Patmos a significant connection with the Byzantine Period and whose Christianity has still strongly preserved the Byzantine presence by the monastery and churches. Here, in a cave, St John wrote the masterpiece of "Apocalypse" one of the most magnificent texts of world literature....
The placid and azure waters off southwest Samos offer some of the best boating conditions in the entire Aegean. Your adventure kicks off as you board your boat at Ormos harbour. Relax on the sun-drenched deck as you drift past the pebbly shores of Balos beach, on your way to the tiny island of Samiopoula. Dive of the boat for a swim or take a dinghy to a beach to explore. Then you'll be ferried in style to another remote and equally beautiful bay, where lunch will be served on the beach.
There's no shortage of cultural and historic riches in Samos. And this tour whisks you to some of its best spots, including the famous Heraion. You'll also visit a monastery and ceramic workshop, and explore Potami and Kokkari villages, too.Hera was an important deity for the ancient Greeks and, according to legend, she was born on the site of the Heraion. You'll then visit an Orthodox monastery before dropping by a ceramic workshop in Timos. Next up is a herbal oil shop and a stop in Potami, where you'll have free time for lunch, a swim or to visit the waterfalls.In the afternoon, there's free time to explore at your own pace the seaside village of Kokkari. Here, you can savour views over the sea and Karvounis Mountains.
It takes something special for one small island to stand out among the thousands in Greece – but it's an accolade that Patmos well deserves. The fun kicks off with a 2.5-hour ferry ride across the Aegean to the quaint, yet lively, port of Skala on the east coast. Its waterfront is lined with peeling tavernas, café terraces, seafood restaurants and shops. Patmos is very narrow at this point and a 10-minute walk to the west is the pebbly Hohlakas beach. If you're looking for some history, then the trek to hilltop Hora just 3km from Skala is a must.
The pine-clad trails atop dramatic cliffs offer spectacular views across the glittering Aegean Sea, and the perfect walking conditions to some of the island's most secluded beaches. This guided walking route along the cliff-top trails takes you to several of the island's best beaches – ones that can't be reached by car. Setting off from the village of Drakei, it's a scenic walk to the remote Megalo Seitani Beach. After a well-earned swim and break for lunch, it's up and over the trails to Potami beach. While the mountainous trails aren't extreme, when the excursion is done, your legs will be thankful that there's a coach to bring you back.
The sands of time have barely swept over Patmos since St John had his Revelations here 2,000 years ago – which makes a daytrip to the isle such a fascinating experience. Stepping off the boat, you'll be struck by the turreted walls of the Monastery of St John. Your guide will explain its fascinating history before we head through the whitewashed streets of Chora to visit the Cave of the Apocalypse. And there's more to this trip than history and heritage – you'll have plenty of free time to relax and wander around the charming surrounds of Skala harbour before sailing back to Samos.
An evening out at one of Samos's whitewashed towns takes some beating. If you opt to spend the evening in the seaside town of Pythagorion, make a beeline for the ancient harbour where you'll find a whole host of busy tavernas grilling up the day's catch on hot coals. Then follow the noise to a lively bouzouki bar or enjoy an evening stroll along the seafront arm in arm. Alternatively, you can hit the fishing village of Kokkari for a chilled-out evening watching the sun go down. You'll have a choice of seafood restaurants overlooking the water and a local bars dishing out drinks. Best of all, return transport from your hotel is all sorted.
Northern Samos is a hiker's paradise of sweeping valleys, vineyards and shady forests. From Vourliotes, you'll take the path across the vineyards of the valley, and cross the River Kakorema. Afterwards, your guide will lead you to the mountainside village of Manolates through a shady forest. On our way, you'll come across a traditional taverna where you can stop for a drink before continuing into Platanakia – the largest plane tree forest in Samos. Finally, perch yourself in the rest area and get some shade under the forest's protective canopy. Or, if you've energy still to burn, explore the nature trails of the fertile forest.
You know you're on holidays when you find yourself in sunshine with a balmy sea breeze washing over you. Sailing from Pythagorio you'll glide by remote beaches and uninhabited islets – and with luck spot some dolphins – while being served wine, juices and fresh fruit. Your captain will drop anchor off Posidonio beach and you can either swim onshore or hop on a dinghy. After an hour, we'll sail for the hidden gem of Megali Lakka, which is accessible by our boat only. Here, you'll be able to relax or swim while the crew rustles up a barbecue on the beach complete with drinks. After about three hours, it's time to sail back to Pythagorio.