This pretty and romantic town is an all year round destination and a perfect base for exploring the area of Argolis with its beautiful scenery, great beaches and archaeological treasures. A refreshing change from the touristy islands, this lovely town is filled with charm, culture, history and tradition.
Nafplio was the first capital of the newly independent Greece between 1823 and 1834 and it has been an important port dating back to the Bronze Age. According to mythology, the town was founded by Náfplios who was the son of the god Poseidon.
The town’s history traces back to the prehistoric era when soldiers from here participated in the Argonautic expedition and the Trojan War. Nafplio declined during the Roman times and flourished again during the Byzantine times. Frankish, Venetian and Turkish conquerors left their mark on the city and strongly influenced its culture, architecture and traditions during the centuries.
Ancient walls, medieval castles, monuments and statues, Ottoman fountains and Venetian and neoclassical buildings dazzle the visitor with their unique beauty. The city of Nafplio is like a living museum.
Start with the medieval Old Town with its narrow winding cobbled streets and alleys, well preserved neoclassical mansions, bougainvillea bedecked courtyards and Turkish fountains. Climb the 999 steps to the ancient Palamidi fortress, a vast and spectacular citadel standing on a 215 m high outcrop of rock. Akronafplia fortress is the oldest of the town’s three castles and the Venetian island fortress of Bourtzi in the harbour can be visited by boat.
Interesting museums include the archaeological museum, folklore and war museums, and a branch of Athens National gallery is housed in a beautiful neoclassical mansion.
Visit the nearby ancient site of Epidavros, which has a huge well-preserved ancient Greek theatre showing plays throughout the summer festival season. Here you can also visit the ruins of the medical sanctuary.
The famous Mycenae, containing Agammemnon’s palace and the Lion Gate has a spectacular treasury and ruins and the lesser- known Tyrins is also nearby.
Take a dip at one of the local beaches such as Arvanitia or spend the day a little further along the coast at the long sandy beach at Tolo, which can be reached by regular bus service.
Nafplio is bustling with restaurants, cafes and bars, many of them concentrated along the waterfront or lining the attractive cobbled streets and shaded squares of the Old Town. This is the place for trying fresh fish and seafood at its best with many local and regional dishes on offer.
There are bars that play Greek Rembetika music, jazz, blues or rock and quieter places for a romantic cocktail or a sunset drink.
Nafplia Palace is a refined luxurious hotel in Nafplion. It is ideal for a stay in one of the most delightful towns in Greece.
In a quiet corner of the old sea port town of Nafplion stands the wonderful Il Palazzo. Built in the traditional Peloponnesian style, it offers its guests a luxurious and comfortable base from which to explore the city and some of the nearby amazing beaches. The hotel is just a stroll from the main square and the Venetian fortress.