What’s surprising about the destinations you think you know is that they can always surprise you. Loutraki, for example, is a typical such case: You think you know it, since it’s associated with the thermal spas and the casino. If you give it a chance though, you will see that it is much more than what you thought you knew.
To begin with, it is a lively city of approximately twelve thousand residents, under the shade of a mountain range, called Geranion, which hasn’t been explored properly. For every cement building that was constructed after the big earthquake of 1928, which destroyed the town along with all its picturesqueness, there is an adorable byzantine church. Every time you will nag about how crowded is the three and a half kilometers beach, there is a coastal route and an atmospheric ancient temple that overlooks a sunset capable of making you forget everything. Plus, for every boring block of flats there is an interesting story behind it. As long as you wish to discover it.
The famous Hydrotherapy Center has nothing to do with the antiquated image you may have about thermal springs- it is impressive and modern, both new and economical spa, and it definitely worth a visit. The same stands for the circular building of Georgiou Lekka Thermal Spring, down the road, which was designed at the beginning of the past century by Dimitios Pikionis and its interior is adorned with impressive mosaics of Stefanos Xenopoulos that represent scenes from the Greek mythology.
Near the northern exit of the town, the byzantine church of Agios Andreas, which dates back to the 14th century, has been exemplarily restored. The coastal road with the palm trees is a lovely evening stroll that ends up, after a few meters, to the famous small waterfalls of the town.
At the 25 March Square, the Folklore Museum of Loutraki hosts traditional costumes and room replicas of past century mansions, while very close to the museum there is the small, green Beach Park of Loutraki, which is ideal for strolling with the kids.
Fifteen kilometers away from Loutraki, at the end of an amazing route that enjoys the splendid view to the green slopes of Geranion Mountains, there is the wonderful Lake of Vouliagmeni. In fact, it is not a lake, but a lagoon: It is connected with the Corinthian Gulf, with which exchanges water through a narrow canal of just six meters. Its salty waters that deepen rather quickly, are perfect for diving- it also has a normal small beach at its bank.
Less than 2 kilometers away from the lake, there is one of the most atmospheric archaeological sites of Corinth. The ancient sanctuary of Hera, which you will find on the maps as the Archaeological site of Heraion Perachoras, dates back to the 6th century B.C. and it’s like it almost touches the sea. Under it spreads a small, sandy beach with crystal clear waters. Whether its beauty stems from the ancient walls of Heraion that surround it, we leave it to you.
Talking about beaches, the drivers of 4x4 vehicles are privileged here: The beaches on the east of the lake are by all means the best and most secluded in the Corinthian Gulf- which is due to the fact that to almost all of them lead rough dirt roads. Skalosia has by far the most impressive waters, sand and fine pebbles. The sandy Mylokopi is nestled among truly enormous rocks and Sterna has black pebbles and total quiet. All three of them enjoy the view of an amazing sunset.
Five hundred meters away from Heraion, there is one of the most beautiful and oldest lighthouses in Corinth. The stone Melagavi lighthouse, which took its name from the cape, or else Heraion Lighthouse, from the neighboring sactuary, started operating in 1897. It is built on the rocks that rise above the Corinthian Gulf, and enjoys the stunning view to the sea’s endless blue and to a sunset that makes coming here a true experience.