With more than 250 days of guaranteed sunshine a year and over 200 islands, the Mediterranean country of Greece is well known for sea and sand vacations. Yet there’s so much more to the country than a summer getaway — Greece also boasts award-winning spas. Known for their medicinal and therapeutic benefits since antiquity, whether you choose to experience one that’s among the top 10 spas in the world, another that nurtures the environment and nature of the Peloponnese, or share warm waters with skin nibbling Garra rufa fish, you won’t be disappointed with the choices each offer.
I share with you 3 unique spa experiences in Greece to help you plan your spa vacation. I have experienced all 3, either on a complimentary or discounted basis during my time living here in Greece.
1. Thermae Sylla Spa — Aidipsos, Evia Island
Aidipsos is a coastal spa town surrounded by mountainous scenery on the north coast of Greece’s second-largest island, Evia. Famous for its healing properties since the 4th century, the town boasts more than 80 natural thermal springs with water drawn from natural wells as deep as 9,800 feet and ranging in temperature from 82 to 187 degrees Fahrenheit.
It’s here you’ll find one of the top ten spas in the world — Thermae Sylla.
The first modern hotel in the town was built over 120 years ago. Over the years, Thermae Sylla attracted famous guests such as Winston Churchill and Aristotle Onassis, to name a few, and is popular for its natural underground spa water which fills its pools. Therapeutic and medical treatments such as massage, mud therapy, physiotherapy, and natural nutrition therapies, are popular, or simply come to enjoy a hammam and swim in its spa water outdoor and indoor pools. You can also relax in spa water hot pools in the sea, just outside the hotel.
In the evening, dine on the deck at the front of the hotel as you watch the sun slowly bleed into the Mediterranean.
Away from spa activities, the region itself offers much to explore; from Syllas Cave where the Roman General Syllas cured arthritis in his legs and where you’ll also find ancient Greek inscriptions that pay tribute to the Roman leaders of the time, including Caesar.
Thermae Sylla can also organize unique day trips slightly further afield to the unique 11th-century Monasteries of Meteora — built atop the unique rock formations and a UNESCO protected site — or to Delphi, the Navel of the Universe where the Temple of the God of Apollo stands.
All in all, if you’re looking for a specific treatment, a relaxing break at an award-winning spa on a Greek island a mere 3 hours from Athens or to also explore the wider region, then you can’t go wrong with choosing Thermae Sylla Spa.
Pro Tip: Be sure to book your spa appointments in advance. You’ll have to fill out a comprehensive health questionnaire and bring a swim cap, no one is allowed into the pools without one. Simple hats can be bought while there.
Also, Evia is a mountainous island, so the best route is to drive the majority of the journey from Athens along the National Road E75 (it has tolls) along the mainland until reaching the coastal town of Arkitsa, then take the short car ferry straight to Aidipsos. It’s much less hairraising — or let the bus take the strain. There are several daily departures.
2. Euphoria Retreat — Mystras, Peloponnese
Ancient castle towns, Byzantine monasteries, the Taygetos mountain range, and pine-clad forests are just a few of the wonders awaiting you when you take a vacation in the Peloponnese region of mainland Greece. It’s here that the 13th Century UNESCO World Heritage fortified castle town of Mystras lies with its plethora of Byzantine monasteries and spiritual feel, a perfect spot for Greece’s first well-being spa.
Created in 2018, Euphoria is the vision of ex-banker Marina Efraimoglou. She suffered adverse physical health and was keen to assist people on their own healing journey. The spa is a symbiosis of Chinese medicine and ancient Greek philosophy.
The location of Mystras is in an ancient setting, hence Euphoria’s 45 rooms/suites are tastefully decorated to mirror that of the stone honeyed hues of the natural surroundings. The architecture is one with the landscape.
There is a choice of several Wellness Programs that can be booked at Euphoria such as “Feel Alive Again” — a 3-night post-pandemic program that aims to release any negative emotions, stress, tension, and anxiety. It incorporates treatments such as dance therapy, meditation, and expressive movement while also making use of the unique facilities such as the outdoor infinity pool or the Cave Therapy Salt Room. The Salt Room has one wall made entirely of salt where you sit in a sauna environment and allow the wall to emanate a natural disinfectant with antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. The Waterwell Kneipp treatment includes hot and cold foot baths to promote circulation throughout the body.
Eschewing those, simply relax and enjoy the natural surroundings by taking a walk in the forest or a stroll around the beautiful traditional village of Mystras where you can watch daily life or visit one of the several churches for inspiration.
Its location in Mystras is a mere 10 miles from Sparta, one of the strongest city-states in ancient Greece and famous as the location for the Peloponnesian War between Sparta and Athens. Be sure to also make time to explore Sparta, a fascinating city that has helped shape Greek history during your stay at Euphoria.
Pro Tip: Euphoria Retreat is one of Europe’s leading wellbeing destination spa hotels — be sure to book in advance.
3. Lake Vouliagmeni — Athens Riviera, Athens
You don’t have to travel far from Greece’s capital to have a unique spa experience. If you’re vacationing in Athens, first select your accommodation among 7 incredible boutique hotels. Athens offers a plethora of activities for both the first time and returning visitor. What many miss out on, and shouldn’t, is the Athens Riviera — a coastal stretch extending from the port of Piraeus to the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion. It’s along this coastal stretch that you’ll find the unique, natural spa called Lake Vouliagmeni.
It’s known to be a geological phenomenon, formed after the roof of a cave collapsed due to erosion caused by high water. In its place is now a brackish freshwater/seawater lake whose warm spa waters — freshwater coming from the surrounding mountains and salt from the coastal waters — combine to make year-round water temperatures of between 70-77 degrees Fahrenheit, making year-round swimming possible.
The water is rich in minerals such as hydrogen sulfide and also has a plethora of Garra rufa — skin nibbling “doctor” fish. This combines to make the lake a very healthy alternative swimming spot along the Athenian coast.
Pro Tip: Just 30 minutes by car or 45 minutes by public transport from Athens city center,
Vouliagmeni Lake is not a resort, hence no hotel is there. But the Four Season Astir Palace is a perfect place to base yourself, plus only a short hop from the city.
These 3 unique spa experiences in Greece plus ancient sites, award-winning beaches, and breathtaking island views prove that the country has much to offer the visitor. Add a spa experience to your Greece vacation for an unforgettable holiday.
Take note of these other possibilities in the Greek islands: