Nafplio, one of Greece’s most romantic cities
Nafplio is one of the most beautiful towns in Argolis (in eastern Peloponnese) and one of the most romantic cities all over Greece. With its rich history, neoclassical architecture, and beautiful beaches, Nafplio is one of Greece’s most popular tourist destinations. Visitors to Nafplio can explore many historic landmarks and monuments. The town is also surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes, including nearby mountains and the sea, offering visitors a variety of outdoor activities to enjoy.
History of Nafplio
Around 3,000 years ago, Nafplio, sometimes called Nafplion, had an illustrious past. The settlement, which was once known as Nauplia, was a significant hub of the prehistoric Mycenaean civilization. It was a significant city-state in the Greek ancient era and served as a vital center for the Greek army during the Peloponnesian War.
After the fall of the Byzantine Empire, the newly formed Greek state established Nafplio as its first capital and used it as a political and cultural hub for more than two decades. In order to defend itself from invasions and pirate raids, the city was fortified with castles and walls throughout this period.
Nafplio suffered when Athens became the new capital in the 19th century. Nonetheless, during this time, the city’s distinctive architectural design and stunning beaches started to draw tourists from all over the world. It became one of Greece’s most attractive cities in the late 20th century as the city’s appeal as a tourist destination grew.
Nafplio has maintained its original Greek character despite its expansion, and tourists can still enjoy the city’s genuine charm by exploring the city’s winding alleyways, ancient structures, and stunning beaches.
- Around 3,000 years ago, Nafplio, sometimes called Nafplion, had an illustrious past. The settlement, which was once known as Nauplia, was a significant hub of the prehistoric Mycenaean civilization. It was a significant city-state in the Greek ancient era and served as a vital center for the Greek army during the Peloponnesian War.
- Nafplio was the first capital of the newly formed Greek state after the fall of the Byzantine Empire and acted as its political and cultural hub for more than two decades. In order to defend itself from invasions and pirate raids, the city was fortified with castles and walls throughout this period.
- Nafplio suffered when Athens became the new capital in the 19th century. Nonetheless, during this time, the city’s distinctive architectural design and stunning beaches started to draw tourists from all over the world. It became one of Greece’s most attractive cities in the late 20th century as the city’s appeal as a tourist destination grew.
- Nafplio has maintained its original Greek character despite its expansion, and tourists can still enjoy the city’s genuine charm by exploring the city’s winding alleyways, ancient structures, and stunning beaches.
Best Time to Visit
Nafplio is a popular destination all year round. The best time to visit Nafplio is from April to November when the weather is favorable.
Other data to consider before you visit:
- The warmest months are June, July, and August.
- January is the coldest month.
- The rainiest months are January, February, March, and December.
- August is the best month for swimming.
Overall, the best time to visit Nafplio is subjective and depends on individual preferences.
Attractions and Things To Do in Nafplio
Palamidi Castle is a massive fortress located on a hill overlooking the town of Nafplio in Greece. The Venetians built the castle in the 18th century and served as a military stronghold until the early 19th century. Today, visitors can climb up to the castle to explore its many winding staircases, hidden passages, and historic buildings. The castle offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding area, including the town of Nafplio and the Gulf of Argolis. In addition to its impressive architecture and scenic views, Palamidi Castle also has a rich history. The fortress was used as a prison during the Greek War of Independence and played an important role in the country’s struggle for freedom.
Nafplio Old Town
Nafplio Old Town is a charming district in the heart of Nafplio, Greece, with narrow cobblestone streets, neoclassical buildings, and lively squares. It offers a wealth of historic landmarks and attractions, such as the Palamidi Castle and the Archaeological Museum, as well as excellent local cuisine served in numerous restaurants and tavernas. Nafplio Old Town also features a vibrant arts and culture scene, with several galleries and museums showcasing contemporary art and local handicrafts.
Located in the old town of Nafplio, Greece, Vouleftiko is a historic building that served as the first parliament house of the newly established Greek state in 1825. Originally constructed in the early 19th century, the building is now a popular tourist attraction and a cultural landmark, offering visitors a glimpse into Greece’s political and cultural history. Featuring neoclassical architecture, including a grand central hall, columns, and a marble staircase, Vouleftiko has various rooms and exhibits showcasing important documents, artifacts, and memorabilia from Greece’s early parliamentary history. Guided tours of Vouleftiko are available to learn more about its history and significance and explore the various exhibits.
Located in the heart of Nafplio, Greece, Syntagma Square is a central public square surrounded by neoclassical buildings. Known for its lively atmosphere, the square is a popular destination featuring outdoor cafes and restaurants, street performers, and vendors selling local crafts and souvenirs. One of the highlights of Syntagma Square is its central fountain, which is a popular spot for taking photos and cooling off on hot summer days. Additionally, the square features a large clock tower that serves as a landmark and meeting point for locals and tourists alike. Not only does Syntagma Square offer a bustling ambiance, but it also has historical significance. Throughout Greece’s history, the square has served as the site of many important events, including political rallies, celebrations, and protests, making it an essential stop for visitors interested in learning more about the country’s culture and history.
Saint Spyridon Church
The builders constructed Saint Spyridon Church in the early 18th century as a historic church located in the old town of Nafplio, Greece. They dedicated the church to Saint Spyridon, the patron saint of the island of Corfu, and designed it with traditional Greek Orthodox architecture, including a large dome, intricate frescoes, and icons depicting religious scenes and figures. For visitors, guided tours of the church are available to learn more about its history and significance, as well as attend services and ceremonies. Moreover, one of the highlights of Saint Spyridon Church is its central location in the heart of Nafplio’s old town, making it a convenient and accessible destination for visitors exploring the area.
Nafplio is home to several museums that showcase Greece’s rich history and culture. Here are a few of the most notable museums in the area:
- Archaeological Museum of Nafplio: This museum features exhibits on the history of the Argolis region.
- Basil Papantoniou Museum: This museum showcases traditional Greek folk art
- War Museum of Nafplio: This museum displays military artifacts and memorabilia from various wars and conflicts throughout Greek history.
- Komboloi Museum: This museum is dedicated to the art and history of komboloi, or Greek worry beads.
- Palamidi Prison Museum: Located in the Palamidi Castle, this museum tells the story of the castle’s use as a prison.
Nafplio Port is a charming and bustling destination that showcases the area’s culture, history, and natural beauty. Offering stunning views of the sea and surrounding mountains, the port is also popular for its cafes, restaurants, and souvenir shops. Visitors can stroll along the waterfront, take boat tours to nearby islands and beaches, or use it as a transportation hub to reach other destinations. Moreover, Nafplio Port is a lively place where locals and tourists alike come to enjoy the vibrant atmosphere, making it an excellent spot to soak up the local culture and enjoy the scenic views.
Bourtzi Castle is a small fortress located on an islet in the middle of Nafplio’s harbor in Greece. Built by the Venetians in the 15th century, the castle has served various purposes throughout its history, including as a prison and a hotel. Today, Bourtzi Castle is a popular tourist attraction, accessible by boat from Nafplio’s port. Once there, visitors can explore the castle’s grounds, which include a small chapel and a courtyard surrounded by ramparts, offering stunning views of the harbor and the town. Bourtzi Castle also hosts various cultural events and concerts during the summer months, adding to its charm and appeal as a destination for visitors to Nafplio.
Nafplio is home to several beautiful beaches that offer visitors a range of activities and experiences. Notable beaches in the area include Karathona Beach, Arvanitia Beach, Tolo Beach, and Plaka Beach.
Nafplio is a great destination for water sports enthusiasts, with several opportunities for adventure and fun in the water. The most popular water sports in Nafplio include Kayaking, Windsurfing, Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), and Scuba diving.
Akronafplia Castle is a historic fortress in Nafplio, Greece, overlooking the town and the sea. It has three fortifications built during different periods, the first by the Venetians in the 15th century, the second by the Ottomans in the 18th century, and the third by the Greeks in the 19th century. Visitors can explore the castle and enjoy stunning town and sea views. Akronafplia Castle is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history or seeking a memorable experience in Nafplio.
Nafplio Market offers visitors a variety of local products and souvenirs, including fresh produce, handmade crafts, and traditional Greek treats. Certainly, It’s a must-visit destination for anyone seeking to experience the local culture and find unique gifts to take home.
Nafplio Wetlands is a beautiful natural area located just outside the town of Nafplio, Greece. It is a protected habitat for a variety of bird species, including flamingos, herons, and cormorants, making it a popular destination for birdwatching enthusiasts. Additionally, visitors can explore the wetlands on foot or by bike, taking in the area’s natural beauty and observing the diverse wildlife. The wetlands are also home to several hiking trails that wind through the marshes and offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
Cuisine in Nafplio
This classic Greek dish is made with layers of eggplant, minced meat (usually beef or lamb), and a creamy béchamel sauce. It’s usually served hot and is often accompanied by a Greek salad or some crusty bread.
This is a savory pastry made with spinach, feta cheese, and phyllo dough. It’s usually cut into small squares or triangles and is a great appetizer or snack.
This classic Greek dish consists of skewered and grilled meat (usually pork, chicken, or lamb), served with pita bread, tzatziki sauce, and a Greek salad.
This popular Greek fast food consists of sliced meat (usually pork or chicken) that has been roasted on a vertical spit and served on pita bread with tomato, onion, and tzatziki sauce.
This is a hearty stew made with beef or rabbit, onions, garlic, tomatoes, and red wine. It’s usually served with crusty bread or mashed potatoes.
This is a baked pasta dish similar to moussaka but made with macaroni instead of eggplant. It’s usually topped with a creamy béchamel sauce and is a comforting and filling meal.
This traditional Greek soup is made with white beans, tomatoes, carrots, celery, and onions. It’s usually served with crusty bread and is a great option for vegetarians.
This vegetarian dish consists of stuffed peppers or tomatoes filled with rice, herbs, and sometimes minced meat. It’s usually served hot or cold and is a great option for a light lunch or dinner.
- Greek Salad
This classic salad is made with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, feta cheese, kalamata olives, olive oil, and vinegar. It’s a refreshing and healthy dish that’s perfect for a light lunch or dinner.
- Horiatiki Salad
This salad is similar to the Greek salad but is made without lettuce. It typically includes tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, feta cheese, and kalamata olives and is seasoned with salt, pepper, and olive oil.
- Dakos Salad
This salad is a traditional Cretan dish that’s made with a base of barley rusks, topped with fresh tomatoes, feta cheese, olives, and olive oil. It’s a hearty, flavorful salad perfect for a summer lunch.
This sweet pastry is made with layers of phyllo dough, chopped nuts (usually pistachios or walnuts), and honey syrup. It’s a rich and decadent dessert that’s perfect for sharing.
This dessert is made with a creamy custard filling, sandwiched between layers of phyllo dough, and then soaked in a sweet syrup. It’s a delicious and comforting dessert that’s perfect with a cup of coffee.
These small, deep-fried doughnuts are served hot, drizzled with honey syrup, and sprinkled with cinnamon. They’re a classic Greek dessert that’s perfect for sharing.
- Greek Yogurt with Honey and Walnuts
Lastly, this simple but delicious dessert is made with thick, creamy Greek yogurt, drizzled with honey, and sprinkled with chopped walnuts. It’s a healthy and satisfying dessert that’s perfect for those who prefer lighter options.
Places to Eat and Drink
- Taverna Klimataria
- To Perasma
- Ta Fanaria
- O Mpempelis
- Kipos ton Gefseon
- Palamidi Restaurant
Nightlife in Nafplio
Nafplio also offers a vibrant nightlife scene that has something to offer for everyone.
- Bars and pubs
When it comes to nightlife in Nafplio, bars and pubs are one of the most popular options for locals and tourists alike. These establishments provide a relaxed atmosphere and a wide range of drinks, making them an ideal place to unwind after a long day of sightseeing. Visitors can choose from a variety of bars and pubs, each with its unique ambiance, music, and drink selection. With their friendly staff and lively crowds, bars and pubs in Nafplio offer the perfect setting for socializing and meeting new people. Whether you prefer a trendy spot or a cozy tavern, Nafplio’s bars and pubs have something to suit every taste and budget.
For those who prefer dancing and loud music, Nafplio has several nightclubs that are popular with locals and tourists alike. Clubs offer a lively atmosphere and a mix of Greek and international music. Also, If you’re a music lover, you’ll be happy to know that Nafplio has several venues that offer live music performances.
Nafplio is also famous for its traditional tavernas, which offer delicious Greek cuisine and drinks. These establishments are great places to experience the local culture and enjoy some authentic Greek food.
Finally, Nafplio hosts several festivals and events throughout the year that offer a great opportunity to experience the local culture and nightlife scene. The Nafplio International Festival is one of the most popular events, featuring a range of performances, including music, theater, and dance. The Nafplio Jazz Festival is another popular event that attracts music lovers from all over the world.
- Bar Theatro
- Bourtzi Bar
- Kipos Cafe Bar
- Palamidi Club
- Modus Vivendi
- Loco Bar
- Regency Casino Mont Parnes
Stay in Nafplio
Nafplio City Details
The map is available through this link.
Go Around Nafplio
The K.T.E.L. of Argolida prefecture provides a convenient and affordable bus network that connects Nafplio to other major Greek centers. Additionally, this is a great option for those who are traveling on a budget or who prefer not to drive. More information through this link.
The Greek Train Station Organization offers a train service that connects Nafplio with other cities such as Argos and Athens. This can be a comfortable and scenic way to travel, and it’s a good option for those who want to avoid traffic or who want to take in the Greek countryside. More information through this link.
Taxis are a flexible and convenient option for transportation within the city of Nafplio or to destinations outside of it. Whether you need to get around town quickly or plan to visit nearby attractions, taxis can be hailed on the street or booked in advance through a taxi company. With their reliable and comfortable services, taxis offer visitors the flexibility and convenience they need to explore the area at their own pace. Moreover, hiring a taxi is a hassle-free way to travel around the city, especially for those who are unfamiliar with the area or do not want to worry about finding parking or navigating public transportation.
- Private Vehicles
Visitors to Nafplio can choose to rent a car or motorbike to explore the city and its surroundings. This option provides greater flexibility and independence than relying on public transportation. The Municipality of Nafplio also provides ample parking spaces, so visitors do not have to worry about finding a place to park.
Additionally, for those who enjoy biking, Nafplio offers public bicycles that can be rented from the Municipality or visitors can bring their own bikes. Biking is a great way to explore the city and its surroundings. It allows for a more leisurely pace and a closer connection to the natural environment. You can rent the public bicycles from “Trion Navarchon” Square, which is located in front of the Town Hall.
Lastly, Nafplio is a captivating destination that offers a glimpse into Greece’s rich history and culture. People consider it one of the country’s most beautiful towns due to its stunning architecture, picturesque alleys, and breathtaking views. From ancient ruins to delicious cuisine and shopping, there’s something for everyone. Whether for a romantic getaway or a family vacation, Nafplio promises unforgettable experiences.
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