After spending some time taking Athens tours, exploring the historical city's monuments, museums, street art, and nightlife, it is time for you to experience a different Greek landscape. Lucky for you, you don’t have to travel too far to get to Nafplio, a beautiful seaside town in the Peloponnese region. Ruled in the past by Frankish, Venetian, and Turkish conquerors, Nafplio offers a diverse landscape of medieval castles, fortified islets and striking beaches, perfect for your next Greek weekend getaway! Here, we present to you a list of 5 things to do in Nafplio, if you fancy visiting it.
1. Take a Private Walking Tour in Nafplio
Overview of Nafplio - credits: encrier/Depositphotos.com
Nafplio, the capital of Argolis, is one of the most popular and charming cities of Greece. According to Greek mythology, the city owes its name to the settler of Nafplion, the son of god Poseidon. During antiquity, Nafplio was upstaged by Argos, serving as its port from the 7th century BC. Today, however, Nafplio stands tall on its own attracting thousands of visitors every year, A fun introduction to the area, our Nafplio private walking tours include expert guides, who will lead you through secret passageways while showing off the main sights of the most romantic city in Greece. If you follow along with the guide’s descriptive narration, the town will come alive with stories from the past, such as the infamous murder of Ioannis Kapodistrias, the Prime Minister of the First Hellenic Republic, while you will visit the very place the assassination took place. The tour also includes a stop at the renowned Italian gelateria of Nafplio and concludes at the Acronafplia, the acropolis of Nafplio, which offers a breath-taking view of the sea.
2. Climb a Castle
Palamidi Castle in Nafplio - credits: Inu/Shutterstock.com
Built in 1686 by the Venetians, Palamidi Castle, one of the most beautiful castles in Greece, stands 216 meters above sea level. If you’re up for the hike, 999 steps will lead you to the top, where stunning panoramic views await, as well as enchanting baroque-style archways along the way. The Palamidi hill, which owes its name to the Homeric hero Palamidis, hadn't been systematically fortified until the years of the Second Ottoman domination. As a fortress, it remained impenetrable until the Turks occupied it in 1715. In 1822, the Greeks regained control of the castle when they achieved independence from the Ottoman Empire, making Nafplio the first capital of modern Greece until 1834. Palamidi Castle, preserved in excellent condition, is one of the most important achievements of the Venetian fortification architecture.
3. Take in the History
The Archaeological Museum of Nafplio - credits: wikipedia.org
There are many noteworthy museums in town that can provide further insight into the area’s culture and history. The Archaeological Museum of Nafplio exhibits important artifacts from the Prehistoric and Mycenaean Era, the War Museum was the former site of the first Military School in Greece, and the Komboloi Museum showcases an impressive global collection of worry beads, which Nafplio is especially known to produce. Last but not least, Nafplio's War Museum, an annex of the Athens War Museum, has been operating since 1988 in an impressive building of Venetian architecture. Here's a fun fact to impress your friends and family with: the same building that now houses Nafplio's War Museum was chosen by Kapodistrias to house the Hellenic School in 1828.
4. Cook like a Local
Greek cooking class - credits: Alexxxey/Shutterstock.com
The local cuisine of Nafplion is as rich as one whould expect from a Greek region. The local dishes of Nafplion, such as bogana -milk lamb with whole potatoes, cooked in a hut and usually servedas the main course in weddings- and goges -handmade pasta of Argolida that is traditionally cooked during Greek Halloween- are deliciously unique and a must-try for visitors looking to eat their way through Greek culture. Experience the best of the local culinary scene by joining a hands-on private cooking lesson in Nafplio led by an expert chef. Satisfy your palate with your own Greek salad and traditional appetizers, such as tzatziki and cheese pies. Situated on a private hilltop location with an inspiring view, prepare the main and dessert course coupled with a carefully curated wine or soft drink.
5. Take a Boat Ride to Bourtzi
Bourtzi - credits: Takis ks/Shutterstock.com
Bourtzi is another Venetian fortress, located on the islet of Agioi Theodoroi. A trademark of the city of Nafplion, originally in this islet, located in the middle of the harbor of the city, there was a Byzantine church dedicated to saint Theodoros.It was built to ward off pirates, and then later on, became a residence for executioners of Palamidi prisoners. From 1930 to 1970, it was used as a hotel, where visitors could check into the castle overnight. Today, it mainly serves as a tourist attraction and the occasional host site for music festivals. You can reach the islet by boat, which regularly departs from Nafplio, especially during the summer months.
6. Swim in of Nafplio's magnificent beaches
Karathona Beach - credits: PitK/Shutterstock.com
Sandy or pebbled, busy or remote, Nafplio's beaches are definitely worth a visit, offering a refresing break to your cultured trip. Just a 10-minute walk south from Palamidi castle hill will lead you to Karathona Beach, a mesmerizing cove, dotted with cafes and traditional taverns along the water. At this 'Blue Flag' accredited beach, you can rest assured you’ll be swimming in some of the clearest waters you have encountered in your lifetime. Also popular in the area, are Arvanitia and Neraki Beach. Although widely known for the beauty and the culture of its city, the beaches of Nafplion are a happy surprise to visitors, one that you should all experience!
Just hours away from Athens, with regularly scheduled buses departing from Kifissos Bus station, there’s no excuse to skip on a trip to Nafplion. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or a beach lover, Nafplio has a little something for everyone in an idyllic and romantic setting.