We love Nafplio! This lovely ancient seaside town is the homebase of our Greece Untour and offers the perfect combination of charm, sophistication, views and access to the wider Peloponnese.
Nafplio has a population of 12,000, and is considered by many to be Greece’s prettiest town. It is located only two hours south of Athens on the Peloponnesian Peninsula. Nestled into a quiet bay, Nafplio makes a perfect base for exploring some of the most historic and scenic sections of Greece.
Its old town is compact and can be crossed on foot in about 10 minutes. It is filled with restaurants and cafés, a wide variety of shops, and several food markets. Nafplio also has a prize-winning museum of Peloponnesian folk art, and an archaeological museum. It may have the world’s only Komboloi (worry bead) museum.
The Palamidi, a huge 18th century fortress built by the Venetians, towers over the town and offers incredible views of Nafplio, the bay, and the surroundings. Another fortress, the Bourtzi, sits on an island in the bay just a few minutes by boat from Nafplio’s harbor. Bourtzi was built by the Venetians to control the shipping lane to the town. In the 19th century it served as home of the town’s public executioner while it was converted to a luxury hotel in the early 20th century. Nowadays it is mainly a tourist attraction occasionally hosting performances during Nafplio’s annual Summer Music Festival.
Nafplio has a great seaside walk that offers wonderful views and vegetation and leads all the way to beautiful Karathonas Beach. This town has it all.
Markets in Nafplio
Nafplio holds two markets per week. One is held on Wednesdays and a larger market is held on Saturdays. Here you will find the best of fresh fruits and vegetables and other local specialties, plus jugs of local wine.
Walks in Nafplio
Nafplio offers an excellent seaside trail that can be enjoyed by casual walkers and joggers alike. Start out at the pier opposite the Bourtzi fortress and follow the flat path which is lined with diverse vegetation, ranging from Bougainvillea and oleander to prickly pear and palm trees. You will reach the first beach, pebbly Arvanitia Beach. Then continue to sandy Karathonas Beach in about another 40 minutes. We highly recommend this beautiful and easy walk!
Nafplio up to Palamidi
Getting to the Palamidi complex high above Nafplio is a good workout. It can be reached via 990 steps from old town Nafplio. The sprawling citadel was first fortified by the Venetians during the second Venetian occupation of the area (1686-1715). In 1715 it was captured by the Turks and remained under their control until 1822, when it was liberated by the Greeks.
Day trips from Nafplio
Nearby daytrips from Nafplio include the ancient ruins at Mycenae, Nemea, Epidaurus, Tiryns, and Corinth. Longer excursions range from Olympia, Mystras, Monemvasia, the Island of Hydra to Athens, to name just a few.
In short, a base in Nafplio creates a wonderful daily dilemma: to relax on a beach or in a seaside café in Nafplio or to explore fascinating sites further afield.
This is why we strongly recommend staying a week or more in a local apartment on the Greece Untour