Patmos, Psili Amos, is the closest I have been to paradise for many years. Read this piece before you go to know what to expect and what to bring.
As it is a long way to the nearest shop of any kind, make sure to include the following items in your backpack before you start your climb down to Psili Ammos beach:
- Cash – it is a long way to the bank from Psili Ammos
- Flashlight and extra batteries – it gets very very dark at night
- Wide brimmed hat – a must in Greece
- Sun tan lotion
- Diving mask and snorkel
- One or two brick novels
- Canned food
- Toilet paper
At the taverna you can buy bread and water, may be other things if they have something to spare, but usually that’s it. The taverna opens around 8 or 9 in the morning and you can have great breakfasts there that’ll last you till way into the afternoon. It closes again about 5 pm so make sure that you have had a solid meal there before that time. They make great zucchini balls, Greek salads, goat stews etc. at very reasonable prices. The owners are very friendly and will let you buy water and bread if they have any at the end of the day – which they fortunately always did. They only accept cash!
The major business of the tavern is when the boat from Scala comes in about 11 am which it does if the wind is not too strong. We experienced a couple of days that it didn’t arrive. They were very quiet days on Psili Amos with few people and big waves. But when the day tourists come to Psili Ammos they rarely venture more than 50 meters away from the taverna. The rest of Psili Amos beach was left to people like us who camped there and the campers also kept to themselves as at our end of the beach we would spend all day without clothes on. Only when we went to the taverna or to use the facilities did we put on a sarong in order not to offend anyone. The facilities (toilets) were fine, by the way.
Psili Ammos is a beach with wonderful fine sand and lots of fairly large pieces of rock which you can use to build small walls around your tent to protect you from the wind on days when it is windy or else to partly protect your things from the sun. There are very few trees on Psili Amos and they all have tents under them that profit from the shade they offer. We brought two small tents with us and a beach tent, one of those in bright colours that is open at the one side. That beach tent was a big success as we used it to store all our stuff. Our tents were only meant for sleeping with no room for our backpacks.
As I mentioned on the ‘must bring’ list, a diving mask and snorkel are so necessary, not just on Psili Amos, but for all the places that we went. At Psili Ammos the snorkling was spectacular, not just for the fish, but in some places out there we felt as if we were swimming in a huge aquarium with the sun streaming down through the water.
There is a huge area behind the area where the tents are that leads up to the cliffs that surround Psili Amos. If you are up early in the morning, you can watch the goats cross from one side to the other. They spend all day eating the herbs such as thyme and sage that grow all over the place. You can almost imagine how great the meat from these goats tastes.
Psili Amos is one of those places where you could stay on for a long time, but we had planned island hopping in Greece and that means going from island to island and not staying on Patmos all the time even though we were tempted to do so. Before leaving Scala the day that we arrived we bought our ferry tickets to our next stop, Tilos, which unfortunately made us less flexible in staying on than we could have wished for.
On the day that we had to leave the boat from Scala arrived as usual and we had hoped to be able to return to Scala that way, but the captain wouldn’t sell us tickets as he said that the boat was too crowded as it was. This was what we had feared as it meant a very long and very hot hike back to civilisation.