I'm traveling to Greece soon and want to know if there are any islands with undersea hot springs so I can swim even though the weather is cool?
For off-season travelers to Greece, this is a great question to answer, and a wonderful solution to chilly weather and ordinary beaches.
Greece has a number of islands where thermal springs provide natural warm-water bathing. While the surrounding water and beaches may be cold, and winds can be daunting, the mineral-rich waters are soothing. Most of them are seaside overflows of hot springs, but a few occur offshore and can only be reached by boat.
One of the most widely-known thermal bathing areas is at Santorini, on the islet of Palea Kameni, where volcanic waters warm the sea, adjacent to a pleasant little beach called Agios Nikolaos Bay which even boasts a charming chapel.
Find Santorini Hotels: Hotels on Santorini
The often-neglected large island of Evvia (Euboea), within easy reach of Athens, offers an abundance of hot springs, including several which warm the sea. The Capri Hotel is happy to help patrons discover these gems.
On Ikaria (Icaria), part of the Sporades Islands, the ancient and well-named town of Therma still offers a hot rivulet draining into the sea, providing a pleasant swimming area. Follow the path behind the Agriolycos Pension to reach the waters. Be aware - as these are known as the most radioactive waters in Greece, not all the heat may be just from the temperature!
More on Ikaria.
The island of Milos also has numerous places along the coast where warm waters run into the sea. Milos is at one of the most active geothermal fields on the planet, which is also evident from the bizarre geological formations found everywhere on the island.
Hotels on Milos
Parga Area For the opposite effect, consider a visit to Krioneri or Town Beach on the coast near Parga on the Greek mainland. There, underwater springs send up exceptionally cold water into the shoreline swimming area.
Looking for your own special spring? Any seaside town or village named "Therma" is a good place to start - the ancients loved finding hot water sources and usually would settle nearby and name the resulting village after the hot water. The same word, ayiasma, or sacred water, can refer to springs near churches and to any natural source of hot water, even more of a seeming miracle in ancient times than it is today.
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