Catwalk queens Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss (below right) were spotted on the island of Patmos last summer – a retreat from the runway, revealed after Campbell posted pictures on her Instagram account. But it’s not all partying: both Julia Roberts and Richard Gere chose serene corners of Patmos for their holiday homes, inspired by Buddhism and the meditative allure of hilltop Hora. Its 10th-century monastery is a whitewashed sanctuary of shaded passageways and medieval frescoes. From the Aga Khan to Prince Michael of Greece, various members of royalty have made Patmos their home. The volcanic landscape provides dramatic vistas; spend your days sipping ouzo and swimming in the warm Aegean sea, then browse the boutiques of Skala before dining late at local tavernas serving vineleaf dolmades and stifado.


Keep to the gritty path (ignore any grassy options). After yet another gate an old quarry (right) is passed where the path becomes wide enough for vehicles. An open grassy area is reached, with swathes of rosebay willowherb in summer and an all-year east-west view on a grand scale. The path loops round and back, to eventually run parallel to a minor road which is joined at a junction, with Beecraigs signed. (From the panoramic area there’s a bench above the track, and behind it a grassy path heads more directly up to the exit of Hillhouse Wood.) Head down the tarred road past the restaurant (open for lunches, dinners) and caravan site entrance, and the Visitor Centre is off left, a log cabin structure with a grass roof. The path goes through the fields so there’s clear observation of the Highland cattle, Belted Galloways and red deer. The red deer are not tame animals but are farmed commercially just like cattle or sheep, or like the trout at the fish farm beside Beecraigs Loch where you come out. Rainbow trout are reared, may be fed, and purchased for supper. Turn left to follow the shore round and over the dam, below which lies the fish farm.

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