Nafplio has been and is one of the most beautiful and most romantic cities in Greece. Beneath the Palamidi fortress there is a waterside location full of attractive narrow streets, elegant houses, neoclassical mansions and interesting places. You will also find a great number of tavernas, restaurants, boutiques and comfortable hotels and guesthouses. During the weekend is the number one destination for locals from Athens. Nafplio is also the best destination to be in high season.
Nafplio was the capital of the modern State of Greece between 1823 to 1834. There you can observe stunning Venetian architecture and Ottoman structures.
Nafplio only two hours away from Athens.
Are you planning a road trip through the Peloponnese? Are you visiting Athens for a week and need a quick getaway? An escape to Nafplio is for sure what you need. Two hours away from Athens you can visit Nafplio by car or by bus. The trip goes through northern Peloponnese, relax and enjoy the countryside so close to Athens.
Nafplio, the place you need to learn about Greek history
In Nafplio you will come across an Archaeological Museum, housed in a Venetian building on Syntagma Square. The permanent exhibition features some of the oldest vestiges of the Paleolithic Era. Also includes figurines, jewellery, clothing, sculptures, ceramics and rare artefacts from the Neolithic Period.
Visiting Nafplio is easy to explore the rest of the region
Its convenient location on the Saronic Gulf makes Nafplio a perfect base to venture out to many archaeological sites in Peloponnese. The theatre of Epidaurus and the ancient cities of Corinth, Mycenae and Tyrins are all just some kilometres drive away from the center of the town.
All the walking enthusiasts can find their place.
The Old Town of Nafplio with the unique narrow streets, the hidden squares and the neoclassical mansions is as charming as everybody could imagine. Even the walking distance from the port to Acronafplia would worth an effort.
A variety of beaches all next to the city
Nafplio is ideal for summer getaways. You will find excellent restaurants and cafes both in the city center and the nearby beaches. Walk on the coastal paved road or follow the route from Arvanitia to Karathona, the long sandy beach of the city. In addition, nine kilometers from Nafplio, Tolo is still a popular destination for your summer. But for something even quieter, choose the nearby Kastraki. Accommodation suits all tastes and budgets.
From budget-friendly rooms to stylish boutique hotels and luxurious 5-star private villas, Nafplio has it all. Spoil yourselves at the luxurious hotels or choose a more traditional one with great quality and design.
Delicious food is all around
Nafplio features traditional tavernas and delicious restaurants for enjoying classic Greek gastronomy or innovative Mediterranean-influenced dishes. Staying in the Old Town or into the new one both can offer rewarding food experiences.
The perfect place for all four seasons
This place is ideal for all seasons. Nafplio can be fun during autumn and winter escape thanks to its mild climate. A number of places are still open, like restaurants, bar, museums and other monuments. What is really great is the capability to enjoy a walk in the small streets next to the neoclassical houses and picturesque cafés 365 days per year.
Castles and fortresses
Nafplio is a combination of colors. Characteristic houses, mansions, bougainvillea-bordered streets, everything in great condition in the historic center.
Palamidi in Nafplio
The town is impressive thanks to the three fortresses. The greatest one, Palamidi, is a fortress nestled on the crest of a 216-metre high hill, the fortress was built by the Venetians during their second occupation of the area (1686–1715). The eight bastions of the fortress were originally named after the Venetian provveditori. However, when it fell to the Ottoman Empire, the bastions were given Turkish names. Lastly, when the Greeks overthrew the Turks the bastions were renamed after ancient Greek leaders and heroes .
Acronauplia in Nafplio
You will find Acronauplia in the oldest part of the city. Until the thirteenth century, it was a town on its own. The arrival of the Venetians and the Franks transformed it into part of the town fortifications. Later, part of it was used as a prison until the Greek government decided that the view provided from its location would benefit the local tourism and built a hotel complex which still stands there today.
Bourtzi in Nafplio
The Bourtzi, located on a tiny island off the harbour, was also built by Venetians in the 15th century and has known a long history as a castle, a prison, a hotel, an office for tourism and housing for the Greek government.
What to do in Nafplio
Start your first day in Nafplio with a spectacular breakfast made with fresh, Greek ingredients, to fuel yourself with the energy you will need for a long day of exploration. After your breakfast, it is time to infuse your trip with Greek history and culture that both can be found in abundance in Nafplio and the area. As we said now is the time to visit two of the most historically significant and culturally emblematic castles in Greece, Palamidi and Akronafplia. Once you’re in Palamidi don’t forget to explore St. Andrew’s Church and the prison where national Greek hero Theodoros Kolokotronis was held in 1834.
24 hours in Nafplio City
Right at the base of Palamidi you can find Nafplio’s farmer’s market every Wednesday and Saturday in the morning. Don’t miss the opportunity to taste the local products. After you’ve explored these enjoy a long walk along Nafplio’s seaside. The view of the sea along with the salty breeze will offer you a state of complete. Karathonas bay is about 3 km, one hour, long by feet and it starts from Arvanitia. By now, the time has come for a great meal. It is time to visit a tavern, a restaurant or have a live cooking experience from Savor Nafplio, an experience that will turn your day to a day to remember. Great ingredients, unique techniques and a result similar to a 5 star restaurant is waiting for you.
After the rest you surely need to get ready for a magnificent night in the city of Nafplio. Don’t hesitate to grab an ice cream and just walk around the old Parliament of Nafplio, the Syntagma Square and the ‘Trianon’ theatre. Syntagma Square is the most central and historical square of Nafplion. There are number of important and historic buildings such as the Venetian Warehouse of the Fleet, where Nafplio’s Archaeological Museum is, the old Parliament and ‘Trianon’ theater. ‘Trianon’ is one of the original Ottoman mosques built during the first Ottoman period. Having been used as a mosque, a Christian temple, and the first all-male school in the past, in 1915 was transformed into a conservatory and theater and then to a municipal cinema under the name ‘Trianon’. With Nafplio being the cultural center of Argolis, don’t forget to take full advantage of its various events, plays, and concerts.
48 hours in Nafplio City
Your second day in the city of Nafplio will be just as adventurous and exciting as your first one so a rich breakfast is for once more mandatory.
After that it’s time for a boat ride to Bourtzi, the Venetian castle located in the middle of the port of Nafplion, about 400 meters from the port. The boat ride is about 10’ long and the experienced captains are friendly and will generously offer you advice and tips for your trip. Bourtzi was a castle, after the arrival of King George I and in 1865 it became the place of residence for the guillotine executioners. This displeased the locals and caused outrage. In the 1930s the castle was turned into a hotel which resulted in the construction of the monument changing drastically. Further than that Bourtzi was also bombed during World War II. After the end of World War II the state repaired Bourtzi and -once again- operated as a hotel until 1970.
Following your return from Bourtzi, you can explore the countryside. A 30’ minutes’ drive to Nemea, the region ‘next door’, can offer you the possibility to discover the world of wine. Saint George variety, the most well-known, is a PDO variety that all the wineries in Nemea can offer. Pick two or three out of the about 50 wineries there are in the area and have a wine tour which could be combined with a cooking class or a live cooking by a private chef. Savor Nafplio is always available to organise an experience like this. Make a contact.
Your last night at Nafplio should be the relaxing one. Therefore enjoy a drink -or two- either at Nafplio’ port with a view of the beautiful Bourtzi, at Syntagma Square, where the heart of the social life of Nafplio beats or in the narrow streets of Old Town.
Nafplio is one of the best weekend getaway destinations you can find in Greece. Hurry up and book a trip, you won’t regret it!
And always remember Savor Nafplio, www.savornafplio.gr , is always available to help you enjoy Nafplio as a local. We can organize special tours to the archaeological sites, unique cooking classes or food and wine pairing meals by our chef Costas Papastamatis and of course wine events with great wine, extraordinary wineries and landscapes. Trust us and turn your visit to Nafplio to a visit to remember.
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