We start our hike in the village of Polichnitos. We walk on a narrow asphalt road passing a number of olive presses and and a small camp for Greek soldiers on National Service, before reaching the Hot Springs of Polichnitos. The Hot Springs are well known and highly appreciated by locals and visitors. The facility consists of two bath houses built during the Turkish occupation, modernized more recently, the original ancient buildings, the wells and springs outside and a beautiful old three-arched bridge worth seeing. The healing and relaxing effect of the hot mineral-rich water is remarkable. The clear and odorless water comes out of the ground at a temperature of 67 - 92 oC and is naturally cooled to around 40 oC for the baths. It is rich in minerals and said to be effective against a number of diseases and ailments. The quality of the thermal water is comparable to the famous mineral springs of Wiesbaden in Germany or Bath Spa in England. You will have the chance for a bath at the end of the tour.
First, however, we walk over the old bridge leaving the spa behind and continue through a varied landscape. On ancient paths we hike along a riverbed and majestic, old olive groves. Our route takes us to the garden oasis Agios Georgios with its small monastery. If we are lucky, someone is there and we can look around the beautiful garden. In any case, we use the opportunity to take a rest under some shady trees. We continue now on one of the high plateaus of the island - about 200m above sea level. Moving onward, we have stunning views of the Gulf of Kalloni and the mountain village of Lisvori. Finally we reach the monastery Damandriou - where ice cold drinks are waiting for us.
The monastery dates from the Byzantine period, decayed over the years and was probably rebuilt in the 17th century. The monastery is still in operation and can be visited – which you may like to do whilst we are here.
On our way back to the 21st century we hike over narrow paths down towards Polichnitos. At the beginning the path leads us through beautiful, old olive groves, and later through the agricultural plain of Polichnitos. Back at the Hot Springs, we have the opportunity to take a bath in the pleasant waters of the spa. Even in hot summer weather the bath is pure relaxation! Then we enjoy a light lunch on the shaded terrace, before walking back to Polichnitos.
Minimum of 2 people required, start time, meeting point or pick-up from your accommodation upon arrangement.
Price for the hike: 23€ p.p. (5 or more people) or 34€ p.p. (for 2-4 people).
The extra-charge for our exclusive-package (Coffee or refreshment at the monastery Damandriou, lunch at the Hot Springs incl. wine or beer and water; entrance fee for the spa) is 24€ per person.
Prices for larger groups (>10 people) on request.
If you want to see the monastery you need to wear appropriate clothes, like long trousers or a skirt and no bare shoulders or midriffs! (wear a sleeved top, or you could bring a cotton scarf to cover up.)
(Level of difficulty: Easy)
Total distance of the hike: 10 km, duration including stops: 6-7 hours