It’s known for its stunning beaches and sparkling seas, but Greece is also home to some fantastic freshwater features. Indeed, Greek waterfalls are all the more spectacular thanks to their relative obscurity, allowing them to remain unspoiled.
In this article, we’ll explore the waterfalls in Greece, scouring the mainland and its many islands in search of the most captivating cataracts.
Karanos: The Tallest Waterfall in Greece?
The capital of the region of Pella, Edessa is known to many as the city of water, a moniker it earned for its collection of dramatic waterfalls. Thundering down from a curved outcrop, the white water of these vast cataracts shimmers against the red rock that forms their backdrop. And the dense vegetation all around only enhances the sense of natural power they exude. Chief amongst these is the so-called “great waterfall”, Karanos. At approximately 230 feet tall, Karanos is usually cited as the tallest waterfall in Greece. And, as if the grandeur on display wasn’t enough, a surprise hides behind its curtain of water, namely a cave. On the other side of the outcrop the twin falls alternately known as Diplos or Lamda Falls.
As mentioned above, Karanos is usually named as the tallest waterfall in Greece. However, measuring waterfalls is notoriously difficult and there’s no official recording body for such matters. With this in mind, the Lepida Waterfall in Akrata is also said to measure 230 feet. It navigates this approximate distance in two steps through a narrow corridor. The immediate vicinity of the waterfall boasts almost 100 species of flora and fauna, making it an oasis in an otherwise dry landscape. However, the waterfall is affected by the season, often drying up in the summer.
One of the most unique and remote sets of waterfalls in Greece are the Fonias Falls, located on the island of Samothraki. This is not a single cascade, but a complex of crystal-clear rock pools or “vathres” interconnected by waterfalls. The highest of these rushes down in an arc from a height of around 66 feet.
Legends abound about the Greek waterfalls of Nemouta, with some claiming they were inhabited by centaurs, others calling them the place of fairies. Nestled in the forested mountainous Ilia region near ancient Olympia, it’s not hard to see why they’ve been linked with myths. The ethereal nature of the place invites it. One of the biggest of the falls is the “Gate of Paradise,” standing approximately 66 feet tall.
The misty mountains of Evrytania are home to some of the most extraordinary waterfalls of Greece. Amidst dense forest and mossy rock, one finds Panta Vrexei. This extraordinary phenomenon, which roughly translates as “eternal rain” lies within a 260-foot long enclosed canyon. Here, the waters of the River Krikelopotamos spray down as disparate showers onto the rocky surface below. The result is a unique and spectacular watery corridor where it is indeed always raining.
The Livaditis Waterfall, also known as Trachonio Waterfall, spiderwebs down a craggy incline in Xanthi. Approximately 130 feet tall, this majestic waterfall is surrounded by rugged pine and fir forests.
A hidden gem amongst the waterfalls in Greece is found within easy reach of one of its most famous sites. Hidden amongst the greenery and gorges in the Orlias Forest, these cascades lie on the foothills of none other than Mount Olympus. The most prominent of them is Kokkinos Vrachos, meaning Red Rock Waterfall.
The Fraktos Waterfalls are located in the heart of the Fracto Forest, within the Virgin forest and Wildlife Sanctuary of Rhodope, which is an important habitat for numerous species, such as endangered wild goats. The waterfalls start from the mountain’s peaks and fall into small lakes, creating a tranquil and serene setting.
The bucolic beauty of the Neda Waterfalls in the southern Peloponnese has an otherworldly quality. It’s therefore fitting that the complex of cascades with their sandy rocks, verdant greenery and bright turquoise waters are named after a mythological character. In ancient lore, Neda was the water goddess and nymph who nourished Zeus.
The island of Crete is home to another of Greece’s best waterfalls. A shimmering stream that dives some 49 feet into a secluded verdant gorge, the Richtis Waterfall culminates in an aquamarine pool.
Waterfalls of Greece
As we reach the end of our exploration of Greece’s best waterfalls, one thing stands out as clear as the waters of a mountain stream: that these Greek waterfalls are just as beautiful as the country’s glorious beaches and picturesque mountains.