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5 + 1 sites to see when visiting Loutraki

Loutraki is a popular destination for both the local Greeks and tourists coming from across the world. It is a site that is well-known for its natural thermal springs, its quaint blue-flag beaches, crystal clear waters and iconic landscapes. If you are planning a visit to Athens then you absolutely need to check these idyllic locations near Loutraki. #1 Corinth canal The Corinth canal connects the Saronikos bay to the Corinthian gulf and is located 6km south of Loutraki. The original idea was proposed two millenia ago by Julius Caesar, with Emperors and Nero also attempting to construct a canal without any luck. The opening was part of a national development plan from the Greek government in the 1880’s and was completed in 1893. During the antiquity, Periandros the governor of Corinth, built an isthmus so that small ships could avoid sailing across the Peloponnese. It is an ingenious construction that was inspired by the Egyptians that can still be seen today. Slaves would haul the ships on a cobblestone road where with the help of tree trunks covered with fat any vessel could slip from gulf to bay and vice versa. #2 Club Hotel Casino Loutraki For those who are looking to combine their vacations with the quest of Lady Luck, or goddess Fortuna more appropriately, Loutraki is the place to go. It is the first ever built casino in Greece and the only with luxury 5 star hotel rooms. With €6 you can gain access to a number of games of chance like Roulette, Black Jack, Slot Machines or Poker. The drinks are on the house and there is also free food and live music. You can visit casino Loutraki everyday by taking advantage of the Express bus lines with various points of departure in Athens. #3 Lake Vouliagmeni Located about 16 kilometres northwest of Loutraki, Lake Vouliagmeni is one of the most amazing and breathtaking landmarks around Athens. The lake has warm, tempting turquoise blue waters and is 1km wide, 2km long and 40 meters deep. An ideal destination if you are seeking tranquillity in a truly unique landscape. Tip: Visit the lighthouse close by for a breathtaking view and enjoy the fresh seafood at the nearby taverns. #4 Natural Thermal Springs Since ancient times the region has been well-known for its thermal springs. The actual name of the region - Loutraki - translates into small spring. You can visit the Municipal Thermal Spring (the entrance costs €8) or one of the many privates spas for some relaxation. The water of the springs is enriched with minerals and natural elements like Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, Magnesium, Bromine etc. The water temperature is kept at around 300 C. These characteristics of the water contribute to the treatment of various diseases such as chronic rheumatism, arthritis, skin inflammation, back pain, etc. You can even drink water from the thermal springs as it helps fight kidney stones, digestive problems and a number of similar ailments. #5 Saint Patapios monastery Patapios was a greek orthodox holy man that was canonized as the patron saint for cancer patients. He was born in Egypt during the 4th century A.D. and from an early age he allegedly dedicated himself to God and prayer. The monastery was established in 1962 and is located on a steep slope of the Gerania mountain range. The monastery is located 14 kilometres from Loutraki at an altitude of approximately 700 metres. #6 Temple of Hera (Heraion of Perachora) Dedicated to the goddess Hera, the Heraion is an impressive archaeological site located in the north-eastern corner of the Gulf of Corinth near the Malagavi cape, close to Lake Vouliagmeni. The temple dates back to 700 BC and attracts the interest of numerous visitors due to its unique archaeological importance and its astonishing landscape. The scenery around the temple is beautiful and unspoiled, allowing for walks along the spectacular cliffs to the lighthouse or swimming in the stunning, clear blue waters. FAQ How can I get to Loutraki from Athens; There are two ways you can travel from Athens to Loutraki: You can catch a bus from various points within Athens that costs €9.30. There is a 25% discount if you buy a two way ticket, for a total of €16.50. The route schedule is: 08:30, 08:40, 10:30, 10:40, 12:4014:40, 16:49, 18:10, 19:40, 20:50. You can also get to Loutraki by taking the suburban train from Athens to C(nearly 11 kilometres) at the Larisa Station subway for just €14. How can I get to Loutraki from the Athens International Airport The most direct, comfortable and smart-budget option is by taking the suburban train. The distance from the airport to Loutraki is 112 kilometres. The alternative option is to go by bus or subway from the city center (Syntagma) and then take another bus to Loutraki. It is not recommended, unless of course you want to see the Acropolis and the Parthenon before continuing to Loutraki. Which beaches should I visit; You can find many beautiful beaches near Loutraki. Loutraki beach is the most popular and well organized. There is also Lake Vouliagmeni with various small but beautiful beaches, the Malagavi cape and many others that are waiting for you to discover. You can swim at the beaches near taverns to combine swimming in the turquoise blue waters with tasting the traditional greek dishes. If you are travelling by car, you are advised to explore the area and discover the more isolated beaches such as Milokopi and Sterna.   Eric Fronden