For the Greeks, thermae is an ancient word. The god Apollo and his son, Asclepios, were regarded as the patrons of the numerous hot springs [thermae], across the Greek territory. Mortal men and heroes such as Hercules visited the various thermae to cleanse their bodies and minds and seek advice or a cure for their ailment.
In time, thermal towns were built around these hot springs. Loutraki is such a town (ancient name Thermae), located very close to Corinth city in the Peloponnese region. In antiquity, the area’s thermal waters were used by Spartan troops who bathed there after battle to restore their strength. It’s a short trip from Athens well worth taking, whether you’re seeking a cure for a medical condition, or you simply want to enjoy the rejuvenating treatments offered in the town’s spas.
Closer to Athens, in the southern suburb of Vouliagmeni, Lake Vouliagmeni is a must-visit location on the beautiful Athenian Riviera. In prehistoric times, this was a cave whose roof collapsed due to the water’s high temperature, creating a beautiful lake of very deep thermal waters. The landscape includes imposing sheer rocks which rise by the lakeside and add to its beauty. The surfacing underground hot springs are rich in minerals and salts; as they mix with the nearby seawater, they constantly renew the lake’s brackish waters. While you swim, you’ll get extra treatment from the small local fish, Garra Rufa: you’ll feel a tingling sensation as they offer you skin exfoliation services! The location is a natural monument that is part of the European Natura 2000 network of protected areas. It’s the ideal natural environment for relaxing, swimming, snorkeling, training inside the water or by the lakeside, or enjoying a rejuvenating massage.
On Evia, an Aegean Sea Island very close to the Greek mainland, is Aidipsos, a seaside spa town in the northwest. The hot spring waters rise to the surface from as deep as 2.5 km inside the earth’s crust at temperatures ranging from 34-82 C°. These mineral-rich waters bubble up onshore and in the sea, or cascade down seaside rocks. Book your holiday by the sea and enjoy the treatments offered in the spas – there are several facilities to suit varying tastes, whether you want to treat a medical condition or just pamper yourself!
In the Greek North, just 40km off Edessa Town, Pella district, Macedonia, there’s a true gem, located by the foot of Mt Kaimaktsalan (or Mt Voras): the Pozar Thermal Baths. They are surrounded by luxuriant nature and steep rocks; their warm spring waters drop down the cliffs, forming waterfalls and then a river, or gather in natural pools. Enjoy bathing in the outdoor and indoor pools of the facility and choose among the other treatments, such as the hammam or the jacuzzi.
Visit Greek spa facilities and enjoy the combination of soothing treatments in hot spring waters against magnificent natural backdrops.