Lesvos Island, a therapeutic haven, is home to numerous historic bathhouses, each offering a unique blend of healing and relaxation. From the volcanic-fed Polichnitos Baths, boasting among Europe’s warmest waters, to the divine spring of Skala Thermi, these sites provide relief from a plethora of ailments.
Located amidst natural beauty, these baths offer rich mineral waters renowned for their restorative properties. Whether you’re seeking respite from health concerns or a serene retreat, Lesvos’ diverse thermal baths promise an immersive experience in wellness.
Perched 60 meters above sea level near the Almyropotamos riverbanks, the baths are fed by numerous springs that flow through primary and secondary volcanic porous rocks. With water temperatures varying from 67°C to 92°C, these European baths are among the warmest and are enriched with natural radon irradiation ranging between 15 and 25 MACHE units. Rich in sodium chloride, the baths are comparable to Germany’s Visbaden Springs.
Nestled under towering eucalyptus trees, the baths and pools occupy a series of low-rise structures. These historic buildings, which have been operational for many years, have been renovated to accommodate modern requirements and feature both old and new water channels. The Polichnitos thermal baths have been utilised since the Turkish era and have been operating with two pools since 1959. The transparent and odourless water is enriched with carbonic acid, chloride and sulfate, sodium and calcium salts, free carbon dioxide, iron, magnesium, and manganese compounds, as well as oxygen and traces of iodine and bromine.
These springs are recommended for alleviating chronic rheumatism, arthritis, skin conditions, sciatica of the hip joint, myalgic pain, womb-related illnesses, lymphatic diseases, and general gynaecological issues. The surrounding area teems with vibrant, steaming streams, boiling ponds, and the stone remnants of old bathhouses. The main bathhouse houses two comfortably heated pools designated for male and female use. Additionally, the baths offer massage therapy and a cafe serving local, natural food and beverages. Open until 8 pm, this bathhouse is a must-visit if time is limited.
Dating back to the early 20th century, the Thermi baths can be found on the Gulf of Yera, believed to be established on the site of a former temple dedicated to Hera. Renovation work has been mindful of preserving the baths’ original architectural style. The healing waters cater to numerous health issues, encompassing rheumatism, arthritis, bronchitis, kidney stones, heart attack prevention, diabetes management, neurasthenia, uterine conditions, hip joint sciatica, digestive disorders, bronchial problems, and a variety of gynaecological matters. The separate baths for men and women at this site represent the largest of their kind on the island.
These historically significant baths date back to ancient times and were once believed to be the divine spring of the goddess Artemis. They are known for providing relief for a variety of ailments, such as rheumatism, arthritis, sciatica, neuralgia, kidney and gallstones, gynaecological issues, hypertension, circulatory disorders, liver diseases, lymphatic problems, spleen enlargement, cirrhosis, paralysis, periostitis, rachitis, and arterial hardening. Additionally, the mineral waters are inhaled to alleviate chronic bronchial catarrh, pharyngeal catarrh, and eustachian tube issues. Behind the relatively modern bathhouse, featuring individual bathtubs, lie the ancient baths. Though now closed to the public and marred by litter and debris, they are still worth a visit. The beach town of Skala Thermi itself boasts several spacious cafes near the waterfront and two exceptional fish tavernas at the fishing boat docks. Please note that this spa is temporarily closed.
The Eftalou Springs are home to a recently modernised bathhouse, providing a choice of private tubs or communal bathing areas. These esteemed baths are celebrated for their healing properties, addressing various health concerns such as rheumatism, arthritis, sciatica, neuralgia, skin disorders, and gynaecological problems, as well as kidney and gallstone issues. The springs’ prime location near Molyvos adds to their appeal.
Guests can indulge in a revitalising swim in the sea or unwind along the coast, where the thermal mineral water merges with the ocean as it seeps through the rocks. A well-tended pathway connects the bathhouse and the adjacent beach. The contemporary baths are fitted with tubs and taps, enabling bathers to regulate the water temperature to their preference. On the other hand, the traditional bathhouse houses an age-old tub akin to a small pool, filled with intensely hot water that isn’t commonly bearable to dip into for longer than 20 seconds.
Panayia I Krifti
Descending towards the small church of Panagia I Kryfti (“The Hidden Mother Virgin”), you will come across a stone building containing three rooms inhabited by boats, as well as five smaller rooms that once functioned as vestries. From these rooms, stairs lead to a coast, where a crack reveals the entrance to a small cave. Inside, a little lake filled with hot water awaits. Many visitors arrive by boat, stopping several meters away and swimming or using a smaller boat to reach the shore. Alternatively, you can access the location by land, with a 57-kilometre journey from Mytilini Town and a dirt road from Melinda, the nearest settlement.
Located nearby are the therapeutic Lisvori hot springs, offering mineral bath facilities positioned along the banks of a stream flowing into Kalloni Bay. These rejuvenating waters are beneficial for conditions such as rheumatism, arthritis, sciatica, gynaecological concerns, and dermatological issues. Be advised that this spa is temporarily closed.
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