This year I felt the urge to explore and know more about my father’s hometown and the surroundings. I realized that I don’t know much about the place I used to spend my summers when I was younger. That’s probably because I’ve never needed to explore and make the most of it. So last summer I was determined to change it! I had a new pair of eyes on the villages next to mine and to my surprise I discovered a hidden gem, “a pair of one” amazing waterfall, the Souda’s Waterfalls in Theodoriana Village.
Theodoriana is a beautiful mountain village on the southwest slopes of Tzoumerka – in between the boundaries of Epirus and Thessaly. It touches an altitude of 1100metres and belongs to the perfection of Arta but it is flirting with Trikala perfection as well. The village is surrendered to the embrace of the bare and rigged mountaintops that stand as unapproachable guards. In the summer months it’s full of life but in the winter it deserts, as it happens to the most of the mountainous villages. Among other things, the village owes its reputation to the proud and historical Kostilata, the alpine plateau that constitutes a basic pasture, up to this day. Nature is everywhere, with the aquatic element being the greatest protagonist. The conspicuous presence of water feeds life in this place. Springs, streams, rivers, creeks, waterfalls. And the famous Souda’s Waterfalls stealing impressions and being the main attraction of the village.
ON OUR WAY TO THEODOARIANA VILLAGE
Theodoriana is 80km away from the city of Arta and 78 km from Trikala. We are near Theodoriana in the neighboring village Aetos in Trikala region. We drive to the national roadTrikala – Arta and after the tunnel of Ag. Kyriaki we meet the junction for Theodoraina-Neraida, on the right. After 1 km we find ourselves on the wild beauty of Epirus. We are greeted from a rough and backcountry scenery and ‘outshout us’ that we are in the rocky Tzoumerka , the ancient Athamanika Mountain range.
We “climb” a gravel road under cutting rocks and the view of the deep Gkouras gorge on the left. What an authentic wild beauty!
Outside the village we meet a traditional arch stone bridge built last century. Just a few minutes’ drive away we come across the first houses and the running water as well. Water, water, water everywhere!
ON THE PATH TO THE TWINS WATERFALLS
To reach the Waterfalls, there are two routes:
Route 1 : You can drive part of the route and continue on foot on a paved path. This route is the best in my opinion if you have limited time. The path takes just 20 minutes.
Route 2 : The alternative route follows the old path and lasts about an hour. This choice is the best if you want to enjoy the nature along the way to the waterfalls. We chose the route 2 for our hike.
From the beautiful village’s square, we take the upward asphalt road to the left of the church. We follow the signs until we come to a narrow concreate road. We take the path next to the signpost, below the irrigation ditch. We enjoy the. lush vegetation, proceed through walnut trees, cedars, elms, plane trees and firs. Our lungs swell with the aromas of mountainous nature. Water runs abundantly, sometimes in a hurry and sometimes calmly. The water with its gurling song accompanies us all the way through. The path a mosaic of soil and stone evolves smoothly and unfolds the multifaceted beauty of the place. As we proceed a stone window emerges to our left and is the sharp ridge of Kryakoura, the natural border that separates Thessaly from Epirus. The spot offers a wonderful view of the mountains.
After a hike of around 30 minutes, we cross the country road and re-enter the path. The landscape now become alpine and we hike on a cobbled path. Walking in a fir forest in our ears echoes the muttering of Aspri Gkoura river.
We cross the wooden bridge that comes to add another picturesque touch to the whole scenery and after about 10 minutes we see the two water curtains, the twin waterfalls of Souda. The waters that descend from the peaks of Pindos are divided into two forming the twin waterfalls that fall from a height of 25m to meet the stream of Aspri Goura. The water pops deafeningly on the rocks scattering thousands of drops around, creating thousands of magical moments.
If you get close, you’ll feel their touch and steal some of their magic. You will feel their power and become part of their history and their journey.
They may not be the largest waterfalls of the Tzoumerka, but they are equally impressive and fascinating. It is worth taking the route of the old path to feel all the grandeur hidden in these mountain giants called the Atamanian Mountains.