Idyll by the sea
Mineral springs were known for their healing benefits since ancient times. Under the Romans, Emperor Neuron systematically took baths to improve his health. The ancient Greeks had the idea of connecting the Aegean and the Ionian seas through a canal. The Roman philhellene Emperor Nero was one of the first to attempt this conjunction – albeit with limited results. The project finally materialized at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. 6.5 km from the Corinthian canal there is the seaside town of Loutraki. Renowned for its mineral water springs since antiquity, Loutraki became a cosmopolitan Spa resort in the 1920s – and has never left fashion ever since. And though retaining its delightful retro feel, it also lives and breathes for the here and now. Enjoy a detoxing experience in its thoroughly modern Spa facilities; test your luck in its glamorous casino- one of the largest in Europe; try local food and drinks in its plethora of restaurants, tavernas, cafes, and bars; or just take a stroll in its waterfront promenade.
Idyll by the sea
Flanked by verdant mountains, with pine trees cascading down to the water’s edge and clear turquoise-blue waters, Porto Germeno is one of the Athenians’ favourite hideaways, with good reason. The story begins in antiquity with the erection of the city of Aigosthena, on this strategically important spot that connects the Peloponnese to Attica and Boeotia. According to historical accounts and archaeological finds, this prosperous ancient town remained in use from the Geometric period through to post-Byzantine times. The imposing remains include an 18th-meter high tower on the northeast side of the former acropolis as well as a Palaiochristian Basilica. History buffs will also be fascinated by the antique tales hiding behind these sights -such as the story of seer and healer Melambodas who spoke the language of the birds and therefore could forewarn humans. Yet historical interest aside, Porto Germeno has something for nature lovers and foodies too, with beautiful, popular beaches and some great tavernas with authentic, traditional cuisine.