Hiking and diving at the waterfalls

All the rivers in Greece have male names. All but one

Once, when the gods used to come at those places, Neda was the daughter of Oceanus and one of the three nymphs who raised Zeus at the mountains of Arcadia. Nowadays, it is one of the most beautiful rivers of Peloponnese, a natural border between Ilia  and Messinia, perfect for hiking under the shade of its plane trees and for diving in the freezing waters that shape its waterfalls.

Even if you’re a beginner hiker, the route to Neda won’t tire you at all.

The dirt road that descends a little bit further outside the Platania village of Messinia is well signed with signs that write “to the waterfalls” and that it is accessible for non 4x4 vehicles too.

From the point where the dirt road ends, begins the trail that winds among plane trees, ferns and oak trees so tall that at some places they look like they’re hiding the sky.

A quarter to twenty minutes of hiking later you reach the first waterfall, the one which falls from a height of seven meters creating a completely blue lake, at the banks of which you can almost imagine fairies dancing.

Here you cross the famous wooden bridge that crowns the river’s waters, and continue walking for a few more minutes until you reach the amazing, twenty meters, second waterfall- the one that stars in almost all the pictures of Neda.

Its waters shape a normal-sized, blue green pool, ideal for cold dives, while its dirt plateaus of its banks are… the river alternative of a beach.

In summer, you should bring your towels and come early, since the last years the secret has leaked and the best spots under the plane trees are early-taken, especially at the weekend.

We should note down, in case you haven’t thought about it, that the greatest joy of every excursion to Neda is a pic-nic at its “beach”, with the waterfall as a background and the birds’ song as the soundtrack.

The trail, of course, doesn’t stop here

The sworn hikers continue after the second waterfall, to cross the entire gorge, passing by the archaeological site of Ancient Figaleia that is located half hidden in the depths of the gorge. 

The route is impressive, and quite long (about 4-5 hours, depending on how fast you walk), while in some parts you’ll need to swim in the cold waters of the river.

If you don’t trust your orientation skills, crossing Neda’s gorge is also planned by organized groups, with drivers from alternative activities companies, every weekend from May to September. 

The first part of the route, the one that leads to the two waterfalls, is not rough at all, which means you can easily do it on your own throughout the year- especially in autumn and spring it is magical.


If you are looking for an ideal destination probably for next spring, then Peloponnese deserves to be on top of your list, without any reasonable doubt.

Please try to count how many days you have for spending, because the Peloponnesian spring options are endless.

10 things you must do in Peloponnese in spring

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