Hidden Hippy Hot Springs in Greece5 min read
All the marvels you may come upon if you only make a little detour from the main road! One such impulsive turn may lead you to the hidden hippy hot springs in Greece. Close to Nea Peramos and Nea Iraklitsa, an old abandoned public bath and the hot springs surrounding it, have become one of the well-kept secrets in the area.
The Hidden Hippy Hot Springs
Nea Iraklitsa is a trendy climbing destination for those who want to add a beach twist to their rock climbing trip. Autumn and spring are perfect for that. But winter could also provide an arena for the water and rock combo. And while the sea may not be an option, unless you are Siberian and freezing cold water is part of your comfort zone, hot springs are the place for dipping in.
“Where are we going to camp–beach or campsite?”
“What do you mean neither?”
“You will see. Just don’t forget your swimsuit!”
“It’s winter. I doubt my going for a swim in the sea.”
“Just take it. Trust me.”
And so in late February 2018, I pack both my winter sleeping bag and my bikini. Driving towards Nea Iraklitsa, some 30 minutes away from the crag, we turn and get off the main road. A snakelike alley arched with bushes and trees takes us to the gates of an abandoned thermal complex. Old buildings decorated with graffiti welcome us.
We cross the river with the car and beyond the water border, we establish camp right next to one of the many hot springs. The place is amazing–nested in a forest, made out as if of trees that can speak. Basins of different sizes spread along the river and provide the ultimate relaxation in thermal water. From slightly larger than bathtub spots, where you can have a private skinny dip party, to bigger pools where you can socialise, the place accommodates all preferences. The scenic surrounding is home to local hippies and their house—one of the abandoned buildings—is the second best attraction in the area.
When we went back later in spring, one of the main buildings was transformed into a trance nightclub. Artistic people with shades in the dark were enjoying the perks of freedom.
Hot Springs Benefits
There is barely anything better than a hot spring treat after a full day of hard climbing. More than just a feeling of relaxation, soaking in thermal water brings along collateral benefits.
Since ancient times nobles and warriors have been rejuvenating their bodies and souls through thermal treats. Given that the hippy hot springs in Greece are located by a river, it makes it perfect for a hot and cold blood circulation treatment. Add the fact that thermal water contains minerals that promote oxygen flow and you might get an insight into balneology. The word stands for treatment of diseases by bathing and has turned from a study into a million-dollar business.
Well, there are no fees here…at least not yet.
The hot water helps relieve the tension and pain in the joints and after rising your body temperature, once you are out and in the sleeping bag, a feeling of deep relaxation takes you to Dreamland. Imagine doing that after red-pointing an impossible pitch all day! The arrays of benefits that come from mineral-rich hot spring water vary from orthopedical to skin solutions. Stay active and look great!
The hidden hippy hot springs are a quiet place. Well, unless there is a techno/trance party. The inhabitants of the area are young people devoted to freedom, who live in their capsule isolated from the dreads of the world. There are many prayers flags hanging around, people meditating or nudists dipping in for a pleasurable balneological treatment.
Unfortunately, it’s hidden nature can no longer keep it away from the crowd. One can tell by the traces visitors leave behind. You know, the all-time issue of plastic bottles, packages, and paper left to decompose to the mercy of eternal time. I realise that by writing this piece I am not helping keep the place a secret, but given trouble-makers are already invading, I find it suitable to raise the problem of pollution and trash.
The place is a no-mans-land and it would be selfish not to share it with those who would appreciate it. My appeal is that you take your trash with you. It is such a little effort compared to the huge impact it will have. Here, and everywhere else you go. Let’s make sure we keep the place nice and clean, so we could go back and enjoy it as it is–cozy, hidden and magical.
If you are planning to stay the night and pitch a tent, I would suggest you cross the river with the car and do so on the other side. While there is plenty of water around, obviously, it is not drinkable. Bring water, as well as food supplies. A bottle of wine or beer may also help the process of full relaxation. Bring a hammock, if you have one, and enjoy an afternoon with a book.
I would recommend going there in late autumn, winter or early spring. Consider the moist and bring warm clothes. Also, beware the local dog gang if you have a pet or in case you leave food outside after a night’s feast. You won’t find any leftovers, I bet you! As long as you respect the place, the hippies are friendly. At the and of your stay, if you have any food or drinks left, you might leave them to the “hosts”. It is what we did and it seemed to be much appreciated.