This Hidden Gem Island In Greece Offers Clear Blue Seas And A Tranquil Vacation

The Greek islands are a coveted vacation spot that are a bucket list staple for travel enthusiasts — and for good reason. Who could say no to gorgeous views, seaside relaxation, and delicious food — all in a place that's rife with history and culture? But it's not all about Santorini and Mykonos. Greece is also home to underrated, hidden-gem islands that are equally incredible (not to mention less crowded). Case in point: the island of Patmos.

Nestled in the sparkling waters of the Aegean Sea, Patmos is a Greek island offering a rich history, stunning landscapes, and a tranquil atmosphere that's perfect for a relaxing vacation. Home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Patmos' history is as fascinating as its landscapes.

The island gained prominence in the early Christian era when, according to tradition, St. John the Apostle received divine revelations in Patmos that later became the Book of Revelation. The history of Patmos is also enriched by the influence of various civilizations, such as the Romans, Byzantines, and Ottomans. Remnants of these cultures live on today through Patmos' architecture and traditions.

What to do in Patmos

The Cave of the Apocalypse is a "don't miss" site during a visit to Patmos. It's believed that it was at this sacred location that St. John received his divine revelations. Accessible by a stone stairway, the atmosphere is serene, with religious icons and inscriptions adorning the cave walls.

"This is a must-see sight for anyone interested in ancient history, whether spiritually inclined, or not," wrote one reviewer on TripAdvisor. "For those Pilgrims in search of a spiritual and Biblical Highlight, a visit to the Grotto of St. John is almost on a level with a visit to the Holy Land itself."

While you're there, you'll also want to visit The Monastery of Saint John the Theologian. Perched atop the highest point of Patmos, the medieval architecture is a major draw. Dating back to the 11th century, the monastery offers stunning panoramic views of the Aegean Sea. Explore its chapels adorned with religious art — and don't miss the treasury, which houses religious artifacts.

The Monastery of Saint John the Theologian is located in Chora, a medieval town that is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Be sure to spend some time exploring Chora itself, with its lovely local shops and traditional Greek architecture.

Visit the beaches and enjoy the local cuisine

It's not all about the history, of course. Patmos is also home to pristine, relaxing beaches that are the perfect place to get some rest and relaxation. Psili Ammos, for example, is known for its golden sands and crystal-clear waters.

Another gem is Grikos Beach. Located in a picturesque cove surrounded by hills, it offers a more secluded atmosphere. One TripAdvisor reviewer described it as "picture perfect with clear calm water and no sunbeds or noise. A must visit whilst on Patmos."

And what's a vacation without enjoying the local cuisine? The food in Patmos is similar to what you'd find in the surrounding islands, and it can be enjoyed in local tavernas. But the island is a stand-out for its incredible sweets. Signature desserts and pastries of Patmos include cheese pie (a mix of sweet and savory thanks to the combination of cheese, cinnamon, and sugar), donuts, fried dough with honey, and rope pie and rope bread, which are made with fruit, sugar, cinnamon, and salt.