Hot Springs To Visit On A Mediterranean Sailing Holiday
These hot spring destinations are some of the most beautiful, idyllic and soul-cleansing experiences to explore whilst sailing. Whether in Turkey anchored besides the semi-submerged ruins of ancient hamams or sailing the circumference of stunning volcanic islands in Italy, these are our 6 must-visit hot springs when on your Mediterranean sailing holiday.
Kalymnos is rugged and dramatic, mountainous and breathtaking, and while it’s the fabulous mountain topography that draws in the huge numbers of climbers each year, it’s the rejuvenating waters of Therma Beach that are truly worth sailing here for. You’ll find the warm spring waters of the thermal spa on a small but pretty beach on the south of the island close to the main port at Pythia. And if you intend to do a little climbing on Kalymnos, then you’ll be glad to know that the hot springs here are said to help with the post-climb muscle aches as much as they do with arthritis and rheumatism.
Perched on the banks of the Dalyan river and just a little west of Marmaris, Dalyan offers atmospheric ruins, idyllic waterways and a vibrant bouquet of inviting natural attractions to explore. Its sulphur-rich hot springs and mud baths are renowned for their healing and rejuvenation benefits and are believed to treat or cure everything from skin and liver complaints to rheumatism. Try the bubbling mineral-heavy mud pools at Sultaniye Thermal Bath on the southwest shore of Lake Köyceğiz, and then head to the riverside for views of the mesmerising tombs of ancient Kaunos that are carved into the cliffside and look especially ethereal under the orange glow of a sunset.
The southernmost island of Sicily’s Aeolian Islands, Vulcano never fails to impress visitors with its volcanic charms. Each day it sends plumes of smoke into the air from the Fossa di Vulcano crater on its northeastern shores while fumaroles and sulphuric mud pots gush with steam on every corner of the island. Amongst all this activity, you’ll find a nice collection of hot springs and mud baths at the Terme di Vulcano, which is essentially a warm volcanic lake and a collection of dug out grottos that are especially therapeutic for those suffering from joint problems and respiratory diseases. Beach lovers should anchor their yacht close to the delightful volcanic beach at Gelso, which offers an awe-inspiring aesthetic contrast between the rich azure of the Tyrrhenian Sea, the stark greys of the volcanic rocks and the surprisingly lush greens of the island’s thriving interior.
Procida & Ischia, Italy
As one of the Bay of Naple’s smallest islands, you could easily miss Procida, if not for the delightful collection of pastel pinks, greens, yellows and blues that the seafront houses are painted in. And while the island isn’t known for hot springs (just its beautiful, laid back, lost-in-time atmosphere), its big sister Ischia right next door is. We suggest stopping off first at the underwater-volcano-heated hot pools in the Sorgeto cove on Ischia before weighing anchor to sail towards Procida Harbour just in time for sunset.
Remote, naturally beautiful and radiating an addictive air of relaxation, Ikaria in the Dodecanese Islands is simply stunning. Stop here for a day and it could easily turn into a week as you walk along its windswept beaches and stop for wine in charming little villages that feel as though they haven’t changed for generations (and they probably haven’t). But beneath the surface, Ikaria’s tectonic makeup has blessed it with more than just natural beauty, it has endowed it with a curative collection of thermal springs that gush from faults into the seawater above, around both the southeast and northeast coasts. The waters here are suggested for a long list of complaints: from gout and gynecological diseases to sciatica and anxiety, but intriguingly Ikaria is also one of few places in the world (along with Okinawa in Japan and the Nicoya peninsula in Costa Rica) where an average 1 in 3 people are expected to live in to their 90’s, so perhaps longevity should be added to the list….
Cleopatra’s Baths, Turkey
Close to the picturesque coastal city of Göcek, the half-submerged ruins of Cleopatra’s Baths are shrouded in mystery and legend. Rumoured to be a gift from Marc Antony to Cleopatra by some, said to be the simple remnants of a monastery by others, there’s actually only one thing that historians agree on, and that is that Cleopatra visited here….twice. The hot springs that once fed the bay from a crater lake behind the hills are full of magnesium and calcium, and therefore said to be healthy for the skin and if we’re to believe the hype, beautifying. Today though Cleopatra’s Baths are little more than a collection of striking antique arches and broken walls emerging from what are truly sublime turquoise waters. And if nothing else, a beautiful spot for a swim.