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Patmos and the Dodecanese Islands 11 Day

The islands of St. John and St. Paul

Welcome to a three island voyage, with a five-night stay on Patmos, to uncover rich layers of biblical and historical significance to mankind. This chain of 12 islands has witnessed time spent by two of the apostles, yet their beauty belies the events that occurred here. We include flights, accommodation close to the heart of the historical old towns, all excursions, most meals, cruising between islands and many extras as well as time to enjoy the sparkling blue waters, scenery, time with the locals and time to contemplate. Come join us on this wonderful journey as we walk and sail these beautiful and historical islands.

Patmos Island is globally known for its religious legacy, as it is the place where John the Evangelist (aka John the Theologian) wrote the Book of Revelation. In 1981, Greece declared Patmos a “Sacred Island'', and in 1999 UNESCO included The Historic Centre (Chora) with the Monastery of Saint-John the Theologian and the Cave of the Apocalypse in its World Heritage Site List. We spend five nights on Patmos with two days where you can reflect, retreat, take in the local atmosphere and join your fellow companions for dinner on this special island.

The Order of St. John of Jerusalem occupied Rhodes from 1309 to 1523 and set about transforming the city into a stronghold. It subsequently came under Turkish and Italian rule. With the Palace of the Grand Masters, the Great Hospital and the Street of the Knights, the Upper Town is one of the most beautiful urban ensembles of the Gothic period. In the Lower Town, Gothic architecture coexists with mosques, public baths and other buildings dating from the Ottoman period.

According to Greek mythology, Kos is the sacred land of Asclepius, the god of healing. Archaeological findings prove that the history of Kos starts from prehistoric times. The Minoans settled around the 14th century BC, followed by the Achaeans and, a few centuries later, the Dorians came and built the ancient city of Kos. The Persians conquered the island during the 5th century BC but were defeated by the Athenians who took control of the island during the battle of Salamina. In 460 BC Hippocrates, the father of Medicine and founder of the first School of Medicine, was born here.

Itinerary

  1. Travel to Rhodes

    Fly from Manchester to Rhodes. On arrival meet your Local Guide and transfer to your hotel close to the walled centre of Rhodes Old Town for a three-night stay. Dinner in a local restaurant.

  2. Rhodes Old Town and the Knight’s Palace

    We join your local guide for a walking tour through the St. John Gate into Rhodes Old Town with its medieval buildings from the Byzantine Empire adorned by a maze of cobbled alleys. See the Holy Catholic Cathedral and visit the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of St. John and Statue of Diagoras. After a fresh fish meze lunch dig deep into Rhodes past and visit the Temple of Athena Polias and Zeus Polieus, the Acropolis of Rhodes and the magnificent Olympic Stadium. Dinner in the hotel.

    Total walking distance 6 km - This walking is all flat in the morning in Rhodes Town. The afternoon sightseeing will be by coach.

  3. Tsambika Monastery & Lindos

    We drive to Tsambika Monastery, situated on a hill 300 metres above sea level, with magnificent views and its icon of the Virgin Mary that is said to have miraculously moved location.  After, continue for views of Feraklos Castle, located where there once stood an ancient Acropolis. After time for lunch (at own cost) we visit Lindos with its whitewashed houses and pebble paved courtyards. Apart from the beautiful acropolis one of the main attractions of Lindos is the old theatre of the town, carved from a rock, and the Doric sanctuary of Athena Lindia. St. Paul preached in Lindos in AD 58 and the bay is said to have been where he landed.  Dinner in a local taverna by the port.

     

    Walking distance - Walking today is little in distance but at both sights due to their promontory locations it will require a number of steps that will need to be negotiated.

  4. Cruising to the Holy Island of Patmos

    This morning we board the ferry service and enjoy the views as you sail between the Dodecanese Islands calling at other island ports on route whilst getting to enjoy the island scenery.

    Today lunch is not included. In the afternoon we arrive in Patmos’ main port and town of Skala. In 1981, Greece declared Patmos a “Sacred Island'', and in 1999 UNESCO included The Historic Centre (Chora) with the Monastery of St. John the Theologian and the Cave of the Apocalypse in its World Heritage Site list. In Skala we use two neighbouring accommodations as everything is boutique and unspoilt. This unspoilt less-trodden corner of the world that will be your home for the next five-nights. Dinner in a local taverna.

  5. In the footsteps of St. John

    We walk to visit The Cave of the Apocalypse, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2006. Seven silver lamps have been hung in the cave of which the largest is above the place where St. John slept using a rock as a pillow that still exists in the cave. We continue to The Monastery of St. John the Theologian, set like a crown on top of the settlement of Chora, is the island’s landmark. Dinner is in a local taverna and picnic lunch included.

     

    Total walking distance 11km - Today's walking is considered easy to moderate but steps will be required to reach the monastery. Transport is available in the afternoon to return to the hotel rather than walk. In the morning, if walking a distance is difficult, it will be possible to take a taxi at your own expense.

  6. Discovering Patmos

    Today we follow your guide on a gentle stride through the northern part of this Holy Island. We start in Skala and nearby Campos, visit some lesser-known churches, enjoy the local scenery pick oranges from the trees (when in season), meet the locals’ and sample local produce. A picnic lunch is  included. Dinner in a local taverna.

    Total walking distance 12km - Transport accompanies this day should you wish to return to the hotel earlier or shorten the distance involved. Terrain is gentle undulations with one small steep section.

  7. Free day to contemplate and relax on Patmos

    A day to sit back, retreat if you so wish and cherish your surroundings.

    Relax by the hotel pool, swim in the clear waters of Aegean Sea on a nearby beach.

    Lunch is at your own expense and dinner in a local tavern.

  8. Free to retreat and relax on Patmos

    Contemplate on all that you have seen, the stories of history where you are standing and have a day to take it all in. Take yourself back to sites you have visited , wander the beaches, enjoy lunch (at your own expense today) in a local taverna or simply relax in the hotel. Gala dinner in a local taverna with live music.

  9. Cruising from Patmos to Kos

    A late morning departure for the ferry to Kos. The crossing is around three hours and some services may call in at Leros and Kalymnos giving you further glimpses of unspoilt Dodecanese Islands. We arrive in Kos, the third largest of the Dodecanese Islands and birth place of Hippocrates.  Take the short transfer to your hotel close to the heart of Kos Old Town for a two-night stay. Take a stroll or relax and enjoy the hotels facilities. Dinner in a local taverna and lunch at own cost.

  10. Historical Kos

    Walking tour of the Old Town of Kos where you will see its history, imprinted on its architecture and evident in its dozens of monuments and sites, is alive and well. Kos Town is lively with its countless souvenir shops, cafes and restaurants, a harmonious intermingling of past and present. Sights today will include the Castle of the Knights of St. John, the commandery, Tree of Hippocrates and Roman Mansion. The rest of the day is at leisure and lunch at own cost. This evening dinner is included in a local restaurant.

  11. Home

    Time at leisure and lunch at own cost. Afternoon transfer to  Kos Airport for your direct flight back to Manchester.

Essential Information

Included

Hotels are of a good standard and locally graded three and four stars.

The tour includes daily breakfast and dinners. A fresh fish meze lunch and two picnic lunches are also included.

Touring is by air-conditioned coach and we will be accompanied by our tour guide who will look after the formalities of hotel check-ins, etc.

All entrance fees are included as well as gratuities; these will be disbursed locally to those who help us on our journey.

The tour price also includes return flights.

Included extras

  • Hotel Porterage
  • Personal audio guiding system
  • All entrance fees
  • All hotel, guide, driver and restaurant gratuities
  • Services of a knowledgeable Local Guide on each island
  • Worship led by the Tour Leader

Your journey

We fly from Manchester to Rhodes and from Kos back to Manchester. All airport and security charges are included.

Flight times are subject to change and confirmed with your final paperwork. Flights may require a higher deposit to secure seats at time of booking.

Practical information

Entry requirements

British Citizen and EU Citizen Passport holders can currently enter Greece freely with no restrictions or other documentation required. Stays within the EU can be up to 90 days (can be spread over multiple visits) within any 180-day period.

Please note your passport must be valid for three months after your return from Greece.

Full details of entry requirements and any required vaccinations will be detailed in your final paperwork 14 days before departure.

For the latest and most up to date travel advice including entry requirements please consult the Foreign & Commonwealth Development Office travel advice website.

www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

Health & wellbeing

For travel within the EU you should ensure that you have the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) which is free of charge.  You can apply for the GHIC card by calling 0191 218 1999 or applying on line at…

www.nhs.uk/ghic

The level of cover offered by the GHIC card varies by country visited and is only applicable in state-run health facilities. In some countries coverage may just be a partial contribution.

Adequate insurance cover will be required for all hospital emergencies and doctors’ visits.

Climate

In the Dodecanese Islands the average daily maximum temperature during your stay should be as below. Coastal winds can make the temperature seem cooler and evenings will see temperatures drop by up to 10 degrees.

May 18 - 25; September 21 - 28; October 18 - 25

Clothing

Dress is cool and casual throughout your time in Greece. You may wish to take one or two smarter items for the evenings. Casual clothing is recommended in the day-time with evenings being smart/casual. As this tour requires a certain amount of gentle to intermediate walking, we suggest you take a pair of lined shoes or boots with decent grip. Sports shoes or trainers are fine as well as walking boots. It is advisable to bring just a couple of warmer items for the evenings as well as coastal walks where the wind may reduce the temperatures.

Mobility

There is a certain amount of walking, light undulations with just one or two steep sections but a number of stairs involved on a daily basis during your time in Greece so please make sure you pack comfy footwear for this so that you are prepared. Your Local Guide will keep you updated on a daily basis with what to expect the following day. If you are finding it difficult to keep up then please make sure you tell your Local Guide who can help you to find places to rest and relax and then you can re-join the group at a later stage. On two or three days, for those who wish we reduce the walking by having transport available for those who wish to return to the hotel early.

Some streets in towns and villages that you will visit will be cobbled. We suggest you take a pair of comfortable shoes with good grips or trainers.  You must be prepared to be on your feet for up to 90 minutes without the necessity to sit down and walk up to three miles unaided. Hiking sticks are fine.

The McCabe Educational Trust

The McCabe Educational Trust is an independent registered charity with the aim of helping inspiring people we meet on some of our pilgrimages. As ‘the haves’ encounter the ‘have nots’ the Trust has become a practical tool for one to help the other.

McCabe Pilgrimages invite all travellers to become partners in this work. A £20 voluntary donation to the Trust’s work is added to every pilgrim’s invoice and all money raised in this way is given in full to the projects the Trust supports. This scheme is voluntary and confidential with nobody put under any pressure to participate.

Travel insurance

Ensuring that your holidays are appropriately protected is one of our main priorities. That’s why we have specifically chosen Holiday Extras as our *preferred travel insurance provider to ensure that you are protected before and whilst you are travelling. Holiday Extras offer McCabe Travel guests favourable rates for single trip, multi-trip and annual policies.

For more information or to obtain a quote click below for their website

https://www.holidayextras.com/travel-insurance

Or call them on 0800 083 3551 to speak to a friendly advisor.

Please quote AG628 upon calling to receive the best rates

Full financial security

All money paid to McCabe is fully secure. Holidays including flights are covered by our ATOL license from the Civil Aviation Authority, and holidays without flights are protected by our membership of the ABTOT bonding scheme. If a pilgrimage is cancelled, for instance through lack of numbers or for political considerations, McCabe will promptly refund all monies paid.

AITO Quality Statement

McCabe Pilgrimages is a member of the Association of Independent Tour Operators. The Association represents Britain’s leading independent tour operators and encourages high standards of quality and service. McCabe abides by the Association’s Code of Conduct and adheres to the AITO Quality Charter.

You can read McCabe reviews on the AITO website here

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Dates

Our Programme Tour Leader Tour Dates Availability
Patmos & Dodecanese Departing From To be Confirmed Prices from £2895 pp The Revd Chris and Maureen Graham 06/05/2025 for 11 days Download brochure Book now Make an enquiry

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