Santorini Hot Springs

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Location: Nea Kameni

The Hot Springs of Santorini: A journey to Santorini would undoubtedly be incomplete without a visit to the hot springs gushing near the shores of the uninhabited Palia Kameni and Nea Kameni islets. No wonder they have been ranked among the top twenty natural spas in all of Europe!

The only way to get there is through one of the tour boats that set off from the old port of Fira or from Athinios Port. Then, from your vessel, you will need to swim for about 50 meters across the open water. On Nea Kameni, you will also get the unique chance to walk on the volcano amid the lunar landscape formed by the lava and take in the unparalleled view. The landscape of Palia Kameni is also out of this world, as the red, black and blue of the earth sharply contrasts with the dazzling white of a small chapel dedicated to Agios Nikolaos, the patron saint of mariners.

Having literally emerged from the depths of the sea in the late 1500s after a series of tremendous eruptions, these two tiny islands form part of the volcano’s crater, right at the heart of the impressive caldera. The sign that you are entering the hot springs is a change in the color of the waters, as the cobalt blue hues gradually give their place to murky brown, reddish, or orange shades. This is perfectly normal, as the springs are rich in sulfur, manganese and iron; when iron is exposed to oxygen, it transforms into brown-colored colloidal particles, hence the muddy aspect of the waters. Though you would expect them to be hot, this is actually far from being the case; they are pleasantly warm, their temperature ranging between 30 and 35℃ even in winter. Bathing here is truly invigorating and can be highly beneficial for a number of ailments, including rheumatism, arthritis, muscle stiffness, musculoskeletal tension, fascia injuries and joint pain, as well as various skin disorders like dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis.

Fun fact: Santorini once had a reputation for being the most vampire-infested place in the world! Legend has it that the local ‘ghost-busters’ used to banish the dreaded vrikolakes to these two volcanic islets.

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What you need to know

•The closer you get to the shore, the more slippery the rocks and the ground become, so proper swimming shoes are necessary.
•Be sure to wear an old or dark-colored swimsuit that you don’t care too much about, and leave your jewellery at home since they are more than likely to be permanently colored due to the sulfur. It would also be a good idea to bring a spare swimming costume and slip it back on the boat. Your skin will not remain unaffected by a yellowish coloring either, but you don’t have to worry, as this will soon wear off.
•Do not be alarmed if you notice the water bubbling; the visit is entirely safe. Temperature alterations allow scientists to predict the next eruption several months or even a whole year before it actually occurs.


Bonus: The hot springs of Plaka

Hot springs can also be found south of Fira, in the area of Plaka. Before the island became a famous attraction, they used to be the most popular ones in Santorini. Now they are mostly visited by professors and university students analyzing the volcano. To get there, take the bus to Megalochori village and follow a dirt road up to Artemis Hotel. On the right side, there is a column where you need to turn left, heading towards the caldera. Follow the path to Agios Nikolaos Bay, come down the slope and you will see eight adjacent rooms. These are the Plaka hot springs.

How to get there

The hot springs of Palea and Nea Kameni are located between Santorini and Thirassia.

Tours: Discover the volcano and the hot springs with an organized tour, at the best price!
Some tours to the volcano depart from the port of Athinios and from Gialos, the old port of Fira.
Athinios port is connected to Fira and other villages of Santorini, by bus or by an online pre-booked transfer service (with a taxi, minibus, or private VIP car).
Gialos, the old port of Fira, can be reached by a cable car or on foot from Fira (walking the 588 steps of the old Karavolades Stairs).

Private Boat: You can reach the hot springs with a private yacht or a rented one.



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