floor room overlooked the bay, with great views of the Vathi ferry port and main street, while the hotel’s huge rooftop pool and bar terrace had tremendous views of the entire town and bay. The next day we moved to the Andromeda Hotel in Kalami — a resort region in the scenic “suburbs” of Vathi, a 20-minute walk away. The breathtaking balcony views of Vathi Bay rivalled the Grikos Bay scenery we had enjoyed on Patmos, but came with an added bonus: direct sunset views.
Though Kos was a complete write-off for views, Patmos and Samos clearly ranked among the best we have experienced. So we can’t complain about Kos; as the saying goes, “two out of three ain’t bad.” Below are photos of our views (and lack thereof) from the Saint Constantin Hotel on Kos, the Hotel Golden Sun on Patmos, the Samos Hotel in Vathi, and the Andromeda Hotel in Kalami, Samos. (Unfortunately, the Andromeda doesn’t yet have a website.) To view some short videos of the views from the Hotel Golden Sun, see my May 12 2011 post. There’s a clip of the view from the Andromeda Hotel at the bottom of this post.
Our balcony at the Saint Constantin Hotel in Kos Town looked directly onto the balcony for a room at the hotel next door. Thankfully, our balcony doors had dark-tinted glass to provide a bit of privacy
If we peered over the balcony and looked to the right, we could see the street
This was our view, looking to the left
The hotel’s breakfast area had a view of the street …
… as well as the ground-level swimming pool and bar terrace
This is what the street outside the hotel looked like
At the Hotel Golden Sun on Patmos, our balcony had this fabulous view of Grikos Bay, Tragonissi Island (right) and the coast of Turkey
Our balcony, on the Hotel Golden Sun’s upper level, gave us a panoramic view of the entire Grikos valley and bay area
To the left our balcony overlooked the small harbour on Grikos Bay
To the right, our balcony overlooked Tragonissi Island and Kalikatsou Rock
The outdoor breakfast terrace had terrific views of Grikos Bay …
… as well as the surrounding hillsides of the valley above the bay …
… where construction of new luxury hotels and villas is underway (happily, we weren’t disturbed by any noise from the work activity there, or from lower in the valley where workers were finishing the new 5-star Patmos Aktis Suites & Spa.)
In the main town of Vathi on Samos, the rooftop terrace at the Samos Hotel offers tremendous views of the city, the port, and Vathi Bay
Our balcony overlooked the Vathi ferry pier (plus other balconies on our floor)
Here’s a daytime view of the ferry port from our balcony …
… and a night view of houses on the hillsides above Vathi Bay
To our left, we could look down the main waterfront street in Vathi
At the Andromeda Hotel in the Kalami area of Samos, our room had a narrow, small balcony with a really, really big view
To the immediate left of our balcony were some luxury rental villas on the hillside
Also to the left were views of Vathi Bay
This is the first view we saw each morning when we walked onto the balcony
We rode bikes to the scenic seaside village of Kokkari on the far side of the bay
To the right we had views of houses on the Kalami hillside above Vathi Bay …
… as well as other bay-view balconies on our floor. (I know it doesn’t look very private, but hotel guests tended to watch the scenery and sunsets, rather than their neighbours, whenever they sat on their balconies.)
There was a long, narrow terrace overlooking the bay next to the Andromeda’s breakfast room; if we got up early enough, we could eat outside (those tables were popular, and almost always occupied).
During breakfast, we watched tour boats travelling to and from Kusadasi, Turkey
The Andromeda had a huge swimming pool with great views of Vathi Bay
At the bottom of the hill, the hotel had a private seaside sunbathing area …
… with great views of Vathi Bay and the surrounding hillsides
Each evening, almost everyone at the Andromeda Hotel relaxed on their balcony with a bottle of wine while watching the gorgeous sunsets
This was one of the sunset views we enjoyed watching from our balcony …
… and this was another — we saw a beautiful sunset every night
Above is a video of the various views from our balcony at the Andromeda Hotel
Island gem: Patmos was the second destination on our 2010 island-hopping holiday in Greece, and one of our favourite Greek islands so far. What a gem! It offered the things we enjoy best about Greek islands: spectacular scenery, great hiking and walking routes, beautiful beaches, friendly locals and wonderful food. Our only regret was that we didn’t schedule more time to spend on this island, since there were a lot of places and things we didn’t have a chance to see. But that give us a great reason to go back!
What we liked most about Patmos:
The food. We dined at tavernas in the Grikos Bay area, where we stayed, and enjoyed every meal. The food was excellent, especially the home-cooked meals at Flisvos Taverna. Their roasted chick peas were incredible.
The scenery. Patmos is a very pretty island, with gorgeous views of the sea, the coastlines, beaches, bays, and hillsides.
The hiking. We never took a bus on Patmos because we walked everywhere we went. Literally. We hiked up the mountain to Chora several times, and hiked into the port village of Skala several times, too. And we hiked up to the village of Kampos. Next time we visit Patmos, we’ll rent mountain bikes so we can see even more.
The views from our hotel. We stayed at Hotel Golden Sun, which sits on a hillside overlooking scenic Grikos Bay. We had incredible views from our room’s seaview balcony, and each morning got to enjoy fantastic views from the hotel’s outdoor breakfast terrace.
The people. Personable and friendly, but very laid back.
The animals. We met a friendly horse and donkey, and saw more cats, goats and sheep than we did people.
At some future date I hope to post a more detailed report on our visit to Patmos. For more information about the island in the meantime, check out the PatmosWeb online guide.
A view of Chora and the Holy Monastery from a ferry approaching Patmos
Sapsila Bay on Patmos, between Skala and Grikos
The crystal-clear waters of Sapsila Bay
Approaching Grikos Bay on the road from the port in Skala