The Kaiafas Thermal Spa facility occupies an area of approximately 6,139,000 square meters including the forest of the same name. The property is part of the European NATURA 2000 network, code GR 2330005, referred to as "Dunes and Coastal Forest of Zacharo, Lake Kaiafas, Strofilia, Kakovatos."
Kaiafas Thermal Spa is one of the most important thermal spring facilities in the country and the wider area of the Municipality of Zacharo, as well as one of the most attractive tourist destinations.
Kaiafas is located in the southern part of the Prefecture of Ilia, at the foot of Mount Lapithas, on Lake Kaiafas, in Loutra. The entire area of the Kaiafas Thermal Spa facility is owned by GNTO, with the exception of the coastal area and the Kaiafas Lake. The property is currently managed by HPPC.
Hotels are located on the islet of the lake, a strip of land about 1,300 meters long and 100 meters wide, which connects to the shore via a narrow bridge.
On the opposite side of the lake, the large and small Cave of the Anigrides Nymphs, with waters suitable for spa treatment, have been transformed into a hydrotherapy center. At a distance of about 200 meters, there is the thermal spring of Geranio, with water ideal for internal hydrotherapy (mineral water drinking therapy).
Today the premises of the property include:
The Kaiafas Thermal Springs have been known since antiquity and include two springs, the Spring of the Anigrides Nymphs and the Geranio or Atlantis Nymphs’ Spring. The springs emerge in caves at the foot of Mount Lapithas, on the east bank of the Kaiafas Lake. In antiquity, these two caves, the Cave of the Anigrides Nymphs, which is the largest, and Geranio were considered dwellings of nymphs.
The origin of the name of the area is lost in the depths of history. According to one legend the area is named after the high priest of Judea, Caiaphas. Other theories are that the name is Turkish and means big stone or rock mouth, from ‘kayya’ (stone) and ‘fas’ (big), or Arabic in origin and meaning red rock, probably due to the color of the rocks in the area.
Most likely, however, the name came from the nymph Kaliaphia, who, according to myth, lived in the Cave of the Nymphs. With her were two other nymphs, Pigaia, from the word for spring, and cure, to whom was attributed the warmth of the waters.
The Spring of the Anigrides Nymphs is high in sodium hydrochloride with significant hydrogen sulfide content. The spring is divided into two parts: the big and the small spring. The temperature of the two ranges from 29º to 35º Celsius. The water springs from multiple locations at different temperatures that flow together, creating a natural steam bath.
The spring water is recommended for:
Hydrotherapy is recommended for systemic, communicable and malignant diseases, liver and kidney failure.
The property is currently managed by HPPC. With co-financing provided under the NSRF Operational Program 2007-2013, and after establishing environmental and operational criteria, HPPC has undertaken a comprehensive study for the modernization of the existing facilities and infrastructure of the Lake Kaiafas area. Project implementation is being co-financed under the 2014-2020 operational program and is expected to be completed within the timeframe of the program.
Given the delicate local ecosystem, the planned interventions aim at environmental upgrading and protection of the natural environment, and the creation of a sustainable destination for tourism, leisure and entertainment.
The project covers an area of 120,870 square meters and relate to: