Grikos Bay

Paradise exists

In the northern side of Grikos, the sun gently rises between the hills. The early sunlight. Tragonisi, the small island which is used as pasture for sheep and protects the bay from strong winds, reveals its feminine curves. The sea forms a dark blue horizon with no ripples. And the more the sunbeams stretch, the more nature awakes.

Bushes open their leafage in order to absorb warmth, trees start to form shadows on the sand and restless seagulls fly over the surface of the sea, searching for food.
Canaries, nightingales, swallows and all sorts of birds begin their morning strolls. Nearby fishing boats start their engines and form their own routes over the aquatic blue canvas.
Here in Grikos, a small fishing village with few inhabitants located 4.5 km southeast of the port of Patmos (Skala), the daily natural light, according to its mood, sets the mystic scenery. As you follow the light walking along the cozy bay, you will admire all colors of the earth.
In this earthy paradise, human senses expand. At each step, you depart from the ground and walk into a living dream. You start from the small cape in the northern part of the bay, from which you can gaze at Hiliomodi, an islet hosting the chapel of Saint Panteleimon.
Steep cliffs, curved by waves and wind, turquoise waters, wild aromatic bushes, sharp rocks embroidered with golden needles and two hidden beaches form this coast land. From afar, the stony ruins of an old hut at the top, look like an invaded Byzantine church.
Heading south towards Diakofti, the narrowest point of the island, you come across tiny wooden piers surrounded by sailboats and fishing boats and walk through white washed courtyards, where aromatic rosemary and thyme flood your senses. Your eyes are caught by geraniums, cyclamen and angelic and finally arrive in front of «Patmos Aktis» without even realizing it.
With the sun rising and the heat escalating, you start seeking for shade in an array of tamarisk trees, standing proudly a little further. As you notice how their branches move to the slightest wind, you realize they resemble natural women's hair. Just behind the trees, you meet neatly preserved wheat fields, well guarded by thick stone fences.
After the uphill, a rich purple bougainvillea, one of the many that adorn this neighborhood, awaits to be admired. Almost surprised, right beside, you discover the miniature vineyards that coincide with the dryness of the mountains surrounding Grikos and are spread across the famous Petra or Kalikatsou.
On your right, a natural salt lake spreads like a lunar-landscape, defining a wetland from another planet. Above the gray, dry peels of soil with green splashes from plankton remains that sink when you step over, you notice seagulls, herring gulls, magpies and other sorts of seabirds.
As a matter of fact, during spring dozens of migratory birds use it as a stopover. The midday sun is blinding, as if you jumped into the desert and you can't even see from the reflections of the sea.
It's impossible to miss Kalikatsou, the Rock which according to the Patmian author Despina Vakratsi, got its name from the "kalikatsoudes" (a species of magpie) that you can find in abundance in Grikos! It dominates the sea and the landscape with its bizzare shape, calling you for a bit of exploration!
Even though ascetics and occasional hermits who lived there until the end of the '60s carved the rock into a natural home, forming stairs, shelves, water basins, grilling areas etc, climbing needs particular caution as the surface is too smooth and can be slippery.
On its inner side, at the point where the beach ends abruptly and Kalikatsou rises, you will find cavities that look like giant fingerprints. As you climb around, you may enjoy a view of the backside of Tragonisi and the turquoise waters of Petra beach.
Once you conquer the highest point of this sacred site and inhale deeply, you will experience an optimistic sense of catharsis and your thoughts will be clearer. And then, all your forgotten desires will once again come to the fore in order to remind you that the heart goes where the warmth is.
During dusk, pale pink clouds crown the hotel «Patmos Aktis» and the rest of the white washed buildings while the horizon behind Tragonisi, flares up with all shades of red, yellow and orange.
Enchanted by the colors, you cool your toes, cross your hands around your neck, silently lie down on the sand and watch the moon as it, quietly and quickly, takes place high in the sky. Suddenly, stars start to fall. The flashy lights dive fiercely into the black water and create an orbit of glitter that illuminates the bottom. And then, there is only one wish left to make: To find yourself in Grikos, once again.
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