MUNICIPALITY OF ZAXARO
The Kaiafas thermal springs are renowned since antiquity and include two springs, Anigrides Nymphes and Geranio or Atlantides Nymphes. They flow from caves at the feet of Lapitha mountain (the larger cave of the Anigrid Nymphs, and the smaller cave Geranio Andro, where nymphs lived during antiquity) to the east coast of the Kaiafas lagoon.
Another myth mentions that the daughters of the king Proetus of Argos, Iphinoe and Iphianassa, who had unlawful relations with the oracle Melapodas, threw in the caves their cleansing waters. To avoid the rage of their father when they got pregnant, they fled to Lapitha mountain. Ancient Greek doctors, travelers and geographers mention that in antiquity the area’s residents were the first to use the springs for medicinal purposes. The Kaiafas thermal springs especially, are thoroughly mentioned by Strabo and Pausanias.
During Byzantine times and the Turkish occupation, we have no information regarding the thermal springs. After the liberation of the Greek state, the Kaiafas thermal springs were used again in a primitive way.
Today there is no river, but in its place there is a lake adding to the beauty of the landscape.
The systematic operation of the baths started in 1907 when the railway line opened and Kaiafas became more accessible. The Kaiafas thermal springs are now connected also by a bus line.
Since the 1960’s and until 1999, the baths belonged to the Greek Tourist Organization and were operated under its supervision, while earlier than that they were managed by private individuals.
In 2000, they were transferred to and are managed until today by the State Enterprise called: PUBLIC PROPERTIES COMPANY.
Location — Description
The Kaiafas thermal springs are situated south of the Ilia prefecture, at the feet of Lapitha mountain, in a wonderful area covering about 550 hectares, with a coast of 3.5 km, on the Kaiafas lake, at Loutra, which is just 25 km away from the archaeological site of Olympia.
The combination of forest, lake, sea and thermal healing baths, adds unique characteristics to this property.
The property includes the Kaiafas forest which has been designated as a landscape of natural beauty and is listed in the National NATURA 2000 directory.
Healing Properties of the Kaiafas Baths:
The building was renovated quite recently (2007 – 2008) and has apart from the common areas, reception and waiting areas, a doctor’s office, private bathtubs (13) and an outdoor pool.
The Anigrides Nymphes spring has a sodium hydrochloride composition with free hydrogen sulphide in large quantities. The cave (spring) is divided in two parts, the large and the small one. At the large one the temperature ranges from 32ο to 35ο C, while at the small one, from 29ο to 34ο C.
The water springs from the ground, at some points hot and at other points cold, it is mixed creating a natural hammam, and is recommended for the following conditions:
- Conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system (lower-back morbidity, ischialgia, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, cervical syndrome, spondyloarthritis, psoriatic rheumatism), gynecological and skin diseases.
- At a distance of about 200 m is the Gerani thermal spring, the waters of which are ideal for positherapy (water drinking therapy).
Spring Water Chemical Composition:
Temperature 32οC – 34οC
Potassium Nitrate KNO3 0.01445 g
Potassium Chloride Kcl 0.4617 g
Sodium Chloride Nacl 12.190 g
Sodium Bromide NaB2 0.01112 g
Sodium Iodide Nal 0.000322 g
Lithium Chloride Licl 0.000929 g
Ammonium Chloride NH4cl 0.00824 g
Sodium Hydrosulphate NaHS 0.000224 g
Sodium Thiosulphate Na2S2O2 0.001295 g
Calcium Chloride Cac12 0.7504 g
Calcium Sulphate CaSO4 1.4646 g
Magnesium Sulphate MgSO4 1.5885 g
Magnesium Bicarbonate ( MgHCO3 ) 2 0.00289 g
Clay Hydrophosphorus (A2CHPO4)3 0.000072 g
Manganese Bicarbonate (MNCHCO3)2 0.00380 g
Clay Sulphate Al2 (SO4)3 0.000499 g
Metasilicic Acid H2 SiO3 0.0254 g
Metaboracic Acid HBO2 0.00145 g
SUM 165.233 g
Free Carbonic Acid Co2 0.2039 g
Free Hydrogen Sulphide 0.0488 g
Free Nitrogen 0.0102 g
SUM OF ALL ELEMENTS 16.7862 g
Facilities – Nearby Accommodation Facilities
• Hydrotherapy centre (1 outdoor swimming pool with thermal spring water for kinesiotherapy treatments, 13 private bathtubs, doctor’s room, waiting areas)
• Hotel Olympia, 2*, Rooms: 18 (36 beds), the rooms are equipped with air-condition, refrigerator, television, and offer views to the Kaiafas lake. Their private baths are equipped with showers.
• The hotels are built on the lake’s islet, on an oblong strip of land 1,300 m long and 100 m wide, connected with the dry land by a narrow stone bridge, 85 m long. Near the hotels there are coffee shops and restaurants.
• On the islet there are also outdoor wooden structures for sports activities organized in the lake.
Access — Operation Period:
• The Kaiafas Thermal Springs can be visited by car or train. The Kaiafas Thermal Springs Hydrotherapy Centre is located at Kaiafas, on the borders of the Municipality of Zacharo and is 27 km away from Pyrgos and about 25 km away from Ancient Olympia.
• The Kaifas Thermal Springs operates from the beginning of June until the end of October.