Discover The Hidden Natural Wonders of Nemouta in the Peloponnese



Waterfall along the Erymanthos River near Nemouta

The village of Nemouta is located on the western side of the Peloponnesian Peninsula, in the prefecture of Elis, part of the region of western Greece.

Its waterfalls and forests will remind you of a fairy tale, and its clear, sparkling green waters will linger in your memory forever.

This place, a rare preserve of untouched natural areas on the Greek mainland, is actually easily accessible to visitors, with its paths even appropriate for children.

The village of Nemouta is approximately 3.5 hours away from the capital city of Athens.

Why Not Bring Your Swimsuit For a Refreshing Dip?

Contrary to what some may believe, waterfalls do not exist only in northern Greece. These impressive Peloponnesian waterfalls are located almost 42 km (26 miles) from Pyrgos, the capital of Elis, in a village which lies at an altitude of 560 meters (1837 feet). The waters of the Erymanthos River form beautiful cascades of falls as they descend from this highland.

When you are anywhere in Greece, not just along the seashore, you should always be swimsuit-ready. And waterfall swimming is an amazing experience in itself, one that is not to be missed.

The Nemouta area, which includes a total of more than thirty waterfalls, has deservedly become a major tourist attraction in recent years.

The area recently appeared on the tourism radar after two young men returned to their village due to the economic crisis that plagued the country several years ago.

The two men, Nicholas Siakkoulis and Panagiotis Papailiou, put Nemouta on the tourist map when they discovered the mesmerizing waterfalls firsthand while on hiking expeditions.

Siakkoulis and Papaillou have been able to map over thirty waterfalls in the area and make them known through social media.

So for the last two years, climbing and hiking clubs, individual visitors and even groups of foreign tourists have begun to arrive in Nemouta to experience the rare beauty of the Erymanthos River and its many waterfalls.

Additional Easily-Accessible Waterfalls

Two more easily-accessible waterfalls are located in the village of Elis to the north after crossing the metal bridge which spans the Erymanthos River.

There are also ruins of a water-powered mill, which is believed to have functioned as a gunpowder mill during the Ottoman occupation in the mid 15th century and during the Greek Revolution in 1821.

The water groove, the siphon and the millstone used in past centuries can still be seen there.

The gravel road leading from Nemouta to the village of Elis and the bridge of the Erymanthos River is accessible to all vehicles.

Just a few meters before the bridge, you will find a path along the small bank of the river which leads into the canyon itself, which has wooden bridges and benches with tables for picnics. There is also a well-marked 13 km (8 mile) long hiking trail.

Natura 2000 Area

The fabled oak Forest of Foloi, also in the village of Nemouta, is a protected site belonging to the Natura 2000 network.

Well-placed signs include information about the area for visitors, and the lovely path through the wood is shaded by many willow and plane trees, making it a perfect place to spend hot summer or early autumn afternoons.

The forest, located at an altitude of 688 meters (2,257 feet) in the area of Foloi Elis, spreads out over 9,900 acres.

It is the only native oak forest in the entire Balkans region with virgin stands of oak trees. The trees can reach up to 20 meters (65 feet) in height and can live up to 200 years.

The Foloi Forest is also considered one of the 196 important birding areas in Greece by the Natura 2000 network.

So how about visiting this great destination for a long  autumn weekend coming up? With waterfalls, swimming, mountain climbing and birding, the Nemouta area has so much to offer.