St. John's Patmos
Duration: 2 1/2 hours
Tour Code: ptm-001
Patmos is probably best known for being the location where St. John was exiled to. During his time on the island, he made his home in a small cave and it was there that he wrote The Book of the Apocalypse. The cave was later converted into a beautiful chapel and within this splendidly adorned little church visitors can view the stone orifice he is said to have used as a pillow.
Your tour begins at the pier where a short transfer brings you to the St. John's Grotto for a visit of approximately 45-minutes at this significant site before continuing on to Chora. Here is where you will find the Monastery of St. John. The devotions of Byzantine emperors and countless private contributors have made this monastery the richest in the Dodecanese. Its great wealth enabled it to establish the Theological School of Patmos in 1713, which still attracts students from all over the world. The monastery's dark façade with its huge buttressed walls provides an impressive contrast to the light, frescoed interior. During your visit you will walk under graceful archways and through corridors paved with small black pebbles like delicate cobblestone streets. You may also visit the monastery's five chapels, one of which contains the relics of its founder. Beautiful frescoes covering the chapel walls depict the tale of The Voyages and Miracles of St. John the Theologian. Included is a tour of the old treasury, now a marvelous museum housing collections of rare icons, jewelry, chalices, crowns, vestments, and delicate silver sailing ships inlaid with gemstones. The museum also houses 13,000 old manuscripts and volumes dating from 1073, which record the monastery's 900-year history. Among these treasures are 33 leaves of the Gospel of St. Mark, written in the 6th century in silver lettering on purple vellum.
Before leaving, take some time to enjoy unrivaled views of the lovely Bay of Patmos and the scattering of islands in the archipelago beyond as you enjoy some free time in town. Rejoining your coach, you will take a scenic drive back to Skala where you may proceed directly to the ship, or stay in town to do some exploring on your own.
Please note: This tour consists of approximately 1 1/2 hours of moderate walking/standing and is not available to wheelchair guests. The walk from the coach to the Monastery is approximately 15 minutes and is uphill. Those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Comfortable, flat-heeled, closed-toe walking shoes, a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen are recommended. Shoulders and knees must be covered while visiting the Monastery. Those who elect to stay in town are responsible for making their own way back to the pier.