As a true island lover I am a big fan of Greece, and since I only visited 2 Greek islands so far, I still have 5,998 to go! After my visit to the East Aegean island of Lesvos last year, about which you can read more here: Beauty of Lesvos, and here: Lesvos top 10, last month we decided to revisit this side of the Aegean, but now more in the southeast, in the Dodecaneses.
After a short flight directly to Kos, we stayed for 2,5 days at Kipriotis Panorama Hotel & Suites, part of the Kipriotis hotel chain with 5 different 4 and 5 star hotels on Kos, each with beautiful views upon the beaches on the east side Kos, and Turkey just a few kilometers opposite to it.
Their hotels offer something for everyone and are perfect for families, yet the Panorama Hotel is more quiet, classy and better suited for couples.
It has several restaurant options, 2 swimming pools for adults, and 1 for children, a beach transfer service and beach bar, an extensive Spa & Wellness with great treatments, and a huge Gym.
Our room had everything we needed with the most amazing view, but the view from the Sky bar on the 7th floor is definitely something that can not be missed either, and is also open to nonresidents.
As we had a car we explored a lot and found out that Kos has much more to offer than the more touristic capital. Although we loved the archeological sites and town squares of Kos, I can certainly recommend going out by bike, car, buggy or even cycle to see more of the island.
See some of our favourite spots on the island through many of our own pics in this gallery:
Highlights of Kos
Sunset from Oromedon Restaurant Zia
Ruins of Saint Stephan Basilica near Kefalos
Lunch at Periklis restaurant in Mastichari village harbor
The ancient archeological sites of Kos and the Askilipion
Besides the fact that we found Kos very vibrant, diverse, and were happy to see that they are so kind to animals here and care for the street cats with so much affection, we were also looking for a more quiet island, where we could enjoy the beautiful quiet bays, quaint streets and delicious food that Greece is so well-known for, yet still in comfort and luxury.
That is exactly what we found on Patmos; a lesser known Greek island of about 34 km2, and only 3,000 permanent inhabitants, northwest of Kos.
How to get to Patmos
Patmos doesn’t have an airport, but for less than 53 euros you can buy a return ticket to several islands, of which Patmos is almost the furthest from Kos, through the comfortable and spacious ferry of Dodekanisos Seaways. It takes about 2,5 hours to get there with several quaint harbor stops along the way providing great views!
With its beautiful white houses built against the hills, and spectacular viewpoints, Patmos slightly resembles Santorini, and also attracts jet set and royalty. Yet it still has the space, tranquility and authenticity of the real Greece!
Next to that Patmos attracts a wide audience of families, couples and backpackers alike, and is also world famous as Pilgrimage site, visited by believers from all over the world for the cave in which the Apostle John stayed for 18 months in the year 95 AD to write ‘Revelation’, the last book of the New Testament.
Where to stay on Patmos
To make our authentic stay a bit more luxurious we stayed in the 5 star hotel Patmos Aktis Suites & Spa, located right on the beach of Grikos, centrally located on the island. Here we had our own private pool villa, which was clean, modern and super comfortable, consisting of 2 floors, including a spacious living room, 2 bathrooms and all the amenities we needed!
This hotel offers the perfect combination of relaxation, tranquility, luxury and comfort, in a great location near several restaurants and attractions.
Their elaborate Anasa Spa and excellent wellness packages, wide beach and extensive sunbed offering with heavenly thick mattresses and stunning views. Various restaurant options, such as a traditional Greek one right on the beach, and the stylish Apocalypsis restaurant with excellent gourmet dishes, made it hard to leave the hotel at all. See for yourself why (click on the smaller pics to see the full version and description):
Dinner and some pampering here is highly recommended! And watching the sun go down on the bay every night with a glass of wine, views of the surrounding islands and Aegean sea truly was a delight, and something that should not be missed!
Where to eat on Patmos
Although we found it hard to leave the hotel, there are many restaurants on Patmos offering delicious authentic food of which I summed up some of our favourites:
KTIMA PETRA in Grikos
The beautiful location just opposite to a quiet beach, the friendly family that runs the restaurant, the beautiful setting with large outdoor terrace, traditional stone oven, vegetable garden and traditional dishes prepared solely with organic local ingredients, make it a must visit!
PANTHEON in Chora
Located at the beginning of the town, this quaint family owned restaurant prepares everything fresh for you, with octopuses still hanging above your table.
OSTRIA in Skala
A quaint taverna owned and run by the mayor of Skala, with a big outdoor terrace providing lovely views upon the boats in the harbor.
TREHANTIRI in Skala
A but further into the back streets of Skala we found this excellent authentic sea food restaurant, that serves everything fresh from harbor-to-table on their extensive outdoor terrace, with a family of friendly cats keeping you company.
Highlights & hotspots of Patmos
Chora & the Monastery
Obviously the capital of Patmos should not be missed, with the beautiful monastery of St.John at the top of Chora, surrounded by authentic streets and shops. The monastery owns and displays a big collection of Byzantine art, and towers over the city with its walls and battlements resembling a fortress, offering stunning panoramic views over the surrounding islands.
But also just driving around the island will offer you gorgeous views around every corner, like this one.
Patmos consists of 3 parts connected by narrow land strips, with our hotel in Grikos situated in the middle by the coast. Everything is reasonably close together, at a maximum distance of a 10 minutes’ drive from our hotel to the harbor, and just 30 minutes to the other end of the island.
This harbor town is definitely the place to be for a little more action and a bigger offering of shops, restaurants and terraces. Skala offers everything you might need, with a wide variety of food, from traditional Greek to sushi, a vibrant central square, photogenic streets, authentic houses, traditional churches, lots of shops and bougainvillea on every corner. This makes the town a perfect combination of quaint, authentic Greek, yet chic and photogenic, as you can see in this gallery (click on the arrows to slide and read the description):
Hidden gems & secrets of Patmos
Away from the busier streets and tourism there are many deserted bays on Patmos waiting to be discovered. I am happy to share some of the secrets and gems that we uncovered here. From the bays we visited we found the deserted beaches of Petra Bay, near Grikos, the most impressive.
The colorful volcanic geology of the island created formations, which in this bay shaped a big rock with interesting caves that offer beautiful views of the surrounding bays.
In addition, you will find 3 almost deserted beaches here, very near each other which we had totally to ourselves, even while we visited early September.
And of course the authentic mills looking out upon Chora are certainly worth a visit as well. However, despite the fact that they are closed in the evening, I would recommend visiting them at sunset, when the sky turns golden and pink, and the view from the windmills upon the white capital and surrounding islands is almost magical!
An extra bonus is that at this time of day the tourist attraction is completely deserted, so you will have these views all to yourself, like we did! Perfect for photography fanatics like me.
I hope I was able to show you that Patmos is the perfect island to visit when you want to experience all the authenticity Greece has to offer in a relaxing, yet luxurious manner, and makes a great island combination with Kos.
What do you think or have you been to either of these Greek islands already?
Always happy to hear your feedback, or find me on social media, where I post daily pics, via the direct links at the bottom of this page!