Easily accessible via a board-lined footpath and surrounded by picturesque old wooden bridges, the Twin Waterfalls make up a magical landscape and an awe- inspiring sight. This landmark stands out among the sights of Tzoumerka and all of Greece.
The Twins – or as they are known “the double waterfalls” are on the northwestern slopes of Mount Olympus (or Athamanika Mountains, to be more official), near the settlement of Kryopigi, one of the four villages that make up the town of Katarraktis in Arta.
With the grandeur of Olympus in the background, the waterfalls are said to sometimes look like the “water guardians” of the mountain. Soaring to an altitude of 1,360 meters, they are remarkable to behold.
These waterfalls are considered to be the tallest in Greece, with the northern one measuring 87 metres in height and the southern one reaching to 100 metres. Despite the difference in height, the northern waterfall boasts a more powerful water flow, with a greater concentration of water, making it the more impressive of the two.
As in other parts of Greece, water levels tend to be higher during the winter and lower in the summer, although these measurements are always dependent on yearly rainfall.
After their rousing descent, their waters flow for approximately 10 kilometres before finally reaching the Arahthos River. Surely, such a volume of water could not leave its surroundings, full of lush vegetation, unaffected.
At first glance, anyone familiar with mountainous landscapes (especially in Greece), might consider that to be typical. However, exploring the valleys surrounding the waterfalls also reveals some exceptional examples of life in the green meadows.
Flora and Fauna
The dominant species are rushes, laurels and holly, but there are also many orchids, especially on the side of the aforementioned paved path – such as the purple Himantoglossum caprinum or the rare Epipactis subclausa.
If you’re looking for something even more special, you’ll notice that almost all the waterfalls are surrounded by holly, while the shadier spots are populated by irises. This flora, in turn, is attractive to salamanders, toads, Roumeli lizards, as well as vipers and tree shrews.
There are also many species of birds (over 100, ornithologists estimate), including some quite rare ones, such as stone partridges, Egyptian vultures and vultures. Finally, bears, wolves, wild boars and otters occasionally pass through the area, especially during winter.
How to get here
The easiest way to get to the twin waterfalls of Tzoumerka is to reach the village of Kataraktis, coming from Arta. The village is only 7 kilometres away and a nice place to stop for coffee and food, as well as an overnight stay if you decide to spend a few days here.
Next to the waterfalls, there is a canteen for visitors to the area. Most people come in spring – especially in May, when the water is more plentiful. Athens is 420 kilometres away. Starting from there, take the Athens-Patras National Road, pass Rio, then turn towards Arta and head towards the mountain for the next 64km.
The route is beautiful. If you’re coming from Thessaloniki, again, you’ll follow the Egnatia Odos to Ioannina and from there you’ll take the road to the villages of Lazena and Kalendzi. The picturesque Plaka bridge where you’ll arrive is 16 km from the waterfalls.
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