Nafplio has been named Greece’s most romantic town, and for a good reason!
Set on a small port beneath the towering Palamidi fortress, it is filled with beautiful alleyways, neoclassical mansions and stunning Venetian houses. Located in the area of Argolis in the Peloponnese, Nafplio was the first capital of the newly born Greek state between 1823 and 1834.
Here is our mini-guide for when visiting this oh-so-pretty destination!
Nafplio is approximately 94 km far from Athens. You can reach the town either by car or by suburban buses (KTEL) departing regularly from Kifissos bus station.
When to Visit?
Nafplio truly is an all-year-round destination. With quite a few beaches, it can easily be on your list for a summer getaway, however we believe this charming town is ideal in spring and autumn, as the local taverns, restaurants, cafes, bars, museums, and archaeological sites can be enjoyed without the huge crowds and there’s perfect weather conditions.
Museums and History
Nafplio is home to an Archaeological Museum housed in a Venetian building on Syntagma Square. The permanent exhibition features statues, jewellery, costumes, sculptures, ceramics and rare artefacts from the Neolithic Period.
Make sure you also make your way to the Komboloi Museum, which opened in 1998 to showcase the history of Greece’s famous beads.
Nearby you will also find the first Greek Parliament, the War Museum, the Municipal Gallery, old Turkish Mosques, Trion Navarhon Square, and the Peloponnesian Folk Art Museum.
Located just one street before Syntagma Square at the center of the old town of Nafplio, is the church of Agios Spyridon. This church is known to every Greek because of an incident that sealed the fate of the New Greek State.
Also check out the Unesco sites: Tirintha, Mykines, Epidavros, and Mystras, and visit at least one of Nafplio’s three castles: Palamidi, Bourtzi, and Acronafplia.
Make sure you…
Bring some comfortable shoes, as this town is ideal for walking! Leisurely stroll around and enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the Old Town, with its bougainvillea-filled streets, hidden squares, and stunning neoclassical mansions.
And if you walk through the narrow alleyways, you will find an array of cafes and bars where you can sit down and enjoy a fine wine, throw back a beer, or sip on a cocktail.
Where to stay…
You are spoiled for choice with boutique accommodation, as there are a range of luxurious hotels, stunning mansions, traditional guesthouses, and lovely budget apartments- this picturesque town really caters to all. We recommend you check out: Nafplion 1841, Nafplia Palace Hotel & Villas, The Amphityron, Filoxenion Luxury rooms & Lofts, 3 Sixty Hotel & Suites, and Castellano Hotel Suites.
Nafplio has many traditional taverns that are ideal for those who love indulging in classic Greek dishes and some of our favourite eateries include: Karamalis, To Omorfo Tavernaki, Kavalaris Corner Mezedopoleoi, and Pidalio. Also make sure to check out: Taverna Old House, Zournal, and Taverna O Vasilis. For casual dining try Trendy Grill or Menta, Arapakos for seafood, and Scuola for pizza and pasta.
For some of the best desserts in town, we recommend Pergamonto, which serves traditional Loukoumades (Greek honey puff donuts). For gelato check out Antica Gelateria di Roma and Gelarto. And for a variety of Greek sweets head to Central Boulangerie Bakery.
There’s a range of all-day cafes and bars where you can grab a great coffee or a luscious cocktail. When you’re in the mood for a drink, make your way to Kontogiorgos Café, Xenon Café, Arti, Teori Oldtown Bar, BluBlanc Beach Bar, 3 Sixty, Alkioni Wine Bar, Mediterraneo Wine & Deli, Sokaki Café, Teory, and Yacht.
If you are here during the warmer months head to Arvanitia Beach, Karathona, Tolo, Kastraki, Banieres, Mili, Kiveri, and Neraki for a swim.
Don’t leave until you…
Have an ancient Greek massage at Panta Rei.
Check out Karonis Distillery Exhibition and Shop– established in 1869, the spirit producing company is one of the oldest in Greece. The current owner makes ouzo, tsipouro, liqueurs, and brandy with the same passion as his forefathers.
Savor a Nafplio food tour.
Go to the ‘Laiki’ (local markets) on Wednesday or Saturday.
Visit one of these three caves: Didima, Franchthi, and Kapsia.