Hiking in Kouiassa Waterfall and Kipinas Monastery

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 main road to the waterfall is only 15 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.

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View from Kalarrites

Overall the path is very easy to hike and is suitable for beginners but is also very family friendly. The starting point is right from the main road (that leads to the village of Kalarrites ) and with minimum elevation gain. The first part of the path provides a great sun cover from the trees and the more you hike further the more you can hear the water from Chrousia river. On that point, we can also see the Kouiassa bridge.


See more hiking/mountaineering routes around this area:


How to reach Kouiassa


About Kouiassa Bridge

Kouiassa bridge is a stone-built, single-arched, semicircular bridge in the valley of the river Chrousia. In the trunk of one part of the bridge there is a smaller arch that lightens the construction (relief arch) and allows the rapid passage of water in case of flood.

It was built with funding from wealthy residents and immigrants from Kalarrites, around 1800. The name Kouiassa means shady place.

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Starting point of Kouiassa path
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First part of the path
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Trail path
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Map at Kouiassa Bridge
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Stone Bridge Kouiassa
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To Kouiassa watermill
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Waterfall
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Lovely river view
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Fresh view
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Like a paradise

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Waterfall

Holy Kipinas Monastery

The monastery of Kipina, near the village of Kalarrites, seems to be a part of the rock inside which it is built. It was constructed in 1212 in the honor of the Assumption of Virgin Mary and its name probably originates from the gardens that were cultivated by the monks beneath it. A short path leads to the wooden bridge above the 4-meter high cliff that will take you inside the monastery. The construction of the monastery is impressive as every part of the rock has been taken advantage of, while at the same time it gives off a sense of hospitality and serenity. Nowadays, there are no monks in the monastery and in order to visit it, you will have to take the key from the coffee house in Kipina village. 

The complex was built in 1212 under the careful watch of the Metropolitan of Arta, Serapheim Xenopoulo, and dedicated to the dormition of the Virgin Mary. Throughout its 800 years of existence, the monastery played an important historic role, acting as both a secret school during the years of the Turkish occupation as well as a hidden arsenal throughout the Greek Revolution and the following liberation of Epirus.

Another interesting aspect of the monastery is the existence of an entrance to a cave within its walls. It’s covered by a wooden door, but visitors to the monastery are able to venture in. Along its path, stalactites as well as small pools of water can be found, as researchers believe there is an underground river flowing below the foundations of the monastery.
Throughout the inhabited spaces of the monastery, visitors will also enjoy the spectacular views from its windows and the handmade furniture reflecting the region’s traditions in tapestry and craftsmanship. Even the uphill approach to the monastery is a breathtaking journey through the authentic beauty of Ioannina’s natural environment.

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Kipina’s Monastery Entrance
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Path that leads to the secondary entrance
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Path that leads to the secondary entrance
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Secondary Entrance

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First view of the monastery
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Kipina’s Monastery
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Kipina’s Monastery

See more hiking/mountaineering routes around this area:


Below: This map marks all the mountaineering adventures that have been featured on Olympus Mountaineering so far, including several Sport climbing crags – Select full screen to expand, zoom in for more detail, or click on a marker for a link to the post.

18 thoughts on “Hiking in Kouiassa Waterfall and Kipinas Monastery

    1. Curt, I fully understand how you feel. Here in Greece, the last 10 days we had about 46 C (115 F) and the situation was not very pleasant. Especially for hiking and climbing activities.

      Fortunately. we also have such small “oasis” with plenty of water and small waterfalls that we can enjoy during such warm days.

      Thanks for your comment Curt.

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      1. Plus, we have both been suffering from smoke, fires and fire danger! Welcome to the future of global warming, sad to say. I get the oasis concept. We live next to a river. 🙂 –Curt

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  1. What a beautiful trail with lots of attractions along the way. That’s so neat how the monastery is built into the cliff wall. I’ve heard that Greece is dealing with some wicked forest fires this summer. Hope that hasn’t impacted you (or the trails) too much.

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    1. The Monastery of Kipina is indeed greatly built into the cliff! And the view from there, simply stunning.

      With regards the wildfires of Greece, unfortunately hundreds of thousands of hectares of beautiful forests burned in various areas of Greece.

      It’s a pity that plenty of trails have been impacted but most of all, a really beautiful area (North Evia) was pretty much fully burned.

      Thanks for asking and I appreciate your interest and concern.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am so sorry to hear that North Evia has fully burned. I definitely feel your pain. When a particularly beautiful place burns, it leaves a physical and an emotional scar. If I’ve learned one thing from all the wildfires we’ve had in Canada over the past 18 or so years, it’s how quickly the forest can rejuvenate itself. Even in our norther clime and short growing season, 10 years after a fire and the area is covered with trees. I realize Greece will have lost hardwoods that go back centuries, and the devastation will be harder to replace, but please take some solace in knowing that one day, it will again be beautiful. My thoughts are with you, my friend. Alisen

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      2. Thank you a lot Alisen for your kind words! It is very special, cause you are very far from Greece and you really care about it.

        I fully agree with your point that the forest can rejuvenate. The problem is not the wildfires, but that hundreds (if not thousands) of people lost their houses, animals and overall their life in the area. This means, that they will have to move away in search of a new life.

        Again, thanks for your -always- supportive message and I look forward to see your new mountain adventures from your own blog!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh, of course. How thoughtless of me. I am so used to our forests being vast tracks of open land where no one lives. I can only imagine how many people have been misplaced. That is a human tragedy on top of the physical loss of beautiful places. Again, my heart goes out to you and your country.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Greece has many (christian orthodox) monasteries, and the Kipina, although a very small one, is one with the most breathtaking views.

      There are two other areas in Greece where there are many monasteries such as Mount Athos and Meteora.

      Actually, in Meteora, one can also go rock climbing for some wonderful multi-pitch routes.

      Feel free to check some here:
      https://olympusmountaineering.com/2019/10/22/climbing-in-meteora-doupiani-rock-pantocrators-ridge-ostkante-east-ridge/

      https://olympusmountaineering.com/2019/10/27/climbing-in-meteora-sudostwand-doupiani-southeast-wall-plaka/

      https://olympusmountaineering.com/2019/11/04/climbing-in-meteora-pillar-of-rain-doupiani-rock/

      Thanks for the comment Alisen.

      Liked by 1 person

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