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Location: Arki Marathi
The islands of Arki and Marathi close to Patmos: The islands of Arki and Marathi are found in a close distance off Patmos, only 8 n.m. to the east and daily boats connect them to Patmos. The biggest of the two islets is Arki, which is tiny (7 sq. km) and protected by strong winds, which is why it is used as a shelter for yachts and fishing boats. In fact, Arki has a small port for the boats and ferries to moor. Around this port, a few stone houses have been constructed, some of which are old while others have been whitewashed. Some taverns also offer fresh fish, captured by the locals at night.
About 50 people live there. The islet of Arki is barren and doesn't have much greenery, except for a few short bushes all over it. As its size is small, it is great for trekking. After all, this is the only way to reach the beaches of Arki, most of which are accessible on foot. The most far away beach can be accessed in about 50 minutes, while most can be reached in about 20 or 30 minutes walking. Of course, there are no buses on Arki island, as there are no roads either. All paths are track and have barely any signs.
Most beaches of Arki are found on the southern and the eastern side of the island, like Tiganakia, Limnari, and Padelia. They all have crystal water, although the shore can be a bit rocky at some places. Along your way, you will see many small churches. As Arki and Marathi islands belonged once to the Monastery of Patmos, the monks built many chapels on them. On Arki, you will see the chapels of Panagia Pantanassa, of the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ and of Saint Anargyri. On Marathi, you will see the chapel of Saint Nicolaos.
To go to Marathi, you have to hire a fishing boat either from Pathos or from Arki. Only two families reside in Marathi. In both islets, you will find fish taverns. Accommodation options are very limited but you can find some proper rooms to rent, about 20 in Arki and 15 in Marathi. These two islets are remote even in high season. They are excellent to enjoy pure nature and Greek rural life, but otherwise, there is no action at all. The only things to do are swimming and trekking.
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