For his journey to the Greek island of Patmos, travel photographer Brown W. Cannon III wanted to capture the warm welcome and fascinating people of this quiet, traditional destination that few U.S. travelers visit. His commentary and photos in the video below is a preview of his full photo essay, "Lost in Time," in the September/October 2009 issue of ISLANDS magazine. Watch the video and follow in Brown's footsteps with the travel advice below.
Start by contacting TrueGreece, a travel company that designs custom trips and offers access to the most authentic experiences. islands worked with TrueGreece founder, Christos Stergiou, who grew up on Pátmos, to design this local-family-focused trip for the photo essay.
Actually, it's best to arrive by boat after flying direct from the U.S. to Athens (ATH) on airlines including Olympic, then on to Kos (KGS) on Olympic or Aegean Airlines. Then boat from Kos to Pátmos with Dodekanisos Seaways or Blue Star Ferries.
Stay at the boutique, intimately luxurious Petra Hotel, run by a husband and wife. Showcasing the hospitality of Pátmos, they've established a family atmosphere that pervades all 12 guest rooms and suites, as well as the wonderful dining patio. Walk to the beach for colorful views of fishing boats and the natural wonders of the bay. Rates start at about $240.
Eat at the wonderfully authentic, especially friendly tavernas featured in the photo essay: the Grillakis family's Diakofti, the Kanelis family's Tzivaeri and Vangelis. All feature traditional dishes for a true taste of Pátmos. The island also has more formal restaurants such as Benetos, serving Mediterranean classics on 14 tables overlooking the Aegean Sea. Benetos is only open from June to October for dinner, so be sure to make a reservation. Vegghera Restaurant serves creative gourmet Greek cuisine in an elegant setting overlooking a vibrant harbor.
See Pátmos' main town of Hora, itself a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Experience the charming whitewashed houses and the historic significance of the Monastery of St. John and the Cave of the Apocalypse. Both sites showcase Pátmos' biblical reference as the place where St. John is believed to have written the Book of Revelation. Explore the smaller islands that surround Pátmos on a private boat trip. Some isles are barely inhabited, yet all have character.