Uncover historical past, tradition and delicacies within the Aegean
Disembarking the ferry at Patmos is like stepping again in time. This small Greek island seems to have modified little or no since John the Apostle was exiled right here by the Romans practically 2,000 years in the past, the monastery he was “imprisoned” in sitting atop the island’s highest hill.
It looms over a scattering of whitewashed houses within the labyrinthine streets of Hora, the one sizeable group other than the picturesque harbour Skala. Right here, the ferry drops off its few guests – largely travelling from the Greek island of Kos – throughout the summer season months.
Exterior these small cities is a succession of coves with sand and pebble seashores, main into crystal clear waters missed by rocky, heather-coated hillsides the place herds of goats roam.
Slightly below the monastery is a cave the place John is claimed to have written the E book of Revelation, an necessary pilgrimage vacation spot for Christians and a UNESCO World Heritage Website.
For that reason Patmos is called “Apocalypse Island”, however the trickle of pilgrims this attracts doesn’t disturb the timeless high quality of an island that has remained a carefully guarded secret by these fortunate sufficient to have stayed there.
Simply three,000 individuals dwell on the island all year long, rising to 9,000 in the summertime, and 70 per cent of those holidaymakers are repeat guests.
Loosen up on a lounger within the sundown
I stayed at Petra, a part of the Small Luxurious Inns of the World group, run by an Athens-born household who immediately made me really feel at dwelling with a heat welcome and a refreshing glass of selfmade lemonade.
The resort, which is perched on a hillside, has simply 12 rooms and suites inside its conventional whitewashed partitions and a swimming pool and solar deck providing a surprising view over one of many bigger coves beneath.
Petra serves bountiful breakfasts of contemporary fruit, eggs and pastries every morning, and in addition provided non-public eating within the evenings with selfmade specialities like baked aubergine and feta with Greek salad.
After visiting the Monastery of St John the Theologian and the close by cave, I headed to Loza restaurant in Hora, which provided a formidable view over Skala whereas I loved octopus, dips created from chickpeas and beans, and pastry parcels of spinach and cheese.
It’s simple to spend your complete vacation on lovely Patmos, however eager to discover, I headed to Kos on a yacht constitution, checking in to Aqua Blu Boutique Lodge & Spa, additionally a member of the Small Luxurious Inns chain.
This striking-looking modern constructing is surrounded by brilliant blue swimming pools, with a major swimming pool and decking main into the resort lobby and eating space, and smaller plunge swimming pools outdoors a number of the suites.
After a lavish buffet-style breakfast the subsequent morning, I hopped in a cab for the brief drive into Kos City, heading for the island’s most well-known landmark – an historical airplane tree the place Hippocrates, “the daddy of drugs”, taught his apprentices and examined sufferers.
Tuck into kalamari
The ruins of the Asklepieion, which was used as a sacred therapeutic place in historical Greece, are additionally value a go to to the south-west of Kos, whereas on the northern tip of the island Hatziemmanouil winery offers tasting excursions.
An actual spotlight was my horse using tour from close by Erika’s Horse Farm at Marmari, seeing flamingos in a salt lake and using on a seashore at sundown.
Afterwards, I headed again to Aqua Blu for a spa therapy to unwind, adopted by dinner at its Cuvee restaurant, the place chef George Kostis, who skilled below Alain Ducasse on the Dorchester, serves trendy Mediterranean dishes. It was a becoming finale to a memorable island-hopping journey.
Strategy to go
Flights from London Gatwick to Kos with Thomas Prepare dinner (thomascookairlines.com) begin from £170 return. E book a keep at Petra Lodge & Suites with Small Luxurious Inns of the World from €125 on a B&B foundation (slh.com/petra) or at Aqua Blu Boutique Lodge & Spa from €200 on a B&B foundation (slh.com/aquablu). Along with the SLH web site, reservations might be made by calling the UK Reservations line: 0800 048 2314. For airport and island transfers on Patmos, go to A1yachting.com and for transfers on Kos, go to dtskos.gr. For extra on Patmos and Kos, go to visitgreece.gr.
Ten issues you could do in Patmos and Kos
1 Discover the medieval alleys of Hora on Patmos. The whitewashed houses have been constructed within the 11th Century on the highest level on the island, as safety towards pirate assaults.
2 Go to the Monastery of St John the Theologian, a Byzantine church and museum containing historical manuscripts and treasures.
three Go to the Cave of the Apocalypse beneath the monastery, the place St John is claimed to have obtained revelations from God via a cleft within the rock after which written the E book of Revelation in 95AD.
four Tuck into kalamari and freshly caught fish within the Tarsanas Marine Membership, at a standard boatyard at Diakofti, Patmos.
5 Go on a ship journey round Patmos from Skala harbour, stopping to swim at Livadi Geranou and Petra Seashore.
6 Go to the ruins of the Asklepieion, in south-west Kos, which the sick would journey to from throughout Greece to be healed in historical occasions.
7 Be part of a sundown tour from Erika’s Horse Farm in Marmari, Kos, to see flamingos.
eight Have lunch or dinner at Broadway restaurant in Kos City to get pleasure from its distinctive trendy interpretation of conventional Greek dishes.
9 Take pleasure in salt-baked sea bass at a beachside desk at Barbouni restaurant in Kos City.
10 Take a night bathtub at Bros Therma, a pebble seashore the place a volcanic spring flows into the ocean.