The beach at Polychnitou is long, and at times very peaceful, the water clear and unruffled by wind.

I went off to the hot spring which lies southeast of the town of Polychnitou in 2002. It cost 500 drachmas to get in, and the German lady who ran the place said it was possible to book ahead to go as a family. I took some photos of the bath area, which is Ottoman style, the water coming in at 60 degrees and when they are filling it, you can stand just next to it and feel the water as hot or as cool as you like.

I wrote at the time: “I love this bath, it’s simple, with a rest area outside, and the walls are washed in a deep pinky red colour, most of the time the water is about 39 or 40 degrees. There are two rows of four skylights, which give a pleasant light when the sun is out, and the water is a deep murky greeny-brown colour, almost a yellow ochre, which gives a suitably medicinal feel when you plunge in. The hot water lies in the spout that leads it out of the actual spring, so you can sloosh water into the main bath to heat it up a bit”.

The actual hot spring area was being developed and they had built a little amphitheatre behind the Ottoman baths which, I guess, would eventually become a Rotemburo of sorts. The open water is 60 degrees and much too hot to bathe in. I walked down to the place further down where it meets the cold river to see if there were some place to bathe au naturelle, but not so. The cold water is black and very brackish, and the spring water forms iron and sulfur splodges and white crusts, which I made the mistake of stepping on, the crust gives way and you are suddenly six inches deep in a hot, scalding mud.

There were a few abandoned houses around the spring area, and across the river that crosses the spring, two older style buildings which looked like older bath-houses, but still from the Ottoman period with the rounded roofs of the traditional Hammam.