The spa town of Aidipsos, or Loutra Edipsou has been a popular place to “take the waters” ever since ancient times when the hot springs attracted jet-setters including  Aristotle, Plutarch, the Emperor Hadrian and, more recently Winston Churchill. Today you can chose from luxury spas where water gushes from designer fountains, to al fresco bathing under your own umbrella where the hot springs run into the sea.

The main harbour where we moor after a day’s sailing, attracts fisherman from the town to gossip and try their luck along the breakwater. Behind, leading up to the hot springs, the lively sea front bustles of a summer evening with people selling charcoal roasted sweet corn and designer jewellery, as well as mineral mud cosmetics; natural sponges; herbs and lotions. Here you can eat in one of the many sea front restaurants and watch the sun go down before trying a moonlit dip in the hot springs.

Actual spa medical treatment involves squirting jets of sulphurous water into parts of the body in ways that make you wonder whether being ill isn’t infinitely preferable but you can go for a mixture of cream and mud massages that keep the minerals strictly external.


Resin collecting on EviaChilled retsina is the ultimate taste of Greece. The original flavouring of wine with resin probably came about by accident, when resin was used to seal terracotta wine amphoras. The resin stopped oxygen getting to the wine and spoiling it but imparted a distinctive flavour- some say of turpentine! -  to the wine. With the invention of glass wine bottles, the use of resin became unnecessary but by then people had rather got to like the pungent pine flavour!

Resin for retsina comes from the Aleppo pine forests on Evia. A gash is made in the bark of the tree and a container is attached to the trunk – either metal or (more often today) a more hygienic plastic bag – which collects the resin as it drips out. The resin that is collected is added to the wine during the fermentation process.

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