Patmos: a glimpse of the Dodecanese

 

_MAX4545
The mighty ramparts of St. John’s monastery

Greece is an outstanding array of more than three thousands islands, there are six major archipelagos: the Ionian Islands, the Argo-Saronic Islands, the Sporades, the North-East Aegean Islands, the Cyclades and the Dodecanese. Having travelled throughout most of them I consider the latter two as the most appealing thanks to the harmony between landscape and architecture and to the translucence of light.

_MAX4527
Six in a row: Platys Yialos; Lipsi
_MAX4455
Platyis Yialos, Lipsi

 

Patmos is the northernmost island in the Dodecanese and I consider it the most beautiful island of the whole Greece; that’s not to say that other visually striking islands like Folegandros, Milos, Symi, Kythira, Sifnos etc, are less interesting. Patmos probably has all or most of the features that one expects to find in a Greek island: a terrific hora, with the crowning glory of St.John the Theologian’s monastery on top and some really outstanding 17th century houses surrounding it. Continuos attacks from pirates necessitated powerful fortified ramparts, so the monastery looks from the outside like a mighty castle.

_MAX4103_MAX4409_MAX4614

_MAX4705
The fantastic architecture of the beautiful alleys in Hora

You could visit the monastery not only for the superb 360 degrees view of the Aegean (on clear days you can view Ikaria and the Fourni, Samos and the Turkish coast as well as Leros, Amorgos and Astypalea) but also for some superb paintings, notably masterpieces by one of the Renaissance masters, El Greco. On the road to hora you’ll find the Holy Monastery of the  Apocalypse, built around the grotto where St.John heard the voice of God, it is a place of pilgrimage for both Orthodox and Catholic Christians.

_MAX4783
The festival of religious music
_MAX4208
A view of the island from the monastery of Apocalypse

The spiritual tone is confirmed by the annual Festival of religious Music held during the first week of September in an hillside amphitheatre and featuring performers from the entire Balkans, Turkey and Russia. For people who have no spiritual inclinations, there are amazing and indented bays with crystal clear waters,  plus some major satellite islands like Lipsi, Arki, Marathi and Agathonissi, provided only with basic or primitive facilities, but displaying superb beaches and lagoons.

_MAX4817
The beach of Psili Ammos
_MAX4228
The weird volcanic outcrop called Kalikatsou

As it is not easy to get there, this island lacks the crowd of its sister islands Mikonos, Ios or Santorini. No drunken rowdies, no beach bar open till the small hours. Actually, to reach the island you’ve to rely on the slow ferries coming from Piraeus, but it will take 8 to 9 hours to set foot on it finally. A shorter but unreliable alternative is to take a 42-seater ATR from Athens to neighbouring Leros, but sometimes the plane is diverted to other airports due to strong winds and so you must take the ferry  from Leros to Patmos anyway and it will take more or less the same time.

_MAX4065
The fortified interior of St. John’s monastery
_MAX4603
A view of Skala from the windmill in Hora

Notwithstanding the island has attracted a rich crowd of artists and posh clientele, among them the late Britons: painter Millington-Drake and travel writer Bruce Chatwin, the Aga Khan family as well as some European royal families, lending Patmos a genuinely cosmopolitan feel which is probably unique in the Dodecanese.Patmos: a glimpse of the Dodecanese

3 pensieri su “Patmos: a glimpse of the Dodecanese

  1. L’articolo e le foto sono la migliore pubblicità per queste fantastiche isole!! Chi non può andarci fisicamente, potrà fare almeno un viaggio con la fantasia!

    "Mi piace"

  2. Pingback: Patmos, a Glimpse of the Dodecanese - Ugo Cei Photography

Rispondi

Inserisci i tuoi dati qui sotto o clicca su un'icona per effettuare l'accesso:

Logo di WordPress.com

Stai commentando usando il tuo account WordPress.com. Chiudi sessione /  Modifica )

Google photo

Stai commentando usando il tuo account Google. Chiudi sessione /  Modifica )

Foto Twitter

Stai commentando usando il tuo account Twitter. Chiudi sessione /  Modifica )

Foto di Facebook

Stai commentando usando il tuo account Facebook. Chiudi sessione /  Modifica )

Connessione a %s...