Greeks have been enjoying thermal springs since ancient times. Philosophers would praise their qualities in helping improve a person’s state of wellness, especially when combined with the Mediterranean food and the mild local weather.
There are thermal and mineral therapeutic springs across the country, a perfect opportunity for those wanting to relax but, above all, for people willing to treat different medical conditions.
Volcanic soil is common in many different Greek regions, found in some of the Aegean Sea islands (Santorini, Nisiros, Patmos, Milos, Lesvos, Limnos, Kos and Aegina), on the Methana Peninsula in the Peloponnese, as well as in northern Greece (central and East Macedonia and Thrace).
Volcanic soil covers little less than 2,700 square kilometers (1,042 square miles) of Greece, which means about 2.1 percent of the total area of the country. This represents an opportunity in the touristic niche of thermal springs and health tourism.
Volcanism has manifested in several regions and it is believed to relate to the convergence of the Eurasian and African tectonic plates. Extensive volcanic activity in the Aegean region has produced a great variety of volcanic rocks of different composition.
The majority of these rocks are acid to intermediate in composition while basic volcanic rocks, consisting of basalt and basaltic andesites, cover various isolated areas in the Aegean islands.
Due to this type of soil composition, Greece counts many mineral and thermal springs; in fact, over 750 thermal springs have been counted.
Thermal springs are differentiated according to the metallic and chemical elements in their composition as well as on the temperature of the water. Other properties are also taken into account — this means that they can be chlorate or hydrochloric acid, acid, radioactive, or sulfide.
Studies on this data lead experts to classify the different sources according to the diseases for which they are indicated.
The Hellenic Association of Thermal Springs has embarked on a systematic effort to characterize and issue official licenses to 48 natural healing springs according to modern specifications in an effort to boost thermal tourism in Greece.