Springs of Serenity

The Thermal Springs of Kallithea exude natural beauty, monumental architecture and rich history.

Roman baths, fountains, columns, arches, rotundas, mosaics and Eros, a statue of the Greek god of love: recognized since ancient times for their healing properties, the springs flow into a small cove 10 km southeast of Rhodes city. Throughout the ages, their renown transcended the confines of the island. During Ottoman rule, many from across Anatolia journeyed to Tsilonero (the region former name), seeking healing from the red water that seeped from the rocks, believed to be therapeutic.

Post 1920, Mario Lago, the Italian Governor of the Dodecanese, conceived a European spa town in the location, something akin to Vichy or Baden Baden: a lavish, cosmopolitan resort intended to support Italy’s ambitions to extend its influence in the eastern Mediterranean. Pietro Lombardi was entrusted with the project, an architect who skillfully blended elements of multicultural Mediterranean architecture he held dear: vaulted structures with Art Deco features, arabesques, staircases, patios, intricate island stone mosaics and refined gardens along with Moorish gates and arches.

The Reali Terme di Calitea was inaugurated in the name of the King and the Duce on July 1, 1929, and operated continuously until the onset of the Second World War. Subsequently, the establishment underwent closure, transformation into a concentration camp, was plundered, reconstructed, reopened and has served as the setting for various Greek and foreign films, including Ace of Spades and The Guns of Navarone. In 1967, it experienced its second closure. Following the declaration of the complex as a protected work of art by the state in 1985 (owing to its outstanding architecture and morphology) and a protracted restoration project undertaken by the municipality, the rejuvenated Kallithea Springs opened to the public on July 1, 2007.

This jewel of monumental architecture and natural beauty encompasses delightful areas for swimming, dining, diving, conferences, events and exhibition spaces. It boasts countless corners with a charming, slightly retro aura, compelling people to visit time and time again.