International hospitality from Iceland to Bosnia
The reason is just down the hill: the Cave of the Apocalypse. It was here that the exiled Saint John of Patmos ensconced himself in 95 AD and wrote the Book of Revelation. In the low ceiling of solid rock is a triple fissure, through which the voice of God is said to have dictated the script.
The islanders of Patmos are a mix of proud locals and long-term expats, most drawn here by a desire to express themselves spiritually – or artistically. Shops selling handmade jewellery, paintings and other crafts line the alleys.
Archmandrite Antipas has led a monastic life here for 24 years, and is not surprised that Patmos continues to draw visitors searching for something sacred. ‘They hope to find positive energy, as young people say nowadays,’ he says.
A large part of the Patmos experience is simply relaxing and enjoying a feeling of peace as evening light bathes the landscape in warm, reverential tones.
Where to eat
Benetos Restaurant features Mediterranean food with a Japanese kick, such as house-cured salmon with wasabi (mains from £5; benetosrestaurant.com).
Where to stay
Stepping through the door of Archontariki Hotel is a magical experience. It is a world away from the ancient narrow streets of Hora, with five luxurious suites housed within a 400-year-old mansion. The rooms are furnished traditionally with very plush touches. Relaxing under the fruit trees in its tranquil garden is blissful (doubles from £133; archontariki-patmos.gr).