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Lesvos: More Than Just Another Greek Island
Thermal Baths at Polychnitou

Listed as the hottest mineral springs in Europe, the Polychnitou baths themselves and the area surrounding them is like visiting another planet where rivers boil and leave residues of brilliant colors and formations.

The bath house itself is open daily but their hours vary, particularly in the winter when they are only open a few hours a day in the late afternoon. You can phone or fax them or get the concierge at your hotel or your travel agent to contact them. Generally in the months of July and August they are open daily from 7:00 to Noon and then from 3:00 until 8:00 pm. For more info phone or FAX (22520) 42678.  I recommend staying at the Hotel Aphrodite Beach in nearby Vatera which is about a ten minute drive to the baths. There is bus service or you can get a taxi but I recommend renting a car so you can come whenever you want and visit some of the other spas on the island.

The old bridge over the stream

The current bath house 

The room is lit by shafts of light that come through the small windows

Notice the small clock on the wall so you don't stay in too long

There are rooms to rent here.

These streams come from boiling springs and are too hot to touch

People do a sort of breathing therapy around this pond of boiling hot mineral water.

Andrea and Amarandi relax in the warm water

Old Turkish bath


There is a warning not to touch the water of the stream which is boiling hot and leaves colorful sediment along it's bed.

Erica is no longer the caretaker but it is because of the hard work of she and her husband that the baths at Polychnitou are what they are today.

Sacred Water, The Mineral Springs of Lesvos

Sacred Water of LesvosPhotographic album. Texts: G. Maniotis, G. Doukakis, Tz. Hadjidimitriou. Hard cover, 144 pages. 1st edition 1996. Price 25 euro

A book with poetic images from the old “Baths” of Lesvos that hosted generations of the local community, the old Turkish hamam of the town of Mytilene before it’s renovation and Sarlitza, the old, glorious hotel of the beginning of last century before it got destroyed by time.

Light within old buildings slips in waves through small windows, and sprawls upon eroded walls, is born again by them, murking the eyes of uninvited guests. For years, light was the sole observer of all that went on behind fractured shutters. Guard and lover of the unique beauty, which dripped slowly, like the drops on greening walls. In these closed bath chambers breath merged with vapour. And thought would be lost, would spread, as the light did on perspiring bodies. Without knowing what awaited me, one morning, out of curiosity I asked to see the «baths». Many years have passed since that first time, when the wet scent of water enveloped  me, together with the light that came in generously through small windows by the sea. I followed the ritual. Washed in the niche from which the water rushed, and sank into the green, warm, indistinct liquid, cupped in the stine basin. Words often times are insufficient in expressing sensations. Thereafter, I sought all hidden springs abundant on the island, and again and again I abandoned myself to that sensation of deliverance within their waters, under the slight light, which slipped through the apertures in the dome, or at times gushed in catalytically through the windows of the sea.

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