Nafplio - Nafplion - Navplion - Nauplia - Nauplie - Anapli
The city of Nafplio is known as all the above names and some more to boot. The first capital of independent Greece, Nafplion is a magical, romantic, historical town with heaps of things to see and do, all just a stone's throw from Leto Neuvo Hotel.
A cosmopolitan town, Nafplio is not restricted to a summer season and is busy with tourists all year round. Due to its ideal geographical situation it is frequented by weekenders from Athens (just a two hours away) Summer & Winter as well as tourists from all over the world. The climate in Nafplion is mild and therefore perfect for holidays in Greece any month of the year. Many people visiting, after exploring the lovely town, historical monuments and castles, use Nafplio as a base to visit some of the wonders of the Argolida county and more generally the Peloponnese. Its central location means that it is possible to reach to furthest point of the Peloponnese peninsula and return as a day trip.
Visit the Bourtzi castle in the harbour (probably the most photographed castle in Greece), the Palamidi castle that overlooks the whole town (999 steps up for the adventurous or a two minute car ride for those who are not), and the Acronafplia castle that used to be linked to the Bourtzi in the harbour by chain for defence purposes.
Nafplio was occupied by the Franks, the Venetians and the Turkish and this is evident in the architecture of the town, the old mosque just off hte square and the overhangin balconies all through the narrow streets of the old town left over from the Ventians. See the Vouleftikon, the first parliament building of the freed Greece, the Venetian Headquarters and arsenal, now the archeological museum, St Spyridon church, (1702) where the first governor of Greece, Theodoros Kolokotroni, was killed, complete with the bullet, The churches of St George, (17th century), the metropolis of the town, St Nikolaos, (18th century), the Jami, orignally a mosque and now used as a theatre, the Frangoekklisia, the oldest church in the town, still has traces of the old Catholic (Franc) Monastery. Some other interesting buildings are: the First New Greek Gymnasium (built 1833), the old Town Hall building, the house of the Viceroy, the Alevras-Lambiris building (1830) and the old train station (1890).
Arvanitia is one of the two Nafplio beaches and a short walk from the town, the beach is rocky and is known by the locals as the "town beach" where many locals pop around for a quick dip. Karathona is a few minutes by car (or by local bus during the summer months) and is a wonderful half moon shaped cove with a sandy beach and shallow, pristine sea and holds the acclaimed Blue flag for its clean beach. Both beaches are well set up and have cafeteries and bars where refreshements are avaialble plus seating/sunbeds and some shower facilities. Watersports are available on Karathona beach.
Nafplio is full of small elite shops, boutiques, cafeteries and bars, with tavernas and restaurants lining the harbour and the narrow old town streets. The national passtime of watching the world go by is practiced here on a daily basis. Nafplio has something for all ages and visitors are drawn back again and again to its magic.
Things to See
- Syntagma Square
- Bourtzi Castle
- Palamidi Castle
- Old City
- Archaeological Museum
- Folklore Museum
- Military Museum
- Worry Bead Museum
- Ouzo Museum
- National Art Gallery
- Harbour Cafes
What the Lonely Planet says:
Nafplio, located 12km southeast of Argos on the Argolic Gulf, is one of Greece’s prettiest and most romantic towns. It occupies a knockout location – on a small port beneath the towering Palamidi fortress – and is graced with attractive narrow streets, elegant Venetian houses, neoclassical mansions and interesting museums. Both overseas visitors and weekending Athenians flock to this lively, upwardly mobile place. It’s full of quayside cafes, posh boutiques and many comfortable hotels and guesthouses (but it does get somewhat overcrowded in high season and holidays).
Nafplio was the first capital of Greece after Independence (between 1833 and 1834) and has been a major port since the Bronze Age. So strategic was its position that it had three fortresses – the massive principal fortress of Palamidi, the smaller Akronafplia and the diminutive Bourtzi on an islet west of the old town. With good bus connections and services, the town is an ideal base from which to explore many nearby ancient sites.