Ano Loutraki Arideas – Kounoupitsa waterfall

A very beautiful route, starting from the old military outpost in Ano Loutraki in Aridea going to a well-kept secret of the mountain, the waterfall of Kounoupitsa. Relatively close to Thessaloniki, it is what you need for a one-day mountain hike. The Route can also be done from the Pozar thermal baths as a starting point, but you will have to calculate an additional two hours if you go that way. If it is combined with a relaxing bath in the thermal springs after returning, then this will be ideal.


Distance from Thessaloniki: 109 km

Place to eat: Lemonis Tavern , Mavrovouni Aridea , 16 € per person

European Emergency Number: 112

Fire Brigade Dept: 199

Medical Emergency: 166 

Old military outpost – Kounoupitsa waterfall – Old military outpost

Route Information

Route Description: Hiking

Difficulty: Easy

Route Length: 4 km

Water in route: Yes. In the military outpost and in the river

Duration: 2h

The route took place at NOV 2023

Team members: 8 adults 1 child

From Thessaloniki via the National road Thessaloniki –Edessa, we arrive at Loutraki Aridea. On the main road of the village that joins Loutraki with Aridea, we see a sign pointing to Ano Loutraki – Kali Pediada. We turn towards the mountain. On the road turn, in case you feel lost, there is Nostos guesthouse and Nymfes hotel. We pass them both, continuing to drive up the mountain. After 5 minutes on our right we see the chapel of Agios Ioannis and after another 5 minutes, about 4 km from the turn, on our left, we see the old Military outpost where there is a recreation area and a water fountain.

On the other side of the outpost, two dirt roads are starting and we are going to take the left one. As we go downhill, soon we come across a field of cherries and at the end of it we have to take the left path that takes us to the “Ramno Bor” Gorge.

Because our route took place in a snowy terrain, at the end of the Cherry’s field we had a little difficulty finding the path, but we overcome it quickly and we continued the descent. The landscape is wonderful, with successive small uphill and downhill directions, leading us deeper and deeper into the gorge and the stream that runs through it. We descend through a black pine’s forest, quite dense with tall, old trees.

The path in some places is narrow and slippery, without becoming hard and difficult. It just needs attention, especially if there are children or older people in the company. It is poorly marked with red signs, but at key points, there is always a sign to help the hiker.

The sound of the water as we descend becomes louder and the vegetation changes as we hike now between oaks, beeches and birches. The most difficult part of the trail is when it reaches the stream’s bed. The downhill is very steep and the ground quite slippery. For this reason the local mountaineering club has installed a permanent rope for this 10-15 meter of descent.

We hike on the bank of the stream with the gurgling and crystal clear water flowing with a gargling noise on our left. This water joins the other streams in the area and ends up after about 4.5 km in Pozar thermal baths. Willows and huge plane trees accompany us now while the path sometimes moves almost inside the stream. After about 1 km, we see a rock with “Waterfalls 500m” written on it. We pass it, going right, climbing the small ridge and in front of us in the distance we can see the waterfall, which falls from a height of 12 m and forms a small lake with turquoise waters, in which one can dive in the summer months.

To get closer to the waterfall and the lake, we will have to cross the stream. There is no bridge and we have to carefully choose our route over the slippery stones. So we use a rope to go to the other side and we are now on the shores of the lake in front of the magnificent waterfall.

We rest mentally and physically for some time, we take photos and videos and we start our way back following the same path in the opposite direction.

A wonderful route on the northern border of our country, but it has two points of difficulty that you must pay attention to. One is the point where the path reaches the stream where you have to use the fixed rope (installed by the local climbing club) to descend or ascend and another point where you have to cross the stream to get to the banks of the lake and near the waterfall. If you do the route in summer and especially near summer’s end, when the water level and speed is low, there is no problem. If you do the route in the end of autumn, after a period of rainfall and in the spring when the snow melts, the stream is flooded and this makes things somewhat difficult.