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Enjoy Greece's hot springs and take the waters where the ancient Greeks bathed 2500 years ago.
If you want to take advantage of the enticing holiday deals on offer in Greece since the bailout last May, but have already done the sun, sea and sand package, why not take a lesson from the locals and visit one of the country’s therapeutic hot springs? Considered to be one of Greece’s best-kept secrets, most of the country's 700 mineral-rich therapeutic sites are near well-known archaeological sites, reports the Los Angeles Times, so you can get the best of both worlds, bathing in waters said to cure back pain and skin diseases while learning about the country's past.
The sites have been a draw since ancient times and luxury spas have now been built at many, but one mineral-rich, open-air therapeutic site bubbling with hot springs that’s free, is at the Lake at Vouliagmeni, half an hour’s drive south of Athens. Even in winter the water stays at 27º centigrade. The ruins of the Sanctuary of Hera, where, in Greek mythology Medea buried her murdered children when she fled Corinth, lie on its shores.
But if you want to be pampered there are a number of hydrotherapy resort towns near the ancient city of Lamia, whose numerous springs are said to cure sciatica and bronchitis, as well as doing wonders for the skin. Or take a ferry to the island of Evia which has over 80 hot springs. Try the Thermae Sylla Spa & Wellness Hotel at Edipsos, the island's main spa town, famed for its algae treatments.
Remember that not only can you expect up to a 20% discount on accommodation this year in Greece, but the Greek Parliament has reduced V.A.T. (value-added tax) charged on hotel bills from 11 percent to 6.5 percent to attract tourists.