It was as early as 2,000 years BC that the first thermal springs in Greece were used for healing pain and various diseases. In fact, it is said that Hippocrates had springs with healing water in the Asklepieion (healing centre) of Kos. These springs were also found in other centres, so that patients could take their bath in special tubs with mineral water.
These thermal springs in Greece continue to give therapeutic water till today. Many people visit these springs for special therapies and this is actually a kind of tourism (therapeutic tourism) that is gradually developing in Greece. Some springs are open-air like natural pools, while others have more organized facilities.
Loutraki Hydrotherapy Centre
After its recent renovation in 2010, the Thermal Spa Centre of Loutraki Peloponnese has become a very popular therapeutic place. The springs of Loutraki are famous since the ancient times and in fact the myth says that even the gods of Olympus used to go there for refreshment and rejuvenation.
The modern facilities of the centre are pretty impressive and include both indoor and outdoor spaces. Treatments include hydrotherapy bathtubs, hydrotherapy swimming pool, sauna, steam baths, drinking therapy and mud therapy, among others. Only 1 hour drive from Athens, the location of Loutraki is very convenient and provides a good base for excursions in Peloponnese.
Edipsos Thermal Springs
Located on the northern side of Evia island, the thermal springs of Edipsos are even mentioned in the ancient works of Plutarch and Strabo. From first sight, it is obvious that the entire town is strongly connected to mineral therapy. There are about 80 springs with temperature from 30 to 86 degrees centigrade, which is actually very hot. At the end of the pedestrian port promenade of Edipsos, there are coves with mineral water that get very frequented as they are open and free. Passing by, you will smell the characteristic smell of the springs.
At the end of these coves, there is the Hydrotherapy Centre of Edipsos. The good thing is that in this town you also have many other opportunities for mineral bathing. Apart from the impressive Thermae Sylla Spa Hotel, many other smaller hotels in the town have pools or baths with mineral water, which is very convenient for visitors.
Pozar Aridea Thermal Spa
The spa town of Aridea, located on the north western side of Greece, is almost unknown to foreigners (and to many Greeks actually!). Only the last years has the region started to develop as a tourist place, although the thermal waters of Pozar spring from the ancient times, always at a stable temperature of 37oC. Some springs are open-air, while many hotels also have hydrotherapy pools and bathtubs.
Thermals of Killini
The Thermal Springs of Killini are mostly famous for mud therapy. The impressive thing about these open-air thermals is that they are found (and used) inside an archaeological site. The site hosts ancient remains from a sanctuary of healing god Asclepius and also remains from Roman times, which shows that the thermals were famous since the antiquity. People swim in the springs and get fully covered with mud as part of their therapy.
These are the most basic thermal centres in Greece, but there are many more such springs all around the country. To find out about other thermal springs, check our section on Therapeutic Tourism.