What is a Hammam?
With the long reign of the Moors in Spain, especially in Andalucia, their legacies, traditions and wonderful buildings remain in abundance – my favourite, food aside, is a Hammam bath. A centuries old ritual or cleansing, as well as a base for discussing the issues of the day, Hammams have become a popular experience for many locals and for those on holiday in Spain.
Differing from a thermal spa Hammams usually include a cold, warm and hot bath as well as additional treatments, massages and saunas. It is a great way to relax after city sightseeing. Hammam Al Andalus have Hammam Baths in Cordoba, Granada, Malaga and while not in Andalucia they now have installations in Madrid and Palma too.
While the Hammam in each location differs in layout the same overall theme, decor quality and style are consistent throughout. I´ve yet to experience those in Madrid and Palma but thoroughly recommend the others, and will continue to soak, cleanse, relax and be pampered at every opportunity I get to visit these three important and delightful cities.
Why is a Hammam Bath Good for You?
At the same time that the sensation of well-being and toned, cleansed and relaxed the benefits of a Hammam make it far more than an indulgent experience. Not only is the skin softened and exfoliated the benefits of bathing in the pools of different temperatures also:
Boost the immune system – heat from the steam pool or hot pool dilates the blood vessels thereby increasing circulation and so opens the pores which helps to detox the skin
Rejuvenate the body – compare how you feel after your Hammam session to before! Aching limbs, sore feet and weariness disappear
Invigorate – have a massage as well as using the pools and you´ll feel invigorated in both mind and body
Going to a Hammam in a city, especially Cordoba and Granada if you´ve just visited the Mezquita or the Alhambra reinforces the Moorish history, traditions and culture in a hands-on or should I say whole-body-on way.
If you get the opportunity go for it and I´m willing to bet it won´t be the last time you do.