What more could you want on a hot summer’s day than a shady stroll through peaceful countryside, leading to a dazzling landscape of cascades, dramatic rock formations and verdant woodland? I was on a leisurely walk to the Nidri Waterfalls, one of the more hidden natural attractions of Lefkada.
A Walk To The Nidri Waterfalls
It was as much about the walk as the waterfalls. Following an undemanding 3km hiking trail from the tourist resort of Nidri, you soon leave the bustle of the town far behind you. The path is waymarked and easy to follow, and the countryside is empty: you are likely to have the path almost to yourself.
For much of the way you follow the river bed, although this may be dried up during the summer. The road is lined by trees and bushes, and there are flowers and butterflies everywhere. You will pass olive trees and lemon groves, and even the occasional pomegranate tree.
A Majestic Cascade
At the end of the trail you come to a small car park and a café. This is where the walk becomes slightly more challenging: from here an uneven rocky path leads upwards to the waterfalls.
The island of Lefkada has an abundance of underground water (hence the tree-topped mountains of the interior). The Nidri Waterfalls – also known as Dimossari – were formed when the water carved a deep gorge through the rock. Although the water levels are lower in the summer, the cascades are magnificent at any time, the largest having a fall of around 12m.
Exploring The Nidri Waterfalls
You can enjoy the natural environment, and a view of the falls, from the fenced path that leads up from the car park. From here you come to the first, small, waterfall and you will hear the sounds of water rushing downhill. And you are surrounded by the plane trees and old oaks of the forest.
You could choose to stop here and take photographs, or to carry on to the main cascade. But be warned that this path is a bit trickier: you will need to walk over rocks and a rough wooden bridge. And, for the most intrepid explorers, a steep stairway makes its way right to the top of the waterfall.
For many visitors the main attraction is swimming in the water, which remains ice-cold at all times of the year. And relaxing afterwards with a drink and a snack at the Plane Tree Restaurant.
How To Visit The Nidri Waterfalls
- The hiking path from Nidri is along a quiet road on mostly level ground. The path is 3km long, and there is a further 350m to walk uphill from the car park.
- Alternatively you can hire a car, and park near the restaurant. However you will still need to walk uphill to the falls themselves.
- If you are planning to walk over the rocks at the end of the trail make sure that you have sturdy footwear.
- Buses to Nidri run from Lefkada Town, Nikiana and other stops around the coastal road.
- If travelling during high season you may wish to visit at the beginning or end of the day to avoid the crowds, particularly if you want to eat at the Plane Tree Restaurant.
- An alternative choice for food and drink is the Kato Rahoula Nouvell Restaurant, along the hiking track about halfway between Nidri and the waterfalls.
- Nidri itself is a centre for beaches, water sports and boat excursions. One possibility is to take a Sea Kayaking Excursion to Meganisi Island.
- The town is also full of bars and restaurants. If you are planning a longer stay have a look at the accommodation options on booking.com.