Tour of Apocalypse Cave, St. John's Monastery, and Scenic Drive
- Apocalypse Cave: Some say the fingerprints of St. John himself can still be seen on the walls of this cave, where he heard – and heeded – the voice of God.
- Monastery of St. John: A cultural and religious center since it was built in 1091, the monastery is a fascinating maze of chapels displaying exquisite artifacts.
- Scenic drive: The sheer cliffs of this World Heritage Site made it an effective place of exile for the Romans, and a sanctuary for St. John in the first century.
About This Patmos Tour
The Romans thought St. John the Theologian was a troublemaker. They exiled him to Patmos in 95 A.D., where he joined criminals and other religious and political agitators who had been banished to the remote island. But instead of exile, John found refuge - and a vision - while living in a cave under a pagan temple. Here, through a voice from a cleft in the rock, John received revelations from God.
These revelations became the last book of the New Testament, outlining events surrounding the apocalyptic end of the world and urging Christians to hold fast to their faith during the persecutions at the end of the first century. Revelation also tells how the Lord himself entered the grotto, causing a great earthquake that made the rock in the cave split into three, forming a witness to the doctrine of the Holy Trinity.
John's small grotto inspired the massive fortified monastery that dominates the island. It was built and dedicated to St. John by Christodoulos, an abbot from Bithynia in what is now modern Turkey. Explore its courtyards and chapels, admire frescoes dating from the 12th century, and view its collection of religious treasures and art, including an original El Greco.
If you visit Patmos on a clear day, you may spy a faraway rock in the sea that looks like an overturned ship. Legend holds that while Christodoulos was building his monastery, a pirate ship menaced the island. Christodoulos beseeched God for help, and God answered by capsizing the ship and turning it to stone. The island was saved, and the upturned stone ship remains as a reminder of the Holy Island's miraculous events.
The 666 phobia
In Revelation, 666 is called the "number of the beast," associated with a frightening creature in John's apocalyptic vision. He describes a beast coming out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name." Popular culture (and horror films) associate 666 with the Antichrist or Devil. Some take this seriously and avoid anything related to the digits 6-6-6. This is known as hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia. Yeah, it is also hellish to spell.
Please go to the tender pier station to meet your guide. Please look for our GoBe Representative with the displayed logo sign. Staying at a hotel? Be sure to advise the GoBe Crew so we can meet you in the lobby.
French, Spanish, German and Italian guides are available, subject to availability. Please book in advance.
Plan to walk for a mile, over cobblestone and uneven terrain, and climb up/down inclines and about 120 steps to reach the cave. This tour is not suitable for travelers with limited mobility or wheelchair users.
Cultural, Scenic, Bus Tour, Walking Tour
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Suitable for all ages.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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