The Castle and Monastery of St John
Upon entering the castle, which encompasses the monastery, you’re immediately transported to Byzantine times. The views from here are truly panoramic (it’s visible from every part of the island). Within the monastery, there’s a wonderful library, along with ten chapels of different ages and almost 100 cells.
The Cave of the Apocalypse
Continuing up the mountain is the cave (more like a church now) in which St John the Evangelist wrote the Book of Revelation (also known as the Book of the Apocalypse). Banished by Roman emperor Domitian in 95 AD, John of Patmos took up residence in the cave, where he experienced his divine revelations.
The Patmian Ecclesiastical School
Located near the cave, the Patmian School was founded in 1713. It became one of the most important seminaries in Greece during the Turkish occupation, with a long list of alumni who became prominent figures in Greek history.
The windmills of Hora
Before you leave, visit the three iconic windmills near the monastery. They’ve been beautifully preserved, complete with wooden sail frames and mill mechanisms. Utterly Instagrammable.
The Convent of Zoodochos Pigi
The convent in Hora was founded by an abbot of the monastery in the early 17th century. Its beauty lies in the fact that it’s not nearly as visited as the monastery, and so is wonderfully peaceful – until the five bells of its unusual bell tower chime.
Here’s a tip: Ask the locals to point out some of the landmark mansion houses in town: Vardikou, Palaiologou, Valvi, Founti (of Leonton). The Nikolaidi Mansion has been converted to a very good museum, in which a typical Patmian house has been recreated.
Notable for the impressive neoclassical building housing the Town Hall (Demarcheion) from around 1870. There’s a statue honouring Immanuel Xanthos, a local hero and one of the earliest Greek independence fighters.
Agia Levias Square
This is a great spot for excellent food and cosy little shops selling local handcraft. Or you could just pull up a chair and grab an afternoon coffee or evening cocktail and feel time slow right down.