Deep below the earths surface in the village of Therma near Agios Kyrikos in Ikaria bubbles hot springs rich in radium and other minerals. The best way to experience these is to visit the natural and established thermal baths. Ikaria has the most potent thermal waters in the world and not many people know about it. Ikaria has recently been named as a blue zone area of the planet for the longevity of some of the locals with many living over 100 years old.
Some of the locals don’t even believe this, and many don’t use the hot springs. I met mostly people from all over Greece and abroad coming to use them.
The Natural Sauna/Steam Room and Spa
Take a short walk along the right next to the beach and look for the ‘Jacuzzi’ sign.
Therma has the most amazing natural sauna/steam room. Its a combination of both in my opinion. Without the water spray pipes turned on, it’s a sauna to me. When the pipes go on, it’s like a wet sauna. It’s literally a hot cave using no electricity. When finished the allotted 15 minutes, there is a very hot or lukewarm spa using the radium waters. It really relaxes tense muscles.
The Friendly Fisherman
Stavros from Agios Kyryakos reminded me of Zorba the Greek. You’ll see him in both villages.
He has a great habit of befriending anyone who is female, young and helpless which happens often as its very hard to obtain information. I found him hilarious.
I found out a few hours before I was leaving about the tourist information shop “Go Ikaria” which has two English people who have decided to start a new life in Ikaria in order to help promote this wonderful place. They are situated next to the bakery.
The blue tavern on the left as you walk down to the sea makes the best Gigantes (giant Lima baked in the oven beans) in Greece. I couldn’t get over the flavour. They need to make gigantes daily.
Another great thing about Therma is the radium baths in the centre. You can only soak for 20 minutes a day because of the high concentration of radium. I had one of these, plus the spa and a dip in Lefkados hot springs near the town of Agios Kyrakos all in one day and lived to tell the tale.
If you like hiking there is a path to the old Roman baths and natural springs beyond that.
Accommodation in the low season is cheap and I found a place for 10 euros a night for what I consider a really nice clean room. See the owner of the blue tavern or Nikos at the Information Centre.
Communism on Ikaria
The Ikarians don’t want a lot of tourism or development on their island. It’s a socialist communist island. None of the Tavernas in Therma have English menus as that’s just making it way too easy for tourists. You’re stuffed if you don’t speak Greek.
I found Therma under-developed. I don’t have a photo but above the beach looks like what used to be an amazing vintage hotel. A five star hotel could easily fit in here. I hope Therma will do some more development.
Would I visit Therma again? Yes, but this time I’d head straight for the information shop and talk to Nikos.