Complete Patmos Tour: Apocalypse Cave, St. John's Monastery & Taverna
Tour Participation Requirements
Greek mythology tells us that Patmos was once an island languishing on the bottom of the sea. The moon goddess Selene cast her light on the ocean, revealing the sunken island. She convinced Artemis to have her brother Apollo ask Zeus to allow the island to rise. Zeus agreed. The island rose from the depths, dried in the sun, and went on to have quite the tumultuous history.
It's been everything from a place of exile for criminals to a sacred site for pilgrims. St. John was exiled here as a religious troublemaker in 95 A.D. and wrote the Book of Revelation, the last chapter of the New Testament. (You'll see the cave where he received the word of God through a fissure in the wall.) St. John inspired the massive monastery that crowns Patmos, and secured the island's place in the world's best-selling book.
The island has been inundated by immigrants (Byzantine Christians fleeing the fall of Constantinople in 1453 and Cretans escaping the fall of Candia in 1669). And it's been occupied. The Italians were here after the Italo-Turkish War of 1911-12, then the Nazis took over in 1943. Since Patmos joined independent Greece in 1948, things have been a little bit quieter.
To recognize its heritage, the Greek parliament declared Patmos the "Holy Island" in 1981, and it's been named a World Heritage Site. A prominent travel guide has called Patmos "Europe's Most Idyllic Place to Live," claiming the island has maintained its air of tranquility over the centuries. Perhaps they didn't read the whole Patmos story.
Tippling at the taverna
At a taverna (a small restaurant, not to be confused with a tavern), you'll enjoy the traditional Greek drink – anise-flavored ouzo, usually paired with a plate of mezes (snacks). Another Greek drink is retsina, a white or rose wine that got its unique flavor from pine resin once used to seal wine containers. The 3rd-century Romans began using barrels that didn't need resin, but the taste was so popular that it still flavors retsina today.
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.