In AD 95, the pagan Emperor Domitian banished St. John the Divine to Patmos . It was here he wrote the Book of Revelations. Later a monastery was built to commemorate the saint, due to the incursions of pirates the monastery was heavily fortified, and today looks more like a castle than a monastery. Today the island gets many pilgrims during the Orthodox Easter celebrations. Patmos is equally popular with other tourists ho come here to relax and sunbathe.
Skala the principal town and port of Patmos , is rather pretty with its white washed houses overlooked by the impressive monastery. The town with a good choice of restaurants and bars is busy catering for the many tourists, who arrive from the cruise ships anchored offshore. The monastery houses many treasures from icons to elaborate ornaments. The monastery built around the cave where St. John received his revelations from God.
The beaches around the island vary from pebbly to sandy, Kambos beach is one of the best and is ideal for children. The small village of Grikos is a quiet resort with a small decent beach. The neighbouring island of Lipsi is ideal for those who seek peace and relaxation, only for a few days in August is the island busy otherwise, it is peaceful. Other island nearby are Arki, Marathi and Agathonisi these islands offer also a life away from the bright lights of the major destinations. Day trips from Patmos to Arki and Marathi will reward you with fine secluded beaches. Agathonisi is two hours by boat from Patmos , with a few but good beaches, small pensions and tavernas this island has been a favourite with yachtsmen and those seeking something different.