Nafplio is ancient, and at the same time, lively and modern, port, but clean, calm and safe, Greek, but, as it were, Italian and a little Turkish city. Its narrow streets are good, suddenly leaving steeply upwards, with balconies twined with thickets of bougainvilleas, and numerous cafes and restaurants serving outdoor meals in the summer. Nafplion is a cozy and romantic city, which, moreover, has something to see. Check andyeducation to learn more about Greece.
The distance to Athens is 145 km.
How to get there
Buses from Athens leave every hour from 6.00 to 23.00 from the Leoforia Peloponnisou station (terminal A). Travel time is about 2.5 hours (possibly more in case of traffic jams). Ticket price – from 13.10 EUR. The bus station is located on the street. Sindru, 8. From here there are buses to Epidavros, Mycenae, Tiryns and Argos. For trips around the surroundings and other cities of the peninsula, you can rent a car at one of the rental offices.
By train from Athens airport you can get to Corinth and transfer to the bus to Nafplio.
How to navigate in the city
The city is divided into two parts: the old one, which lies around the bay, and the new one, which has grown to the north and east. The central square is Syntagma (Constitution Square).
The old town is a pedestrian zone.
The tourist office is located at Martiou 25. Open on weekdays from 9.00 to 13.00 and from 17.00 to 20.00. Here you can get the brochure “Nafplion Day and Night” (in English) with up-to-date information.
Weather in Nafplion
Beaches of Nafplion
Nafplion itself can hardly be called a beach resort, however, there are opportunities for relaxing on the beach in the city. 300 meters from Syntagma Square, opposite the fortress of Akronafplia, there is a small pebble beach, Arvantia.
About two kilometers east of the center, near the fortress of Palamidi, lies the sandy beach of Karafon. Hikers can reach it on foot along the coast, there is also a boat from the port and buses from the city. Cafes and taverns and water activities are present.
The resort area itself is located 11 km southeast of the city in the village of Tolo.
According to rumors, the best ice cream in Greece can be tasted in Nafplion. Namely, in Antica Gelateria di Roma (at the corner of Farmakopoulou and Komniu). The cafe has a lot of ice cream flavors, of which you want to try everything at once, as well as pannini and sandwiches, and aromatic coffee.
On the embankment, in the area of Burbulinas street, there are several taverns at once that deserve attention. These are Savouras and Arapakos, where they cook excellent fresh fish, Karamanlis, which specializes in grilled and meat dishes, and Omorfi Poli, whose menu includes not only Greek, but also Italian dishes. At Paleo Archontiko Tavern (Shioku 7), you can dine on the terrace during summer evenings while enjoying live music performances.
Shopping and stores
An obligatory souvenir from Nafplion is komboloi, or rosaries, there are a great many of them for sale here. Having lost their religious significance, komboloi became just one of the ways to have fun and relax, as well as a symbol of masculinity – for the Greeks, this attribute is exclusively male. The richest selection is presented on the second floor of the Rosary Museum (Staicopoulou 25): from the simplest, from plexiglass, to rosaries made of semi-precious stones. Colombois are made of ivory, shells, amber, ebony, coral, crystal – for every taste and budget. On the same street you will find a puppet shop, and even further – an icon workshop.
Honey lovers should go to the Nektar and Ambrosia store (Pharmakopulu 6) — there is an excellent selection of bee products and dry aromatic herbs. On Saturdays from 7.00 to 13.00 there is a large market in Kolokotronis Park.
Entertainment and attractions of Nafplio
As the main eastern port of the Peloponnese, Napflion had to be adequately defended. The first of the bastions was the fortress of Akronafplia, built on the site of an ancient acropolis. Before the arrival of the Venetians, the city was actually located within the fortress. From Poliko Nosokomiou Square, you can take an elevator to it, and a staircase from Agios Spyridonos Square leads to the old gate of the fortress.
Fort Burtzi of the times of the Venetian rule was erected on top of a rock at the entrance to the city port. Today you can take a boat trip to the castle from the port and appreciate the view of the city from the sea.
Palamidi is the most monumental and imposing city fortress, standing on top of a 216-meter hill.
Appreciate the panoramic view from the fortress walls.
Built by the Venetians at the beginning of the 18th century and conceived as a system of separate bastions connected by walls, the fortress is rightfully considered a masterpiece of military architecture. You can get inside by the road leading to the east gate or by the stairs on the west side, east of the Grimani Bastion. Locals claim that it consists of 999 steps, and although in fact there are fewer steps (“only” 850), climbing the stairs requires some physical fitness. Entrance ticket price: from November to March – 4 EUR, from April to October – 8 EUR, the work schedule can be viewed on the website.
At night, the city lives an active life, everyone can choose a cozy bar with soft music or an incendiary disco (for example, Shiva or Liquid clubs) according to their desire.
Museums of Nafplio
Located in one of the most beautiful buildings in the city on Syntagma Square, the Archaeological Museum houses an extensive collection of exhibits dating back to the Neolithic era. Videos with English subtitles are broadcast in the exhibition halls, telling about the history of the finds. Opening hours: from 8.30 to 13.00 (in winter the museum opens at 8:00), from Tuesday to Sunday. Entrance ticket price: from November to March – 3 EUR, from April to October – 6 EUR.
The permanent exhibition of the branch of the National Gallery (Alexander Sutsos Museum) is dedicated to the War of Independence, there are also temporary exhibitions. Museum address: st. Sidiras Merarchias, 23. Opening hours: Monday, Thursday, Saturday – from 10.00 to 15.00, Wednesday and Friday – from 10.00 to 15.00 and from 17.00 to 20.00, Sunday – from 10.00 to 14.00, Tuesday is a day off. On Mondays admission is free.
The Museum of Folklore of the Peloponnese (Vasileos Alexandros, 1) presents a wonderful collection of Greek national costumes and other household items. Recently, part of the museum’s exposition reflects not only the rural, but also the urban life of Greece, including Nafplion in the 19th century. The museum has a shop. Opening hours: from 9.00 to 14.30, Sunday: from 9.00 to 15.00. The cost of visiting is 5 EUR.
In June, Nafplio hosts the Classical Music Festival.