Nafplio is located in the north eastern region of Peloponnese in Greece, with the town itself situated on the Argolic Gulf.
The original part of the town sits on a peninsula that worms its way out into the gulf forming a beautiful bay. The area has doubled in size since the 1970’s with the population increasing and many people wanting to move to this idyllic location. The local marina is full of boats making it one of the areas favoured ports for sailors, and the distant views of snow topped mountains makes this a stunning place for those who have an eye for scenery.
The area has had some military significance for over 1000 years, and it has changed hands a number of times. The Venetians, Byzantines, Turks and Franks have all been here and built on the defences of the previous inhabitants. In 1829 Nafplio became the capital city of Greece, however, In 1834, King Otto moved the capital of Greece to Athens.
The main income for this town is now tourism, and is one of the most visited places in Greece for Europeans who enjoy peace and quiet. It has two fantastic beaches and a lot of restaurants serving cuisine from all around the world, as well as bars and nightclubs. Travel here is easy, with a lot of transport options from Athens.
• Karathona – Not far south of the Palamede Castle Hill, is a beautiful and sandy beach loved by locals and tourists alike. It is safe to swim in the clear blue waters.
• Arvanitia Beach – About a 10 minute walk south of Nafplio this is a very quiet beach, not frequented by tourists, as most do not know of its existence. You can travel here by bus or taxi if desired.
• Argolic Gulf Cruise – This cruise does not cost much money, and the views you get, are something to behold. Take as many photographs as you wish, of this medieval town from the sea, as you will treasure them forever.
• Bourtzi – This Venetian fortress was built in 1400 at the entrance to the port, on a rocky island. Apart from being used as a fortification for the town, it was also the seat of government for a short while during the years the town was the capital. You can hire a boat at the port for a small fee to pay it a visit.
• Palamidi – This is a long climb up 850 plus stairs, but it is well worth the effort for those who can make it, or if you are lazy take a taxi! This place took 30 years to build and was sieged a number of times, all of which brought down the defenders eventually. The prisons are actually caves and are very unique for the area, and make interesting viewing.
• St Nicolaus – Built in the 18th century this beautiful building can be found near the shore.
• Frangokklisia Church – A beautiful and old church with a very interesting history.
• St Spyridon Church – Well-known for being the place where the first governor of Greece was murdered, you are still able to see the bullet mark on Kapodistriou Street outside the church.
• The War Museum – This used to be a military school for the Greek Army. Many war relics are on show, along with weapons, and photographs. The building itself is very beautiful.
• Komboloi Museum – This is a museum of worry beads, they make a point of stating that it is the only one in the world. This is all the collection of one man, and cost is minimal to view this unique collection. The whole collection contains about 1,500 worry beads.
• Stone Museum – This is a great place for anyone interested in fossils and best of all, entry is free!
• Archaeological Museum – Situated in a Venetian building, built in 1714, it has recently undergone a major renovation project. As Greece contains a great deal of the world’s history and is partly responsible for the civilization we know today, there is much to see and understand here.
• Peloponnesian Folklore Foundation Museum – This museum tells the story of a part of Nafplio’s history from 1822 to 1922. This hundred year history is very interesting.
Place To Eat and Drink
• ‘Zorbas The Greek’ – Traditional Greek food and run by a local family. The atmosphere is very friendly and relaxing.
• ‘Popeye’ – Italian pizza and local delicatessen with a good selection of sandwiches.
• ‘Kipos’ – A blend of Italian and Mediterranean Cuisine, and is frequented by the locals.
• ‘Koutouki’ – Situated by the St. Nicolas Church, this place serves good hearty traditional Greek food.
• ‘Omorfo Tavernaki’ – This place is usually very busy, so try not to visit at meal times; it is worth delaying eating around 2pm, as the food is of exceptional quality.
• ‘Iliostasio’ – This is a nice cafe and cocktail bar, and being on the promenade, it is very pleasant.
• ‘Lathos’ – A strange place! It always has a great atmosphere.
• Grande Bretagne Hotel – Only small but you will feel pampered if you stay here.
• Amalia Hotel – Away from the central area so a bit quieter, and has plenty of good reviews.
• Nafplia Palace – If you don’t mind paying a little extra, you can stay at this upmarket hotel and have beautiful views of the sea and city.
Nafplio has had a changing history, but has settled down into a peaceful town where the pace of life is slow, and you will feel very relaxed here. If you hire a car, there is a lot more you can do and explore during your visit to this area. You will leave Nafplio feeling happy and refreshed.