An ultimate guide to forest bathing in Epirus, Greece.
7 natural spots in Epirus you must not miss to try forest bathing
Unlike many things these days, forest bathing is exactly what it sounds like – and refreshingly so. Immersing yourself in the sounds, sights, and scents of the natural world is an experience you might think you’re familiar with. Whether you’re new to the forest or a frequent wanderer of the woods, forest bathing will help you uncover powerful connections you’ve never explored before.
1. Rema Marks
Rema Marks known also as the stream of Paradise, it is a spot of rare, wild beauty, with small waterfalls that create green ponds, taking our breaths away!
This virgin place is located at the Theodoriana village which is known for its water springs. In order to reach the stream you have to follow the path that starts at the village’s entrance.
The path goes through the largest fir forest of the area and throughout the trip our ears are filled with the sounds of running water and singing birds. A pure and virgin place that resembles a fairytale, the home of fairies and elves! After the first glade you can see the first pond, ideal for relaxation in order to continue towards the second, larger one.
The sight is breathtaking! The first pond’s water is gathered and then falls with force on a huge rock, so symmetrical that you believe it is man-made. A truly unique scenery that astounds visitors of all ages. The water also creates multiple, small waterfalls that are united into a large “pool”. Around the spot, there are areas where you can sit and enjoy the spectacle. During the summer months a dive into the cold waters is a must.
2. Iliochori Waterfall “Balda di Stringa”
The waterfalls of Iliochori are located in the forests of Zagori near the borders with the villages of Smolikas. Three waterfalls in total that form 2 large green pedestals, literally in a virgin forest. The path for the waterfalls starts from the village square in a downhill course of 1050 meters, in a fairly well-maintained and well-kept path where about halfway there you will find a small church.
When you get close to your destination, you will see the path divided into two paths. We suggest you follow the right path where you will find a green small lake with the highest waterfall of the three. The residents of the village have taken care of and built stone benches while they have shaped the place so that you can sit and enjoy the landscape. The landscape in the second waterfall is similar, while the third is the smallest.
The path is the same for the return but it is uphill and you have to calculate about twice the time.
We suggest you wear sneakers and have a swimsuit and towel with you if you visit the waterfalls in the summer.
3. Vlacha’s Pools
The Vlaha’s pools are located in the Municipality of Zitsa, 3 km away from the village of Voutsaras near the river Kalamas. The stream starts from the springs of Vlaha, just before joining Kalamas, and forms a unique landscape ideal for forest bathing, with small waterfalls and swimming pools, while the landscape is reminiscent of wild jungle forests.
To reach the Vlaha’s pools, follow the road to the church of Agia Paraskevi, through the village, where there is a dirt road for 3 km. In case your car is not so high it would be better to walk to where the path.
After leaving the car at the point where the path starts (there is a sign), walk in the forest for ten minutes, and on your hand right will appear a beautiful and unique place. Also at the point, there are two benches, made by the residents of the village of Voutsara, to relax.
The trail is in excellent condition as it is used not only by visitors but also for running and mountain bike racing.
The swimming pools of Vlacha are a place that you can visit on the same day from Ioannina as it is 35 km from the city. The distance from Zagori is also about an hour. The point is enchanting and will reward your effort.
4. Papingo Rock Pools
Papingo rock pools or Ovires or Kolibithres, in Papingo, Zagori, are natural pools created by the erosion of the lime rock bed due to the flowing water of Rogovo stream on its downward trip from mountain Tymfi. Man-made barriers placed by the locals control the level of these pools so that during the summer the water levels rise to create many natural “swimming pools” enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.
5. Tzoumerka Beach of Acheloos River
The Acheloos river though, the second-longest Greek river and a God according to Greek Mythology, hides quite a few surprises making the Tzoumerka area an ideal destination for summer as well.
Beaches at the riverfront of Acheloos, with crystal waters, mud baths and natural spas. An idyllic setting well-hidden amidst the dense forest. A hidden diamond that was reached, until recently, only with the aid of the locals. But don’t you worry, we are here for you with all the details in order to reach easily and fast this little Paradise on Earth.
6. Klifki Waterfall
The route starts from the village square of Kalentzi and heads eastwards to a country road, (can be driven) which reaches the beginning of the path to the springs of Klifki. Before the incline of the on-road trail becomes steeper, the vehicle should be parked (if exists), (a Greek sign will be found). In about 5 minutes distance from the part where the trail goes downhill a gazebo will be seen where one will be able to admire the breathtaking view of the Arachthos River. After 40 minutes of hiking, a crossroad will be met whereby taking a left turn a beautiful large natural reservoir will be reached. This gathers water from the cave and the gorge and as a result, forms a 47-meter waterfall (does not have water the whole year) as well as a few meter smaller ones which all end in the river of Arachthos.
7. Kouiassa Waterfall
Wherever you are in Epirus, somewhere near you, there will be a “hidden” place that will surprise you with its beauty. One of them is the waterfall of Kouiassa in Tzoumerka and more specifically, five minutes before you reach the village of Kalarrites, after the metal bridge that crosses Kalarritikos river, you can park your car where there is and the sign that starts the path. The path from the highway to the waterfall is only 10 minutes. On your way, you will find a watermill that works as a cafe next to the river. As soon as you reach the waterfall, the landscape will enchant you with its beauty, so it is a very good idea, if you are there in the summer, to take a dip in the crystal clear waters of the Kalarritikos river.