10 Must See Spots in Nafplio, Greece
By Lisa Arcella
October 18, 2018
It’s hard to find any place in Greece that isn’t beautiful, but the seaport town of Nafplio in Peloponnese is extra special. Aside from its historic past as a significant player in the Middle Ages and the capital of the First Hellenic Republic and of the Kingdom of Greece, it is now a thriving and lovely hillside town that’s alive with culture and fine dining. Among the required stops on your next visit:
Medieval Old Town
Explore the nooks and crannies of the narrow cobblestone alleys and see well preserved neoclassical mansions, ancient Turkish fountains and colorful Bougainvillea trees around every corner.
In the very heart of the city stands the Italianate Syntagma Square where you can admire important historic buildings and monuments, but its also a great place for people watching too. Great restaurants and bars are surrounded by stunning architecture.
The Venetian-built fortress dominates the city high up on a hill that offers a birds eye view of the Argolic gulf and the Mycenaean plain. Its not for the faint hearted to clip the 999 steps it takes to reach the top, but its well worth the climb.
The city’s oldest castle can be found near the old town and contains ruins from the Bronze age. Its a great spot to get a view of the sea, the mountains and the city all at the same time!
The Venetians built the small fortress that sits in the middle of the gulf in 1471. Its become an iconic spot and now you can take a short and inexpensive boat ride out see it up close.
A stroll around the old quarters of Nafplion reveals images and religious monuments that are part from the historical past of the town. There are more than a half dozen historic and beautiful houses of worship worth explooring including the Agia Sophia which was one of the only place Christians were allowed to worship when the city was a Turkish territory. The Nafpilo Cathedral houses the throne of the first Greek king and St. Nikolaos Church dedicated to patron saint of seafarers (who also happens to be the saint who inspired the legend of Santa Claus).
The War Museum
The War Museum, housed in the buildings of the former (first) Military Academy covers liberation wars during the 1800’s and the areas role during World War II. There is also a glovely Folklore Museum and the unique Kombolois Museum, dedicated to the the beads worn around the necks of locals to calm them down. There is even a Distillerary Museum where you can sample some local ouzo.
After exploring the local culture relax on one of the dozens of beautiful beaches that dot the shore line. Some of our favorites include the beaches of Arvanitia, Karathonas, Nea Kios, Miloi and Kiveri
This is Greece, the home of fresh and delicious food. Grab mezedopolio (Greek tapas) at O Noulis or try the zucchini balls at Omorfoo Tavernaki. Don’t miss the super fresh seafood or the amazing homemade Greek ice cream. Dining is meant to be a total experience here so expect a leisurely meal followed by lots and lots of late night entertainment.
There are so many places to pick up perfect souvenirs for friends, family and yourself of course! Sandalwork shop is the place to get a pair of custom made shoes, while the Genesis Ceramic Workshop is just one of the many places in town to find unique pottery and artwork.