Exploring the enchanting Neda Waterfalls in the Peloponnese

Gorge of Neda, Neda Waterfalls

Journey to the Gorge of Neda to see and swim in its impressive waterfalls.

The Neda waterfalls are one of the highlights of the western Peloponnese. They have become a meeting point for visitors to the area, who spend a day on the beautiful beaches of the Gulf of Kyparissia and then go up to enjoy a short swim in the cool waters of the river.

The route to experience the Neda waterfalls is unique. You will see the beautiful surrounding villages, and you will need to walk on a moderately difficult path until you reach the point where the water creates two natural pools, one smaller and one larger.

The two approach options

There are two roads from which one can approach the gorge. We chose to follow a circular route, leaving Zacharo, moving towards Kyparissia, and turning left towards Nea Figaleia.

We made a short stop in the settlement and followed the road to Figaleia. You can leave your car here and walk down the path to the falls. Here, we will see the ancient fountain.

Gorge of Neda, Neda Waterfalls

Gorge of Neda, Neda Waterfalls

According to estimates, it was built between the end of the 4th and the beginning of the 3rd centuries. We sat for a while on the centuries-old plane tree and continued in the direction of the waterfalls.

From Platanias

We didn't choose to get off here, and we continued. We crossed the Neda bridge, which is also where we left the prefecture of Ilias behind and entered Messinia.

From the village of Platania, which is the first village you will encounter in Messinia, we went down to the river.

Gorge of Neda, Neda Waterfalls

It is a route with beautiful views, with the sea in the background. After almost 15 minutes on a road that is constantly being improved, we arrived at the parking lot.

We left the car and took almost 15 minutes to reach the falls. The path is moderately difficult, as it has several elevation changes; however, if one is in moderate physical condition, it can be done with ease.

At the waterfalls

Gorge of Neda, Neda Waterfalls

When we arrive, we will see the first, small waterfall, and after crossing a wooden bridge, we will continue a little longer for the big one.

There, we met dozens of children from Germany who had visited the area for an educational trip. Some sit on the rocks and read a book, others swim in the icy waters of the river, and there are also those who paint.

The spectacular 32 km-long gorge

Gorge of Neda, Neda Waterfalls
Photos: Kostis Angelopoulos

The Neda crosses an impressive 32-kilometre-long canyon until it flows into the Kyparissiakos, between Elaia and Giannitsochori.

This amazing gorge, with its narrow passages, waterfalls, and small natural lakes, offers a unique experience for visitors who decide to cross it by hiking through the river's rapids.

Depending on the season, this adventurous route may require swimming in icy waters, traversing narrow passages and even swimming through a dark natural cave.

In any case, visitors must be cautious, while it is good to have the guidance of experienced guides who know the peculiarities of the river and can judge the degree of danger.

At the same time, those who visit this untouched natural paradise must show respect for the environment and avoid eating and drinking in inappropriate places. Neda offers a unique opportunity to encounter nature's wild beauty in its truest form, and as such, we must protect it.

Dimitri Stathopoulos is a columnist for Travel. Translated by Paul Antonopoulos

READ MORE: Ammoudia of Preveza: The village and the beach at the mouth of a mythical river.

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