8th excursion (Hiking in Patmos) (4-5 hours)
The tour in brief:
Cave of the Apocalypse (1 hour)
Monastery – Castle (2 hours)
Wandering in Chora (1 hour)
The hiking tour offers a view into the route of a 19th Century traveller, before the construction of roads on the island. We ascend from the port to the Cave of the Apocalypse from the old cobbled path used by the first monks who built the monastery. There, the beloved disciple of Jesus Christ, St. John, who was exiled in 95 AD, found refuge in a Grotto located on the hill between Skala and Chora. St. John wrote the divinely inspired book of Revelation within two years.
Today, the visitor can see the place where the Apocalypse was written, the place where St. John layed down, the huge rock that was torn when God dictated the Apocalypse, the place where the Evangelist rested his head and the spot where he was placing his hand to help himself get up.
In the second part of the tour we will visit the Monastery of St. John.
The most impressive point of the island for the visitor when he arrives in Patmos by boat is the Holy Monastery of St. John which depicts castle architecture. The monastery of St. John is imposingly located in the center of Chora and stands out with its high stone walls from the white painted capital of the island. It was built by the Orthodox monk Christodoulos in 1088.
The stone walls of the monastery end in battlements, the floor of the courtyard is paved with pebbles and inside it is surrounded by arches where one can see the frescoes that are representative samples of the Cretan school of hagiography. An important attraction of the monastery is the museum, which has exhibits of significant historical value such as chalices, crowns and etched crosses decorated with precious stones. In addition, the visitor can see icons and paintings of religious content, with the main exhibit being an authentic painting of Domenikos Theotokopoulos (El Greco). Also the library of the Monastery is one of the few monastic libraries that has remained almost intact. For various reasons, the library can only be accessed by researchers and only after the Monastery’s permission.
Then we will walk through the medieval settlement of Chora and we will wander in its labyrinthine alleys. The panoramic view of the island is revealed in every turn between the buildings of Chora, built between the 15th and 18th century. Then, we will head to the Windmills, which were built in 1588 and reconstructed in 2010. From that spot one can admire Skala, the entire northern part of the island and all the neighboring islands (weather permitting).
Finally, we will return on foot back to the port or by other means with prior arrangement.