Hiking Neda Waterfalls in the Peloponnese

One of my favorite things to do in Greece is river trekking and one of the best ones is hiking Neda waterfalls in the Peloponnese.

Neda River marks the border between the prefectures of Ilia and Messinia in the Peloponnese and is a hidden natural treasure in western Greece. The river originates from the southern slope of Lykaion Mt where the Sanctuaries of Zeus and Pan lie. Neda River crosses an impressive 32 km long gorge with forests, narrow passages, and numerous points with waterfalls where small natural lakes with crystal clear water are formed.

Neda Waterfalls in the Peloponnese Greece.
Neda Waterfalls

I find this trekking so exciting not only because you end up in a magical, totally unspoiled area with turquoise waters but also because you get to visit some impressive sites in the area, such as:

  • UNESCO Temple of Apollo Epicurious
  • UNESCO Ancient Olympia
  • The Nemouta Waterfalls
  • The beautiful sandy 70 km beach of Kaiafas and its lake with the spa
  • The picturesque mountainous village of Andritsena

Tip: According to Greek mythology, Neda was a nymph, a goddess of water, and nourished Zeus.

Tip for Ancient Olympia: The best Hotel in Olympia, with an outdoor pool and rich buffet breakfast, is Hotel Europa Olympia.

My Latest Video on Neda Waterfalls

Post Information

In this post, you will find information about how to get to Neda Waterfalls, technical info about the trail, a short YouTube video, where to stay, historical information, precaution tips, and what best to wear!

*Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. That means I may make a commission if you click and buy. The commission comes at no additional cost to you.

Trekking Neda River

Technical information

  • Waterfall Height: 20 m
  • Trail: Easy
  • Best time to hike: During warm weather, May-October
  • Ideal Trek for Families with children over 12 years old
  • Good physical condition with some basic hiking experience

Hiking Neda Waterfalls in the Peloponnese

You can easily access the initial waterfalls by passing through Platanias village. As you approach the entrance of Platanias, just around a bend, you’ll notice road signs pointing towards Neda’s waterfalls, the Temple of Epicurious Apollo, and Barbalekou Tower. This tower, a stone structure, provides splendid panoramic views of the area and is a convenient stop on your route to the waterfalls.

A stone bridge over Neda River in the Peloponnese.
Stone Bridge – Photo by Aggelos Lazos

The road from the village gradually descends into a dirt road, stretching for approximately 5 kilometers. This dirt road is suitable for any type of vehicle and leads to a stone bridge connecting both sides of the river. There’s a designated parking area at the end of the road where you can safely leave your vehicle. Once parked, you’ll encounter a small stone bridge that connects the two riverbanks.

Evgenia pointing towards some ancient stones in Neda waterfalls.
Hiking Neda Waterfalls and came across some ancient ruins.

Starting from Platania village, you’ll follow the 4 km downhill trail, and your initial destination is the wooden bridge with a small emerald pool, just a few meters before reaching the impressive 20-meter-high Neda Waterfall. As you descend toward the first waterfall and pool, you’ll encounter the remains of ancient ruins scattered throughout the area. Along the way to the waterfalls, you’ll also discover a quaint chapel with a flickering candle inside.

The trail continues and leads (20 min) to the right to the large, impressive waterfall that you see in most photos of Neda, and straight to the chapel of Panagia.

Resting at the Neda Waterfalls

Gear for Hiking Neda Waterfalls

These are some of the essential items I recommend you have with you if you are hiking to Greece in summer:

  • Hiking shoes
  • Hiking clothes (fast dry)
  • Organic sunscreen to apply as often as possible
  • UPF sun hat for all day out
  • White linen shirt to cover up if you get very easily sunburnt
  • Good sunglasses
  • Hiking backpack with good dry back protection
  • Personal bottle of water (1-2 lt)
  • Towel & Swimwear or shorts
  • Change of dry clothes (to change after river trekking)
  • A spare pair of shoes that will get wet. Suitable are hiking shoes or trainers (Sandals, or flip-flops are a very bad idea 😀 )

Canyoning Neda Waterfalls in Peloponnese

  • Trek Length: For those who wish to explore a larger part of the Neda River, be prepared for a 7 km journey that can take up to 6 hours.
  • Difficulty Warning: Please note that certain sections of the route are quite challenging and not recommended for families or individuals with limited hiking or canyoning experience. You will have to:
  • swim in cold water
  • stay up as the current is strong at times
  • you may need to wear half or full-body wet suits suitable for canyoning depending on the water temperature
  • wear a helmet to protect you from rock falls and carry a dry bag to protect your belongings from the water
  • cross narrow passages through the river
Canyoning Neda River – Photo Kouvela Blogspot
  • Swimming in Natural Caves: One of the thrilling experiences on this trek is swimming in a dark natural cave-mouth.
  • Guided Trekking: I highly recommend organizing this trek with a group, a knowledgeable guide, and the proper equipment. You should protect yourself from water, insects, and the sun.
  • Hiking Apparel: Consider wearing a good hiking blouse like the Under Armour Women’s Tech V-Neck.
  • Footwear: Ensure you have sturdy, reliable footwear (like this Salomon pair) and maintain your balance to prevent slipping and being carried away by the river’s current.
  • Let Us Organize Your Trek: If you prefer a hassle-free experience, we can help organize your Neda trek for you. Simply send us an email with the details, including the trip time and the size of your group.

How to Get to Neda Waterfalls

Neda River Gorge

It is a 3.30-4 hour trip by car from Athens (254 km), so you may want to do this as a 2day trip or include it in your itinerary for South Peloponnese. You will need a private car to get to the area, either from Ilia near Figalia and Temple of Apollo Epicurious or from Messinia near the villages of Sidirokastro, Avlona, and Platanias. Either way crosses green hillsides with olive, fig, plane, and wild oaks, a really scenic drive.

Is it safe to visit Neda Waterfalls with children?

While visiting Neda Waterfalls with children over 12 years old can be an enjoyable experience, it’s essential to supervise them closely, especially near the water, as some areas can be slippery.

My Favorite Canyon Trekking Tours in Greece

This is a short list of some of my favorite rivers, canyons, and gorge trekking in the Peloponnese and Greece in general:

Other exciting trails in the area are the: Polylimnio Waterfalls, Nemouta Waterfalls, Voidokoilia Beach, and hike to the Temple of Apollo Epicurious. And since you will be in the area, a visit to Ancient Olympia is a must!

Where to Stay near Neda Waterfalls

Kasimis Hotel Swimming pool

If you are seeking a top-tier hotel, then Westin Resort, Costa Navarino. is your best choice.

For more modest accommodation, I would stay at the Kasimis Hotel (budget, family, and pet-friendly) near the seaside town of Kyparissia. If you would like to experience a mountainous village, I have stayed at Archontiko, an 1865 stone-built mansion with a fireplace, and had a wonderful time!

What are the Most Popular Hikes in Greece?

Hiking in Greece offers a diverse and captivating experience, thanks to the country’s versatile terrain. From the rugged mountains of the Pindus range and Vikos Gorge to the north to the Menalon Trail in the Peloponnese to the coastal trails overlooking the Aegean and Ionian Seas, Greece is the hiker’s paradise.

The country boasts well-maintained paths that wind through ancient olive groves, dense forests, churches, monasteries, ancient ruins, rivers and charming villages, providing hikers with a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural richness.

Did you hike to the Neda Waterfalls? Let me know what you think about hiking Neda River in the comments, I’d love to hear whether I managed to get it onto your bucket list! Till next time, Evgenia❤️

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Evgenia Mataragka

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