Have you ever considered going on vacation where you could be pampered like royalty? How about like an ancient Greek deity? Perhaps you need to reduce stress and just relax? If this sound like you visit Greece’s thermal springs.
Since ancient times it was believed that thermal springs would give health, strength, a sense of well-being to the soul and help a variety of medical conditions. It was also believed to have anti-aging effect, something humans have long striven for.
Popular throughout Europe thermal spas are part of a culture and major attraction for tourists. They are found throughout Greece, Italy, Hungary, Germany, Switzerland and many other places.
However, Greece has some of the most beautiful and famous springs of all… In Greece (both inland and islands) there are more than eight hundred locations with thermal and mineral springs!
Throughout the centuries thermal hot springs have been associated with myths and legends. It is said that hydrotherapy has been practiced in Greece for more than 2,500 years! Going back in history, we find in the Hippocratic (4th century BC) and other scripts, contained a great number of references regarding water and its miraculous healing properties; bathing in hot or cold water, rubbing skin with oils and more after the hydrotherapy.
As you can research from translated ancient Greek scripts written by Hippocrates “The bath is useful in many diseases, in some of them when used steadily, and in others when not so….” and under Herodotus, the famous ancient Greek historian mentioning in his books “…he led them to a fountain, wherein when they had washed, they found their flesh all glossy and sleek, as if they had bathed in oil- and a scent came from the spring like that of violets…If the account of this fountain be true, it would be their constant use of the water from it which makes them so long-lived.”
Also Herodotus continues “… The Scythians, as I said, take some of this hemp-seed, and, creeping under the felt coverings, throw it upon the red-hot stones; immediately it smokes, and gives out such a vapor…the Scyths, delighted, shout for joy, and this vapor serves them instead of a water-bath… “
In past centuries people combined well-being, health and beauty in many ways, which is also true today. Thermal spas in modern times offer a great variety of therapies like hydrotherapy, drinking therapy, mud therapy, thalasso therapy and Swedish, Thai foot, hot stone, Indian scalp and anti-stress massage. It doesn’t just stop there. There are also other treatments like a multitude of detoxification, face and body treatments…even yoga sessions!
In many of Greece’s thermal spas you will be offered all kind of treatments for beauty and wellness. Take it from Herodotus, who once stated:
“Women make a mixture of cypress, cedar, and frankincense wood, which they pound into a paste upon a rough piece of stone, adding a little water to it… A sweet odor is thereby imparted to them, and when they take off the plaster on the day following, their skin is clean and glossy.”
Thermal springs, which are natural, vary when it comes to certain elements like water temperature (cold or hot), presence and combination of various elements (i.e. Mg, Cl, Na, Ca, K, Br, B, CO2 etc.) , radon etc.
In Loutraki Thermal Spa’s site we read “Due to the medical properties of the water, all our visitors are obliged to be examined free of charge by the Spa Doctor before prior to the use of our facilities.”. You can find useful and interesting information about Loutraki’s Thermal Spa, such as which conditions their water is suggested for, the physico-chemical analysis, the action of Radon and more.
Also, in the Characterization part of each spring in the Hellenic Association of Municipalities with Thermal Springs there are a lot of information, regarding each spring.
If you are planning a trip to Greece set aside some time to pamper yourself. With so many luxurious options to choose from:
…just to name a few. You are sure to be able to find one for your needs and budget. For a truly ancient/ old fashion hot spring experience try:
- Kaiafas in western Peloponnese
- Methana in eastern Peloponnese
- Ikaria Island in Agios Kirykos
- Kythnos and Milos Islands
You can find even more locations and information at the Hellenic Association Of Municipalities With Thermal Springs. Here you will find a handy “affection/appropriate thermal spring” grid (i.e. chronic rheumatisms, neuritis, sciatica, lumbago, gynecological ailments, infections of the skin etc.). The site also offers a very practical geographical search.
Apart your spa rejuvenation vacation, why not extend your stay in Greece and take a tour to some of the Greek wonders you should not leave the country without seeing them. The Parthenon, Delphi’s’ Oracle, Epidaurus theatre, Olympia, Meteora and more mythical sights are there, waiting to be discovered.
Enjoy your relaxing vacation at a natural spa and be pampered like a Greek god or goddess!
you might be
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. We used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult your doctor or other qualified health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. The information of this article is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information.