River Neda and her Waterfalls is located in Kyparissia.
The river begins on the southern slope of Mount Lykaion, near the village of Neda in northern Messenia. It flows to the west through a varied landscape of barren rock and forests. From near Figaleia until its mouth it forms the border of Messenia and Elis. There is a well known waterfall near the village Platania. The Neda flows into the Gulf of Kyparissia, a bay of the Ionian Sea, near the village Giannitsochori.
It is the only Greek river of the “of feminine gender”. According to the Greek Mythology, Neda was a Nymph, a goddess of waters.
Neda is to our opinion one of the most underestimated rivers in Greece and still a hidden gem! It’s a perfect choice for canyoning, trekking, running or even cycling!
The river trek ends in a place with natural river pools under a waterfall a real fun paradise for children where they can swim under the spectacular water fall.
Neda is relatively close to Kyparissia, a nice summer resort with an impressive castle. From there you follow the route to mountain village of Platanias and there a narrow road leads visitors to the canyon of Neda. It’s charming and unpredictable with beautiful waterfalls, which appear suddenly in front of your eyes and small ponds with crystal clear turquoise waters are formed.
The overall time for the crossing the gorge from the beginning to the end is estimated between 7 and 8 hours. In some places walking inside the Neda river is unavoidable, while in other points swimming is absolutely necessary!
The river has sculpted the beautiful landscape between the peaks of Mt Tetrazio to Kyparissia Bay. From its source on Mount Lykaion, meanders through steep ravines, cool plateaus, lush gorges and dark caves, passing under stone bridges and cascading over cliffs to reach the sea 32km away.
The fauna of the region is rich in variety and you can often see hares, birds, beautiful fish and crabs. Sometimes you can also see blue dragonflies and as they fly over the water which this makes the whole scenery dreamed!
The most direct and easy access to the Neda waterfalls is from the village of Platania, where a dirt road leads to the stone bridge. The path is then signposted up a track to the falls, probably about 2km long.
On the rocks that overhang the gorge is little church of Panagitsa and the cave of a hermit. It is said that the icon on display in the church was found in a niche above where the church was built, along the way at former crossing points little stone bridges have survived and a few mills that made use of the power of the water.
During the summer months, you will not find much water, probably just a few little streams running over the rocks and spilling into the lake.
Legend of the Origin of the River
The world of the valley of Neda River was a mythical site for ancient Greeks.
According to Greek mythology the river took its name from one of the Nymphs, daughters of Zeus Aegiochos, god of the storm, and the nymphs were considered to be very beautiful young women of divine origin, who were not immortal but they were lived for many years near springs and rivers, eating the ambrosia.
After Rea gave birth to Zeus at the Lykaion Mountain, she entrusted her son’s growing up to the Nymphs of Neda, Thesoa and Agno. Legend says that the area of Arcadia was without water at that times and Rea couldn’t find any, so she hit the ground with a stick and immediately a river was created, named Neda from the Nymph’s name.