Relaxing in Athens – can it be done?
Athens is an amazing city for a citytrip, but because there is so much to see and to do, the city can be extremely overwhelming as well. Hours can be spent getting lost in the narrow streets of the old neighbourhoods underneath the Acropolis, days gazing at ancient sites and strawling through upcoming areas.
Early nights are not an option: you don’t want to miss out on any of the great experiences Athens has to offer.
We always advise our customers to adjust to the Greek lifestyle and take it easy in the afternoon. The days in Greece are long; nobody is in a hurry or in for an early night. It is easy to relax in Athens. Many hotels have an in-house swimmingpool and the sea is always nearby. However, we discovered the ultimate way to relax in the middle of a full schedule.
Our experience in the hammam
In the middle of the super busy cycle season, a friend told me about Al Hammam in Plaka neighbourhood. Even though we pass the hammam almost on a daily basis with our bicycle tours, we hardly noticed it before, because the hammam is slightly hidden in an alley. On a beautiful sunday afternoon, after the bicycle tour had ended, we decided that we had deserved an afternoon of relaxation and massage. We made an appointment for a one-hour treatment with the girls of the permanent staff. We had all been to a regular sauna in The Netherlands, but a hammam was a new experience to us all. And we must admit, we felt truly reborn after the treatment.
What to expect when visiting the hammam?
When visiting the hammam you can pick your choice from a list of treatments, but the basics remain the same with every treatment. Upon arrival you are led to a changing room, where you can change into your bikini or swimming shorts. When you are finished you are being taken to the steam room. There are little bowls in the room to fill with cold world to prevent your body from overheating. After the steaming ritual your skin gets cleaned thoroughly – don’t panic, your skin will be perfectly soft afterwards. Your body will then be covered in bubbly soap, after which your massage will start, before a heavenly scented shampoo is applied to your hair. At the end of the treatment your hair and body are cleansed by splashes of water, in order to remove all the soap.
After the treatment you can relax on the balcony of the hammam with a cup of delicious tea and a marvelous view over Plaka neighbourhood. We will definitely come back soon!
Tips for your visit to the hammam
- During the treatment you will be wearing your bikini or swimming shorts. If you did not bring any, the hammam can offer you disposable underwear for one time use.
- Ladies, bring make up remover, so you can remove your make up before the treatment.
- Make an appointment beforehand, to avoid disappointments.
Al Hammam Plaka Athens
Tripodon 16 & Ravaga str. Plaka, Athens
Tel: 0030 2110129099