When you think of Calabria, what comes to mind is a territory kissed by the sea, yet scorched by the sun. In short, an arid, almost desert landscape – given the geographical proximity to Africa – where drought reigns.
However, with 3 national parks, 1 regional park and 18 nature reserves, Calabria is very much a green oasis with varied and lush vegetation, offering unique and ever-changing scenery. Between the forests, caves and rocks of various types, the region is surrounded by numerous watercourses that give rise to captivating waterfalls and natural pools of irresistible beauty.
Beginning the exploration of our territory from the north, we begin in the national Park of Pollino, the valleys of Raganello, Lao and Argentine, true paradises for sports enthusiasts such as climbers, rafters and canyoners.
Heading down towards Catanzaro, in the Pre-sila, we meet the natural reserve of the Cupe Valleys that offer the spectacle of lovely waterfalls up to 100m, immersed in subtropical vegetation. Among these are the most famous Campanaro Falls, surrounded by an almost equatorial landscape with the Rupe Falls and the Croce Gorges.
Less known is the waterfall of Tiglia, near Lamezia Terme, in the village of Panetti in the city of Platania. Recently discovered by local landscapist Francesco Bevilacqua, it now provided us with this wildly magical scenery.
.What will we find, however, in the southern part of Calabria, where Italy seems to dive into the Strait of Messina? Just turn your back to the sea for a moment and enter the Aspromonte National Park to discover its own beauty.
In the territory of Molochio, in the locality of Trepidò, along the valley of the Barvi river you reach the falls of the Vallone Schiavo, immersed in the fascinating and prehistoric vegetation of ancient Lichens and ferns. Among these, the most striking is the Galasìa (which in Greek means ruin),in the characteristic form of a wedding veil. Further down the valley you can reach the Mundu waterfall (in Greek meaning naked, bare) that, with a jumping off point of about 50 meters, into a pond with its characteristic emerald green color and a large boulder in the center.
The Maesano Falls, are worthy of the excursion… also known as Amendolea, the river from which they originate in the heart of Aspromonte. To reach the falls you begin from the Diga del Menta winding along a path through rich vegetation. Following the path, you come to an overlook, a breathtaking spectacle: the waterfalls with its three majestic jumps (all over 60 meters) ending in various natural pools.
If you find yourself in the heart of the Grecanica area of Ghorio di Roghudi, the Puzzerraiti waterfalls, overhanging the road.
In the province of Bivongi, however, in the upper course of the Stilaro river, which is one of the “Italian wonders,” you’ll find the waterfall of Marmarico. With a 114-meter jump, it is the highest in Calabria and Southern Apennines. The jump finishes in a crystal pond with fresh silvery water, where you can enjoy a swim.
After this excursion you will want to slip on your trekking shoes and set out among the fascinating places that make Calabria a land to discover. There is much to see and numerous other waterfalls not mentioned, but which represent other spectacles of nature.
We invite you to send us your discoveries, even of lesser known waterfalls which are worth a trip to see. We will be happy to add them to our list of places to see!