Around half a decade ago, a friend and I decided to go Greek island hopping. “Hopping”, however, was somewhat over-ambitious as, due to light wallets, we ended up only managing to “hop” from Athens to Santorini to Patmos. Santorini was disappointing and we discovered that although the island is largely seen as the “epitome of Greek beauty”, in reality, it was incredibly expensive and full of Instagram influencers. So, when my godmother offered us a chance to escape and spend a week in her charming house on the small island of Patmos, we leapt at the opportunity – I have been lucky enough to revisit ever since.

If you head toward Greece’s Dodecanese islands, you will find a little whitewashed island bobbing in the southeast Aegean Sea. The island of Patmos is an important Christian pilgrimage site which explains why getting there seems like a pilgrimage in itself. When my friend and I took our first overnight ferry from the Piraeus port, we were not prepared for the rocky sea-voyage that awaited us, a journey which felt as if Poseidon was sharpening his trident in rage. However, both our nausea and fatigue soon evaporated when we saw the sun-kissed island perched on the horizon.

When staying in Patmos, short scintillating days are met with long effervescent nights. We would begin our days with fresh figs and yoghurt, eating in the blinding sun of a pink bougainvillaea flower-strewn garden.