Our visit to Patmos coincided with the January full moon, as you can see from the above photographs. The featured image at the top is the view from our hotel room. Whatever time of the day I tried to photograph it, the light was in the wrong place but you get the general idea!
Although Patmos is very rugged and hilly it is no where near as steep and arid as Symi. There are many valleys and watercourses, some of which have formed lagoons. Apparently in earlier times these lagoons were used for salt harvesting. These days they are more likely to be used as beaches in the summer months, with tamarisk trees planted in rows along the sand bars.
The gentler gradients mean larger terraces and a lot more agricultural activity. Unfortunately it has also encouraged much more building all over the island so there is very little untouched landscape. The rich and famous, including the Aga Khan, have big estates on the island. There is none of the hedonistic party vibe associated with Mykonos and although Patmos has some pretty beaches and great sunsets they are not as photogenic as Santorini so the focal point of tourism on Patmos tends to be religious rather than the usual tourist scene. This means that the wealthy enjoy a degree of privacy and seclusion.
It also means that there are some very upmarket shops, spas and boutiques down in Skala as well as a branch of AB Supermarket, one of Greece’s oldest surviving supermarket chains. There is also a tiny branch of Jumbo, the well-known Greek toy and housewares chain, every bit as cluttered as the diabolical maze of the Rhodes branch but on a much smaller scale.
Patmos has a permanent population of around 3000 so not dissimilar to Symi. The island was spotlessly clean and there were recycling bins absolutely everywhere. Wherever there were refuse bins there were recycling bins so locals did not have to go anywhere special or do anything inconvenient to participate. On inspection we noticed that they were being used correctly and although we drove from one end of the island to the other, we did not see a single plastic bag stuck in a sage bush or a trail of litter marking the location of a landfill. Another thing we noticed is that the power station, located on the waterfront in the bay we walked around on arrival, is practically silent and unobtrusive as it is seawater cooled.