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An important treasure has been hidden for centuries in the bowels of the Xanthi land. It is about its rich geothermal field, which in at least two cases has been exploited by the local government by creating infrastructure for the operation of thermal baths.

The baths of Potamia in Nea Kessani in the municipality of Abdira and the baths in the mountainous community of Thermen in the municipality of Myki, attract a large number of visitors as they are distinguished for their therapeutic properties, offering at the same time an important alternative form of tourism.

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In recent years, a systematic effort has been made to upgrade the infrastructure and improve the bathing facilities with the construction of new guest houses and the shaping of the surrounding area, as the great contribution of the thermal springs to the general development of the area is perceived.

Typical is the example of the thermal baths in the valley of the mountain settlement of Therme, which now attract Greeks and foreigners, people of all ages, who are fascinated by the beauty of nature. The feeling of being able to take outdoor thermal baths, enjoying the natural beauty and facing the verdant slopes of the Rhodope mountain range, fascinates every visitor, offering unique moments of relaxation and well-being.

The fires of nature and smoke

The community of Thermen includes four mountainous Pomakian settlements, Ano Thermes, Meses Thermes, Kato Thermes and Loutra Thermen. They are settlements built in nature along rivers and streams, where hot water springs up. In their majority, the inhabitants are engaged in animal husbandry, logging and mainly tobacco cultivation.

The Pomaks grow an excellent variety of tobacco, basma, which is among the best in the world. In fact, due to the lack of arable land, they exploit every inch of land. The visitor will encounter small tobacco fields on strips of land next to the banks of the tributaries or on the steep mountain slopes. Along the road, the wooden dryers or “beds” where the bundles of tobacco leaves or otherwise “kiustenia” are placed in the summer in order to dry them naturally. These rural images “unfold” before the eyes of the visitor as he crosses the road that leads from Echinos to the settlements of Therme and the homonymous thermal baths of the region, the operation of which offered new opportunities for professional employment to the local residents.

Life in Pomakochoria moves at a different pace

It is a fact that life in Pomakochoria of Xanthi moves at a different pace, more calm. The region is special, with its own habits, customs, traditions and traditions. Somewhere between all these are the thermal baths of Therma. They are 45 km from the city of Xanthi and just a few kilometers from the Greek-Bulgarian border.

The story tells that in the natural baths with thermal water that are created on the slopes of the hills, the Pomaks used to put their goats and sheep in order to cure them of orthopedic and other problems. In fact, more than 40 sources of thermal water are recorded in the area.

Nowadays, the thermal baths of Therme attract dozens of visitors from the entire Region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, Thessaloniki and areas of the southern Balkans.

Baths in nature

Among the most special experiences are the baths in the outdoor individual tanks (bathtubs) that were formed in the last two years and attract dozens of visitors all months of the year, but especially in the Spring and Summer, where the beauty of nature is captivating.

The water temperature ranges from 30 to 53 degrees Celsius. They are waters with a low salt content, they contain a significant amount of carbon dioxide, little methane and no hydrogen sulphide. The baths are indicated for diseases of the musculoskeletal, vascular and nervous systems as well as for skin diseases.

In the central square of Therme there is the closed hydrotherapy center, while there are guesthouses with rooms for rent, some of which have a closed pool with thermal water for bath therapy. Also, there are taverns where the visitor can taste traditional delicacies and especially fine meats thanks to the livestock that is developed in the area.

A small Christian church opposite a Muslim mosque testifies to the always peaceful coexistence of the two religious communities in the wider area of ​​Xanthi, but also to the respect that everyone must show to the residents of two different cultures who have been walking together for years.

The area of ​​thermal baths in Thermes may not be particularly developed for tourism, compared to corresponding regions in Greece, but it has its own charm, where nature’s remedies are generously offered and the environment is characterized by a uniqueness that fascinates you.