A travel guide on how to get around Patmos island in Greece. Includes buses, car and scooter rentals, boat trips, hikes and more.
Patmos island in Greece
Patmos is one of the Dodecanese islands in Greece. It is located close to Turkey, between the Greek islands of Samos and Kos. It is a fantastic destination which combines Greek religion, culture, history, and beautiful beaches.
As the island is fairly small, it is easy to get around. Public buses run to the most popular areas, but you can also rent your own transportation and explore at your own pace.
Here is how to get around the small island, whether you are staying there for a few hours, or a few days.
Take the public buses in Patmos
Patmos public buses run to most of the popular areas on the island. They are a cheap and easy way to get around.
Most visitors, including those on cruise ships, will arrive at Skala port town. The main bus station is just in front of the ferry port. Buses depart from here to Chora, the capital town, and the seaside resorts of Grikos and Kambos.
Places you can visit on the public buses include the two main attractions, the Holy Monastery of Saint John and the Cave of the Apocalypse. You can also reach some of the famous Patmos beaches, including Agriolivado, Kambos, Vagia, Grikos and Petra beach.
Here is some more information on the public buses: Patmos bus timetable.
Rent a car in Patmos
If you are visiting Patmos with your family or group of friends, you can always rent a car. The roads on the island are generally in good condition, and you won’t have any problems getting around – we drove everywhere in our small Toyota.
Finding a parking spot can sometimes be a challenge, especially during the peak season. If you are staying at a Skala hotel, check if your accommodation has private parking. Otherwise, you will need to leave your vehicle in the public parking areas.
You should also know that Chora itself is a Unesco World Heritage Site, and vehicles are not allowed anywhere near the fortified monastery. You will need to park outside the town, and walk up the stairs.
It is generally best to pre-book your car in Patmos, especially if you are travelling during the high season. There are several agencies on the island that will help you with this, but you can also use a popular online platform, DiscoverCars.
For more information, you can read this article on driving in Greece.
Hire a scooter / moped in Patmos
If you have an appropriate driving license, hiring a scooter or moped is the best way to explore Patmos in your own time.
As the distances are small, you will be comfortable at the back of a scooter. In addition, it will be easier to find parking space when compared to a car, and the cost will be lower.
There are many scooter rentals on the island, many of which are located at Skala port. Outside the peak season, you should be able to hire one on the spot. If you are going in late July or August, it is best to pre-book.
ATV / Quad rentals in Patmos
Hike and walk around Patmos
Like most Greek islands, Patmos has several hiking paths. In fact, some of the beaches are not accessible by car or scooter. You would either need to go by sea, or hike.
My favourite hike in Patmos was the path starting from Diakofti Bay and leading to Psili Ammos beach. This was an easy 30 minute walk, even though we somehow managed to do it during the warmest time of the day.
It’s definitely worth it as the beach is simply stunning! One of my favourite beaches in the Dodecanese.
If you are staying in Skala, the closest beaches that you can reach on foot are Meloi and Aspri. Or you can take the path going from Skala all the way to Chora.
Use a radio taxi
If you want to explore some of the more remote areas of the island without renting your own vehicle, you can always use a taxi.
The number you will need to call for the radio taxis is +30-22470-31225. You will find bright signs with their phone number on many beaches.
When we visited Patmos we didn’t see a price list. Make sure you ask the driver before your ride.
Take a boat tour around the Aegean Sea
If you want to explore the more remote beaches in Patmos and the surrounding islands, there’s no better way than a boat tour! Walk around Skala port, and you will find numerous boats offering different trips.
Just note that, in case of strong meltemi winds, the trip may be altered or even cancelled altogether. I’m talking from experience… the trip that we wanted to take was cancelled twice!
If you are staying on the holy island of Patmos for a few days, I would definitely suggest booking your boat tour early in your trip. In case of a cancellation, you can always re-book for a later day.
Visit Patmos on an organized day trip from Samos
While Patmos is a fantastic island and deserves several days, some tourists will not have enough time. In this case, you can always take an organized day trip from one of the nearby islands, like Samos.
During this tour, you will see the two most important sites in Patmos – the Cave of the Apocalypse, and the Monastery of St John. There will also be some free time in Skala, where you can have some good food at one of the many restaurants.
For more information and bookings, check this link: Day trip to Patmos from Samos island.
How to get to Patmos Greece
Patmos does not have an airport, so the only way to get there is by sea – or a helicopter! Some people arrive on a cruise ship, and only have a few hours on the island.
If you are planning to stay for a few days, you can reach Patmos on a ferry from Piraeus port, which is located near Athens. There are a few ferries per week, and they take around 7 – 9 hours to reach Patmos.
Alternatively, you can take a flight to the Greek islands of Samos or Kos, and then take an onward ferry. This ferry trip would only take you about 2 – 3 hours.
You can check out all ferry schedules and book your ferry tickets on a search engine called Ferryscanner. It’s best to book them in advance, especially if you are travelling during the high season.
FAQs about the Greek island of Patmos
Thinking to visit Patmos? Here are a few more answers to people’s questions:
What is special about Patmos?
Patmos Greece is the island where Saint John received his visions, which he recorded in the Book of Revelation. People from all over the world visit the Cave of the Apocalypse, where John heard the voice of God.
Is Patmos worth visiting?
Patmos is a perfect place to visit if you are interested in the Greek religious culture. You will also be impressed by the charming capital town, Chora, and the lovely beaches.
Is Patmos expensive?
While Patmos is slightly more expensive than most of the other Dodecanese, it is entirely possible to visit if you are on a budget. You can easily find accommodation for under 50 euro outside the peak months of July and August.
How do you get around on Patmos?
The bus service in Patmos covers the most popular areas of the island. If you want to explore all of Patmos, it’s best to rent a scooter or vehicle.
How big is the island of Patmos?
Patmos is about 34.14 sq. kms (13.18 sq. miles). By comparison, the famous Santorini is 76.19 sq. kms (29.42 sq. miles) – more than twice the size of Patmos!
More travel guides about the Greek islands
If you are visiting the Dodecanese islands, you might be interested in these other articles:
- Reasons to visit Patmos Greece
- Things to do in Symi
- Kalymnos island in Greece
- Best beaches in Rhodes
- How to get around Rhodes
- How to get around Kos
- An introduction to the Greek island groups
Hi! I’m Vanessa from Athens and I’ve been to about 60 Greek islands… still many more to go! If you have any questions about Patmos, leave a comment right below and I’ll get back to you. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram for more news and photos of Greece!