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Travel

The Unique Thermal Baths in Amarantos of Konitsa Near Ioannina

July 2, 2022
By Haris Poretsis

Spa therapy

The village of Amarantos or Isvoros, the old name of the village (Isvor is a slavic word meaning spring) is located on the Greek-Albanian border at an altitude of 1,100 meters, just 30 kilometers from Konitsa and 90 kilometers from Ioannina in Epirus.

On the way to Amarantos, through a  tranquil and scenic route, one can enjoy pine trees, fir trees, beeches, mulberries, apple trees, plane trees, and Judas trees on each side of the idyllic route, all unique in Europe, as well as several springs and creeks. Five kilometers after the village there is the settlement of Amarantos and its therapeutic springs.

In the area of Amarantos, among the pines and firs, you find a small beautiful picturesque square surrounded by a few small elegant hotels and rooms for rent, four restaurants serving traditional food, and a small chapel dedicated to St.  George. There are climbing and trekking routes as well as the Amarantos thermal baths’ premises themselves.

The beneficial properties of steam baths have been known to man since ancient times and have been attracting people of all ages.

By saying thermal steam baths, we must clarify that there is no spring releasing thermal water, nor mud for body treatment – there are cracks in a large rock where hot air and steam come out. That makes the actual Amarantos baths unique in their kind.

The rock has 15 crevasses from where hot steam escapes. On the baths’ premises, there are modern facilities, with individual baths that have a maximum capacity of two people and a larger room for up to 20 people where guests have the opportunity to enjoy steam baths lasting 30 minutes. Strict hygiene rules are observed throughout the Bath facilities.

The temperature of the steam baths ranges from 33-38 °C while the humidity depends on the degree of atmospheric air mixture between 97-100%. The steam baths operate on the principle of the use of hot air that is naturally channeled from the interior of the earth, making the baths unique in their kind in Europe.

The flow of steam is natural and continuous throughout the year, making the experience one of a kind, especially in the winter months, when there is a strong difference between the bath’s temperature and that of the environment.

The steam bath’s therapeutic properties are numerous making them beneficial to health issues such as adenopathies, respiratory conditions ,asthma, bronchitis, arthropathy, rheumatism, skin diseases, neuralgia, back pain, osteoarthritis etc.

We must note that steam baths can be enjoyed not only for their healing properties but also for relaxation and wellness as a natural ‘hammam’. During the summer months a relaxing massage can be provided upon request.

The official recognition of the Amarantos baths as a thermal baths took place in 2018 following the relevant decision of the Minister of Tourism. The decision was published on 02-06-2018 in the Government’s Gazette.

Since then the steam emitted from the rocks has made the thermal baths of Amarantos famous, attracting visitors from Greece and abroad.

 

 

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