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The hot springs of Polichnitos

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The Municipality of Polichnitos is the result of joining the exquisite villages and settlements of Vassilika, Lisvori, Polichnitos, Skala Polichnitou, Nifida, Vrissa, Vatera and Stavros. These areas combine landscapes of exceptional natural beauty marked by the presence of man since ancient times. The Municipality of Polichnitos is located in the southwestern part of the island (45 km from the island capital, Mitilini) plumed by olive groves, pinewoods, water springs and fabulous beaches.
The name Polichnitos is a compound of the Greek words for “many traces” and according to a folk tale, numerous very small villages, primarily located on the coast, were forced to move to their present location away from the sea in fear of Saracen pirates. Their current location is surrounded by barrows and is therefore out of sight for anyone approaching the Kalloni bay and the Aegean Sea.
This location is known for the Paleolithic tools discovered here and the systematic record and study of animal fossils in the area of Vatera. Visitors can tour countless Paleochristian churches, monasteries, picturesque country tabenacles and marvel at the unique stone structures of present day settlements, the Folk Museum, the Museum of Natural History, the thermal baths of Polichnitos and Lisvori and the Kalloni bay and Almiropotamos reserves. All these sites are combined with the vastitude of the Vatera and Nifida beaches, cozy accommodations in local hotel complexes and fresh fish and shellfish picked up from the bay, ouzo and coffee, which visitors can enjoy in the numerous shops located on the beach.

Polichnitos baths

The detour to the thermal bath establishment is on the road leading from Polichnitos to Vatera.
Spa waters spout from numerous springs passing through primary and secondary volcanic porous rock. Water temperatures range between 67°C and 92°C (bath temperatures range between 42°C and 44°C) in baths enriched with natural radon irradiation in the range of 15 – 25 MACHE units and are considered to be of the warmest springs in Europe. They are rich in sodium chloride and comparable to the Visbaden springs in Germany.
The baths and pools are housed in a series of low constructions on the right, built under tall eucalyptus trees. These are the old buildings, which have been operating for numerous years, that were renovated to fit modern needs and include both old and new water channels. The water springs free and steaming hot, and as a result of thermophilic animalcules (algae) growing in it, on its way down gives the floor a beautiful red color. A little further out behind the sedge woods is another building complex that houses the oblong dormitories and vaulted old spa. The three arched bridge of Almiropotamos is yet another sight to see in the area, and one of the last ones still standing today, as is the old spring made of yellow and pink soft-stone.
The Polichnitos thermal baths have been in use since the Turkish domination and have been operating with two pools since 1959. The water is clear and odorless 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 bromium.
In addition to the baths’ relaxing properties, they are also helpful in: chronic rheumatism, arthropathies (chronic degenerative and deforming disorders), radix neuritis, chronic disk arthritis, lumbago, sciatica, skeletal deformities or post traumatic injuries, secondary skin disease, gout, peripheral vasopathies, extrapulmonary tuberculosis, chronic upper respiratory inflammatory diseases, gynecological inflammatory diseases, fallopian tube dysfunction – dysmenorrhea, female sterility and gastritis, particularly indigestion, underdeveloped flora accompanied by hypotonicity and gastric lassitude.

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