Nafplio is admittedly one of the most beautiful cities in Greece. It is about an hour and a half drive from Athens, has tourist traffic all year round and many choices in accommodation, food, entertainment.
To get to know Nafplio, you need to leave the car. At the port, there is an ample outdoor municipal parking (free of charge). Nafplio is ideal for walking, cycling, and boating.
Visit Bourtzi Fortress (or Castello)
The islet with the characteristic fortress at the entrance of the port was built by Venetians at 1473. The natural rock of the island was used as an infrastructure for the construction of the castle, the fortress follows the shape of the island. You can visit daily, by boat from the opposite waterfront. The distance from the port is only 10 minutes travel, and you have available 20 minutes of tour time.
Admire the view from Palamidi
It was built between 1711-1715 by the Venetians on a 220m height hill. It was one of the perfect fortifications of the time and was named after the Homeric hero Palamedes. Access is either by car within 5 minutes travel from the central road, or by climbing the so-called “999 steps” (they are actually 857). The view of the city is incredible!
For fans of climbing
Nafplio has 5 Sport Climbing fields all of which are in seaside locations with a lovely views. The rock is limestone of good quality with an intense relief that offers a wide variety of movements. There are routes of all difficulties that can satisfy from beginners to very good ones.
Housed in an imposing stone Venetian building of 1713 in Syntagma Square. The exhibits cover a broad historical range from the farthest prehistory to the late antiquity.
The top exhibit of the museum is the Mycenaean armor dating back to the late 15th century BC. It is the brightest and most impressive example of the defensive armament of the Mycenaeans that has survived to our days.
Impressive is also the large-wheeled figurines of the 13th and 12th centuries BC as well as the head of a female figurine.
Essential exhibits are also the clay votive Shields, found in the upper citadel of Tiryns dating back to the early 7th century BC. The unique written representations of the shields are among the earliest narrative scenes with mythological content.
Folclore (laographic) museum
Folclore Museum is one of the best folklore museums in the country. Among its 37,000 exhibits, you will see rare traditional costumes, textiles, embroidery, handicrafts, utensils, old maps, and photos.
What do you like best about your city?
It sounds oxymoron, but it is indeed a modern-Vintage city. Calm with intense life, seaside with high hills, modern with a considerable history, beautiful like no other! With the aroma of Franks, Bavarians, Venetians, Turks, and of course, with an essential course in Greek history, Nafplio will win you from the very first minutes. It could not be otherwise when the combination of cinematic scene architecture (buildings, squares, alleys) on a turquoise background (sea) dominates your every look!
One of the most beautiful walks is the coastal paved road that embraces “Akronafplia.”
Ancient paths between archaeological monuments overlooking the blue waters of the Argolic Gulf on the one hand and the fortresses of Argonafplia, on the other, allow travelers to taste the whole Greek landscape.
Halfway you meet the abandoned chapel of “Panagia Spilia” (Virgin Mary of the cave). The enormous dimensions of Palamidi surprises many people. You’ll end up, after about 1 km., in the square of “Arvanitia,” with the homonymous organized beach! On the way, you meet the climbing field of Nafplion, which attracts sports lovers!
If you prefer a bike ride, you can rent one of the public bicycles of the municipality of Nafplio. You only need to visit the city hall at working days and hours (with your ID, of course).
Best Places to Stay in Nafplio
I have added some of the best places to stay in Nafplio. I have added some links that will take you to TripAdvisor for more detail and customer reviews.
- Perivoli Country Hotel & Retreat – won a TripAdvisor 2021 Customer Choice Award. With great love for the beauties of nature and the desire to offer an authentic experience of warm Greek hospitality, we created Perivoli Country Hotel & Retreat, one of the most beautiful hotels in Nafplio.
- Vila Vivari – Unique place where You matter most and wishes are taken care of. Vila Vivari is a family owned boutique hotel with distinctive apartments in one of the last traditional Greek villages with crystal clear waters.
- Amalia Hotel – Finding an ideal family-friendly hotel in Nafplio does not have to be difficult. Welcome to Amalia Hotel, a nice option for travelers like you. Given the close proximity of popular landmarks, such as Akronafplia Fortress (1.4 mi) and Church of Panaghia (1.5 mi), guests of Amalia Hotel can easily experience some of Nafplio’s most well known attractions.
- Grande Bretagne Hotel Nafplio – Finding an ideal romantic small hotel in Nafplio does not have to be difficult. Welcome to Grande Bretagne Hotel Nafplio, a nice option for travelers like you.
- Pension Asimoni – Centrally located in Nafplio, run by a very friendly and helpful man.
- XeniCamp & Bungalows – Agrotourism Holiday Village offers alternative holidays in Nafplion, the first capital of Greece in the heart of the Argolida, the Peloponnese! Located at the foot of the Barbouna near the Acropolis of Ancient Assini & the vaulted Mycenaean tombs.
- Pension Marianna -For travelers visiting Nafplio, Pension Marianna is an excellent choice for rest and rejuvenation. Well-known for its romantic environment and proximity to great restaurants and attractions.
Picturesque taverns with Greek dishes are located in every corner. At the coastal road with palm trees (Bouboulinas Street), at the district of Gialos, at Big Road (King Konstantin’s street), at Syntagma Square, at Staikopoulou park, at Philellinon Square.
If you like to taste fresh fish, the locals will suggest a visit to Nea Kios (a beautiful seaside village, just 6 km away). If you visit it in autumn, you will have the chance of bird-watching the migratory birds that stop in the area before continuing their journey to the South.
For dessert, don’t miss an authentic traditional Italian ice cream at “Antica Gelateria di Roma” (Syntagma Square). You can choose among 30 different home-made ice cream flavors (without preservatives) or Italian sweets such as pannacotta and tiramisu, snacks with Italian prosciutto, or products such as limoncello, mandarinello, and cantuccini biscuits.
The “Festival of Nafplio” occurs every summer (at the end of June). It hosts major music events and artists from the international classical scene.
The International Choral Festival (November) has a competitive character. The entrance for the public is free.
Nafplio is a lively city, which knows about a good time and fun!
Whether you choose Bouboulinas, which is a hot spot and a reference point of entertainment, or quieter areas, Nafplio can guarantee that it will offer you what you are looking for!
Most of the cafes and bars in Nafplio are open day and night offering the best possible service and updated catalogs with a variety of options to choose from among aromatic coffees and cocktails and drinks that you will love!
Best Day Trip Out of the City
The kingdom of Agamemnon, Mycenae, is located 20-25 km away from Nafplio. Explore one of the most ancient Greek cities, the archeological site and museum, the Great Lion Gate, The Ancient Treasure of Atreus, also known as the Tomb of King Agamemnon and the Tomb of Clytemnestra. Combine this trip with a visit at ancient Tiryns (4km from Nafplio), a UNESCO World Heritage site, and one of the most important Mycenaean citadels. There you can admire the famous “cyclopean” walls.
For an all-day trip, you can choose Athens (140 km from Nafplio). The tour starts with a visit to the Acropolis and the Parthenon and, of course, the New Acropolis Museum. Continue with the most famous shopping street in Athens, Ermou Street. Go to the famous Monastiraki, Thissio, and Plaka neighborhoods, where they offer a magnificent view of the Acropolis, a wide variety of shops, cafes and restaurants, great architecture, and a taste of old and New Athens.
Alternatively, if you are not a history-lover, you can travel to the picturesque islands of Spetses and Hydra (only from March to October).
Something that not many travelers would know about Nafplio
Nafplio was the first capital of Greece (before Athens) after the liberation from the Ottomans (from 1828 to 1833).