The Stunning Nemouta Waterfalls near Ancient Olympia

posted in: Hiking, Peloponnese | 2

The well-hidden Nemouta Waterfalls in Ancient Olympia are stunningly beautiful and impressive and when you get there you will think you are in a real paradise!

Nemouta waterfalls are surrounded by a dense forest with plane and fruit trees, all its paths covered with ferns and flowers. As you hike the trails, you come across small streams all deriving from the Erymanthos river flowing nearby. There are 30 waterfalls in total in the two nearby canyons, all spectacular to visit.

I hope this post will inspire you to visit the remarkable Nemouta Waterfalls on your next Ancient Olympia trip in Greece.

However, it is required that you love adventure hiking in forests, you are prepared to cross streams and get potentially wet and you are an experienced hiker with a good physical condition.

Ancient Olympia or the Archaeological Site of Olympia is a UNESCO-listed World Heritage, famous as the site of the birth of the Olympic Games. Olympia is located in the Ilia prefecture of western Peloponnese 289 km (180 mi) from Athens.

Around the area of Ancient Olympia lies one of the most beautiful and fertile areas in Greece. There are many traditional villages (Krestena, Zacharo, Skylountia), the unique Foloi oak forest, the 70 km-long sandy beaches of Kaiafas, lakes, and rivers.

And just 27 km from Ancient Olympia is Nemouta village and waterfalls, an extraordinary area, stunningly beautiful and wild.

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How to get to the Nemouta Waterfalls from Athens

There are public buses (KTEL) leaving from Kifisos Bus Station in Athens and going to Nemouta area but it will take you forever as you will have to change buses and wait at every change.

I would suggest you better rent a car to get there, the national roads are great and you will find the area easily. A rental offers you the option to visit so many sites on your way to Ancient Olympia such as Ancient Corinth & Acrocorinth, Mycenae, Epidaurus, Nemea and the wineries and so many interesting places in between.

Nemouta Waterfalls

The Nemouta waterfalls are located on mount Erymanthos inside the gorge of Haratsariou. The whole scenery is wild, gorgeous and will remind you of a tropical forest.

Nemouta waterfalls are not signposted trails, so I recommend you make early arrangements with a local guide as you will not be able to find them by yourself easily. Find info of an expert local guide further down this post.

I had the pleasure to visit Nemouta after joining the ORA GROUP, which organizes trekking and hiking tours all over Greece.

If you are a very adventurous person and decide that you will try to find the waterfalls by yourself (at least don’t go alone!) then you need a great Garmin Rugged Outdoor Watch with GPS, Glonass, and Galileo, Heart Rate Monitoring and a 3-Axis Compass. You can check Garmin Watch on the Amazon site here

Start of the trail: Nemouta Iron Bridge

The start of the trail is at an old but beautiful iron bridge over the Erymanthos river (GPS 37.700663, 21.808754).

On the one part of the bridge, there is an info/canteen kiosk and some free parking space and on the other, there are 3-4 country houses with one very basic tavern. It is worth strolling the place, a really charming and Greek authentic place.

From the bridge, the first impressive Nemouta waterfalls are only 290 m. We started walking the dirt road south towards the “tropical” forest. When we reached the uphill we turn right towards the stream.

We kept having the stream on our right side and as we were going deeper into the forest, we could hear the characteristic sound of a waterfall.

And as I was walking the trail I found myself in front of very impressive scenery. This waterfall is called the “Gate of Heaven”!

We visited the waterfall in late June and the water was still kind of cold. But as the water was falling upon you from a height, the sensation was both amazing and exhilarating. You could feel the weight of the water on your bones!

Your guide can take you to the other two waterfalls which are located about 5-6 km far. The trail is really fantastic, not so demanding but certainly, it is not for people with no hiking experience.

Afterwards we headed back to Erymanthus river for a well deserved dive into its incredible clear and shallow waters. It was not exactly swimming as there was a current but it was refreshing after the heat of the day.

You decided you are going to visit the Nemouta Waterfalls and you wonder how you will find a guide? You can contact the specialist guide Nick Siakkoulis who will coordinate a trip to three waterfalls. Email: siakkoulis@hotmail.com & number: + 30 6978400540

Nemouta Village and Greek Lunch

We were transported with jeeps from Erymanthus to the picturesque Nemouta village for our very late lunch. And thank goodness for that as everyone was starving.

We chose a tavern on the tiny main Nemouta square where we had traditional Greek food served in the usual Greek way: many small dishes with appetizers and main courses and streams of beer and wine!

After our meal, we were treated with a local delicacy, a syropy sweet made of local grapes. Very yummy, wish I could have bought a full jar of it!

Where Is Best To Stay in the Area?

As mentioned above you can stay in Ancient Olympia and venture all around the region. You can also choose a seaside village for your stay to combine sea and forests. The sea in the area is called Kaiafas and is just an endless line of fine sand and strange white flowers.

A must-visit is the Kaiafas Lake and spa, just even for a stroll around the spa center in the area. The natural thermal springs and spas come from the cave of the “Nymphs of Anigrides”. The cave, according to mythology, is where Dardanos, the ancestors of the Trojans were born.

  • Water Temperature is 32 C
  • Ingredients: C1 – Na – K – HS – Mineral – Hypotonic
  • Appropriate for: Chronic Rheumatism, Myositis, Chronic Degenerative results of injuries, Neuralgia, Atypic Gynecological Inflammation
  • Operates between June to October from 07:15 a.m. until 15:00 p.m. In the months of August and September, it is open in the afternoon, until 19:30 p.m
  • Contact number: ( + 30 ) 26250 31719
  • Find below some seaside and village accommodation suggestions in the area:
  • Potokia Rooms in Kakovato: Simple, very clean, and beautiful rooms in a lush garden overlooking the Kaiafas beach, perfect for a family. Check availability and prices on Booking.com
  • Anthos Guest Houses feature a very nice relaxing garden, fine room decoration, and friendly staff in a tranquil environtment. Check availability and prices on Booking.com

If you prefer a historical gorgeous mountain village, then Levidi is your place, full of stone mansions:

  • Levidi Suites is a fantastic Hotel, that will really fascinate you with its elegant and stylish rooms. I personally love the fireplace in a room. Summer may be my favorite season, yet, I love the creaking of the burning wood. Check availability and prices on Booking.com
  • Villa Vager (luxury). This is an exceptional hotel with amazing character, one of the best boutique hotels in Greece. Check availability and prices on Booking.com

Ethical Hiking

  • Please leave no rubbish behind you, no plastic bags or other items. Use the bins and if there aren’t please take the rubbish with you
  • At no circumstance should you light a fire to bake or for any other reason!
  • Don’t remove any shells, rocks, fossils or sand from the beach
  • The animals shouldn’t be annoyed and they are not here for our entertainment. We respect their natural habitat. Serpents, turtles and snakes are shy creatures and avoid human contact as much as they can. If you come across one of them, change your route and leave it alone.
  • If you open a gate in one of your hikes please close it behind you. It is closed for a reason, the most usual of which is keeping animals inside. Shepherds get really annoyed if they have later on to search for their goats all over the place if the door is left open
  • Refrain from visiting private properties because it is a “great” spot for a “great” Instagram shot. You wouldn’t like it if this was happening in your house. We respect the locals
  • Remote Churches and Chapels: they may look abandoned, they may look in disrepair, they may be half-demolished, still Greeks love their churches and would never tolerate any disrespect or vandalism.

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2 Responses

  1. Fred

    Wow looks amazing! In some ways reminds me a little of an area in NW Arkansas although you can’t get the Greek food there!

  2. Evgenia Mataragka

    Thank you Fred for your comment! I am sure NW Arkansas is a very nice place as well. Waterfalls have such powerful dynamics and they are always exhilarating to visit!

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