Guide to Patmos, Greece by YOLO Journal & DELSEY PARIS
DELSEY PARIS has partnered with the premium travel magazine YOLO Journal to bring you monthly travel inspirations to the most beautiful places in the world. Yolanda Edwards, founder of Yolo Journal, will share with you her favorite places and secret addresses.
This is the island that calls me to Greece every summer. A tiny rock in the Dodecanese, with no airport, it takes perseverance (and clever flight and ferry coordination) to get there, but it’s so worth it. The most beautiful water, gorgeous beaches, great hikes, and dreamy barefoot lunches. We met up with our friends in August, although I far prefer the quieter months of June and September, when it’s not as hot and crowded, it’s much less expensive, and the locals are less exhausted. However, it’s lovely no matter when we go—and since our friends can only meet in that month, we oblige.
There are two types of visitors who come to Patmos: You either want to stay in Chora, the ancient town on the top of the island with its monastery at the center (St John wrote the book of Revelation here so it is considered a holy island), which is where everyone goes at night. Or you want to be closer to the beaches. I’ve done both, and I think I’m a Chora convert. We always stay a minimum of one week—and ideally two. Most people who visit Patmos decide they want to come back and stay longer the next time, especially after they see how complicated it is to get here! It’s also an island that requires a car if you want to explore all the different beaches, restaurants, and hikes.
Last summer Pagostas (images below) opened in Chora, and it’s an incredible guest house with three guest rooms. The charming couple Gregoris Kambouroglou and Maria Lemos who are London-based Greeks who came to Patmos every summer for over 25 years, and when this 15th century monastery guesthouse became available, they decided to become innkeepers. Grigoris retired from surgeon life to run the property from spring through fall, and Maria, who owns the most well curated clothing and accessories stores in London and Athens, Mouki Mou, helps out in the high season, along with other family members. It’s the chicest spot with the best energy!
Onar Patmos (image to the right) is a lovely boutique hotel with an equally lovely owner, and a perfect location right on the beach.
Aktis Suites in Grikos is probably the most high end hotel on the island.
Patmos 360 is a collection of three historical properties in Chora, owned and restored by architect Katerina Tsigarida, that are available for rent. Beautifully styled.
White Key Villas have a great roster of homes for rent across the island.
EAT + DRINK
Houston in Skala is where you should start the day. It’s in the square right off the port so it’s the place you’ll run into anyone you know. Besides coffee they do have solid breakfast options. It can get crowded and hard to find a seat so opt for any of the other cafes nearby. They are all good!
Ktima Petra is a short walk from Petra Beach, and is one of our favorite places for lunch.
Giagos in Chora is great for people watching and also the incredible octopus.
Benetos is an elegant spot on the sea, which also happens to have a working farm that supplies the restaurant.
Thalami in Chora is our favorite tiny bar—it has the best music, and is the place we always start the evening.
Taverna Diakofti is on the water and one of my favorite places to eat. Best location sleep inlet.
Pantelis on the island of Marathi is a must, but requires a boat. They also have accommodations, which we have heard good things about. We’ve had many a long lunch there with a large group of friends—and we’re always shocked by how inexpensive the bill is at the end.
Ta Souvlakia Tou Pappou is in the port town of Skala and has the best gyros on the island.
Feggarou Bakery in Chora has the best seedy breadsticks—perfect for beach snacks.
Flisvos in Grikos is a favorite of the locals, and has great music on Saturday nights.
Lambi Beach has the most beautiful smooth colorful stones. Make sure you bring water shoes! There is also a great taverna for lunch!
Petra Beach is our favorite, since it has beds and umbrellas and a little bar where you can get simple salads and drinks.
Psili Ammos is a 20-30 minute hike, but well worth it. There’s a beachfront taverna run by a monk who makes the best zucchini balls and roasted chicken. It’s a very wavy beach so if you’re after calm waters go to Petra.
Kampos has several tavernas and beach clubs, plus very calm water, so it’s a great place to go if you’re traveling as a family, as there is something for everyone.
There are so many beaches that are breathtaking, at the end of a little road, and not a soul on them. I highly suggest going off the main road, bringing a hat, towel, water shoes, and some water, and exploring!
If you are interested to rent a boat, your hotel or rental property will have some great suggestions , but I’m partial to the Maria P boat which is run by Captain Corinne of Patmos Sailing. There’s also the most charming caique Diasozouda Venetia which is available through Holly Lueders.
Yolanda Edwards is the founder of Yolo Journal, a weekly newsletter and seasonal print magazine devoted to the love of travel. Yolo gathers insider addresses and favorite destinations from its trust network of travelers in creative fields and shares them with a growing community of discerning global explorers.