The baths at Edipsos, in northern Evia, have been attracting illustrious visitors for millennia. Emperors like Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius and Constantine the Great came to this small city to be healed by its waters. Aristotle himself tried to unlock the secret of their therapeutic powers. More recent celebrities who took long soaks in its restorative pools include the likes of Aristotle Onassis, Maria Callas, Greta Garbo and Omar Sharif… not to mention countless Greek politicians, shipping magnates, industrialists and artists. So why not take a dip yourself? You certainly don’t have to be a VIP to enjoy the springs’ timeless benefits.
What to do in Edipsos
Say goodbye to stress
This is the place where you’ll shed your daily preoccupations and say goodbye to stress. You’ll feel rejuvenated, your mental clarity will be restored and you’ll leave with a spring in your step and a sparkle in your eye. This holistic spa in Evia contains more than 80 springs of varying temperatures in a location where lush vegetation grows right down to the sea. At its several public and private hydrotherapy centres, and in the pools of the town’s hotels, many have found relief from chronic ailments. You can choose seawater or mineral water, mud baths, massages or simply bathe in the sea at spots where the springs pour into it.
Thermae Sylla Wellness Hotel: Luxury in style
You’ll feel pampered the moment you step into this luxurious hotel. Not only is it housed in what was the resort’s first hotel, a magnificent listed building from 1896, but it has been ranked among the world’s ten best wellness centres by Conde Nast Traveler.
A gift from the gods
The therapeutic properties of these waters were a source of inspiration for mythology. An ancient Greek myth has it that the goddess Athena asked her brother Hephaestus to create the Aidipsos springs so that her favoured hero Hercules could rest here after each of his tasks. It is also said that the goddess Hera advised Deucalion and Pyrrha to shower in the warm waters in order to produce plentiful and healthy children. Soon after, Pyrrha gave birth to Hellen, the mythological progenitor of the Hellenes.
Hidden gems of Edipsos
Edipsos: A journey back to the Belle Epoque
A leisurely stroll along the waterfront at Loutra Edipsos will transport you to the turn of the last century. Imposing period architecture is all around you. (All that’s missing are the long dresses and top hats of yesteryear.) And that deep red building, the old Agi Anargyri Hydrotherapy Centre in the heart of town, is a work of Ernst Ziller, Greece’s 19th-century celebrity architect.
You may also inspect the baths and caves of the Roman general Sulla, located behind the National Tourist Organisation’s hydrotherapy facilities. And then amble out onto the boardwalk of the Kyma hotel for a magical view of the sunset over the gulf.
So much more to do
There are other water-related activities to enjoy, like scuba diving from the Edipsos Diving Centre and fishing, but you can also go hiking and mountain biking here in the heart of Evia.