When the Travel Bloggers Greece were invited to the newly opened Al Hammam Turkish Baths at the end of September 2016, you can imagine that we jumped at the opportunity! Disclosure: the treatments were offered for free for an honest and frank review of the experience. Please note despite this, all thoughts and opinions remain my own.
What and where is Al Hammam?
Al Hammam Turkish Baths are located in Chania, Crete and in the Plaka district of Athens. Actually, more towards the Anafiotika area of Athens, literally under the Acropolis, so imagine the views from the rooftop terrace where one can sip tea and eat Turkish treats after your experience? It’s literally a 100 metre walk from the museum Bath House of the Winds.
They offer a variety of packages and treatments that can be found on their website here. The one hour experience the Travel Bloggers Greece were offered was called the Al Hammam. This included:
- 30 minutes sitting in the Hammam followed by;
- 15 minute body exfoliation with a kese glove
- 15 minute hair wash
- 15 minute olive soap bubble massage
Imagine how you felt coming out of that! Afterwards, we could sit on the terrance with those magnificent Acropolis views I mentioned, sipping tea and eating treats. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
What’s an Al Hammam Turkish Baths treatment like?
So I’ve given you the rundown of what’s included in the treatment we had, but what’s it actually like?
First you sit in the Hammam ‘mist’ room. After changing in the (rather small) changing rooms into either disposable underwear (if you’re happy to go topless), or swimsuit (like me), then you enter the marbled, humid, steamy room and sit around, basically like a sauna and getting hot and sweaty. But it’s larger than a sauna; it’s circular and as you gradually get hotter and hotter, you can fill up a bowl of cold water and basically pour it over you!
I’ll be honest though. The steam filled the room quickly and together with the heat, I did start to feel a little claustrophobic and mildly panicky, but not to worry! It’s perfectly OK to step outside of the room to cool down a little, relax more. And besides, it’s only 30 minutes total. But if you’re new to the Hamam sauna experience, just be aware it does get hot and steamy. More so than an ordinary sauna.
Next we were instructed to lay on the slabs of marble tables.
Olive oil soap is mixed and spread over you with a kese glove, and you’re literally covered from head to toe in bubbles! Then you’re massaged and oh boy, do you feel like you could fall asleep!
Next, a cold sharp shock awaits you (but you are warned). The girls massaging you tip cold water on you to wash off the soapy bubbles on your body and hair. This serves to also raise the blood pressure as it’s significantly lowered and you need to be careful.
And then it’s off to the showers to get dressed and sit out, relaxing on the terrace!
Al Hammam Turkish Baths Athens – Facts
- The one hour 15 min Al Hammam treatment costs EURO €49.00
- It’s at: 16 Tripodon & Ragava St, Plaka, Athens
- Tel: 0030 211 012 9099
- They also offer the opportunity to book out the Hammam for 2 hours for groups of 2 – 6 people
- A range of massages are on offer; from Tai, Indian Head, Foot to Athletic and many others
- Also manicures, pedicures, waxing and eyebrow shaping
- Tip: Don’t drink alcohol before you go, and drink plenty of water that’s on offer!
***Special offer! Until December 31st, 2016, Al Hammam Turkish Baths are offering a 10% discount on any treatment so long as you quote the code: RELAXLIFEBEYONDBORDERS! So if you’re in Athens before and for Christmas and New Year, why not treat yourself?***
Thank you – Al Hammam Athens and Travel Bloggers Greece – for this wonderful experience.