A city for princes
Perhaps the most charming town in the Peloponnese and one of the favorite destinations for weekend all year round. The captivating old town of Nafplion, with preservable architectural character and the two castles that the crown the city, Acronafplia and Palamidi, the aura of the first capital of the Greek state, is pervasive.
“Admire the city from the top by climbing the -999 as the “myth” says or 857 in others- steps leading to the imposing Palamidi Castle which rises on a huge gray rock overlooking the sea. From Acronafplia city views is equally impressive, and if you follow the pedestrian walkway of Arvanitia that surrounds the rock of Acronafplia, you do an idyllic ride along the shore, having the sea beneath your feet.”
The name of the city reveals its founder: Nafplios, was the son of Poseidon and Amymone. Nafplios married Klymeni and had three children: Palamedes, Oikeus and Nafsimedon. He fortified the city and built the castle that took the name of his son, who was wise and inventor.
The traces of the polygonal walls of Acronafplia and the tombs in the northern part of Palamidi, testify that the city's history began around the 8th BC century.
Nafplio, although small town, succeeded in refuting many invaders. During the Messinian war allied with the Spartans (who were enemies of the Argives) and finally conquered by Demokratis, the king of Argos, it was destroyed and operated as a port of Argos.
With the establishment of the Byzantine state, Nafplion was recognized by the Byzantines as commercial center of eastern Peloponnese and acquired increasing strategic significance.
In 1180 AD, Leo Sgouros defined as lord of Nafplion, who captured Argos and Corinth. In 1204, with the dissolution of the Byzantine Empire, the Peloponnese was given the Franks, who fortified Acronafplia and made the Frankish fortress.
In 1390 AD Nafplion dominated by the Venetians that strengthen the fortifications of the two fortresses of the city, by constructed the third Venetian fortress bastion known as the "Five Brothers". Bourtzi was fortified for the first time and in 1865 became a place of residence of the executioners.
The Venetians expand the city, surrounded by walls, make the church of St. George and other buildings as well as the aqueduct.
In 1718 the Peloponnese officially handed over to the Turks as well as the city of Nafplion, where mosques are being built, and suffered from problems and barbarities.
The Greeks declare the revolution on March 25, 1821 and in November 1822 the chieftains of the Peloponnese begin their fight for the liberation of Nafplion. In January 1823 Nafplio becomes the 1st capital of the Greek state and in the beginning of 1828, Ioannis Kapodistrias the first governor of the Greek State, came to town. Three years later, Ioannis Kapodistrias was assassinated in front of the church of St. Spyridon.
In 1833 arrived in Nafplion, Otto of Bavaria as king of Greece, and the next year the capital of Greece relocated to Athens.
But after the relocation of the capital, Nafplion continued to be a very important Greek city, as there was a main military center. Still, it was judicial and administrative center, a secure export harbor and towards the end of the 19th century was connected by rail.
Through the 19th century Nafplion, developed an urban consciousness, the appearance of the city groomed, the walls were demolished, the city acquired lighting, more green and decent hotels that hosted princes and emperors.
Attractions and places to visit
Palamidi Castle: Drive by car or climb on foot from the famous stairs, that are being kept in excellent condition, and admire the wonderful views of Acronafplia. Visit the historic church of St. Andrew and the cell where Theodoros Kolokotronis was imprisoned.
Acronafplia: A rocky peninsula which was the walled settlement of Nafplio from ancient times to the late 15th century. Visit the castle which is preserved in good condition, either ascending from the park, either the narrow pavement from the Catholic Church.
Bourtzi: Take the boat from the waterfront of Nafplio towards the hallmark of Nafplio, the marine fortress which took its name from a Turkish word meaning “tower”.
Archaeological Museum: Housed in a medieval building of 1713, in Syntagma Square of Old Town, is one of the most beautiful buildings of Venetian rule in Greece. The exhibits dated from the Paleolithic to Roman times. Amongst the exhibits, the prominent position held by the bronze armor of Dendra.
War Museum: It presents the history of the Military Academy and the participation of the inhabitants of Argolis in the fights of the Greek nation, from the Greek Revolution until the liberation from German occupation troops. The museum is located in the building of the first Military Academy.
Syntagma Square: The most historic square of Nafplio, which is the center of the old city. Here you find important buildings such as the Venetian Warehouse of the Fleet, which today houses the Archaeological Museum, the 1st House of Parliament (the former mosque of Aga-Pasha that housed the House of the Greek Revolution, now serves as a conference room, while in the ground floor, the Municipal Gallery Nafplion was relocated) and a mutual teaching school, now known as the Trianon.
Worry Bead Museum: Considered as the first and only Worry Beads museum in the world, founded in Nafplio in 1998. The collection includes about 1,000 worry beads and rosaries from around the world, dating from 1700 to 1950. In the same building works and old worry bead conservation laboratory.
Beaches: The most popular beaches of Nafplio is the organized beach of the small bay of Arvanitia with white pebbles and turquoise waters and the long beach of Karathona, which lies in a bay south of the city (3 km. away) and is ideal for lovers of water sports.
By car or by bus Nafplion is now a very affordable destination not only for holidays or for a weekend but even coffee, dining or just a walk from Athens.
Journey time is 90-120 minutes by car/bus (from Athens) and the distance only 150 km.
Nafplion can be characterized as a gastronomic place to visit. Besides the classical Greek cuisine, the local cuisine is characterized by the blending of Eastern and European cuisine, so you can either taste unique local specialties or choose to try international cuisine at one of the many restaurants of the city. Five (5) star restaurants, traditional Greek taverns, tasteful fish food taverns, fast food restaurants, pizzerias and shops offer sandwiches, crepes, souvlaki etc.
“You will find many restaurants offer not only meat and fish dishes but also a delightful traditional cuisine at tables on the street. So enjoy the wonderful aesthetics of the city with wonderful food in the narrow alleyways, Syntagma square and the beach.”
Everything is available from morning until late hours.
Nafplio provides wide range of accommodation to suit all tastes. Hotels in Nafplion and the surrounding areas, rooms, hostels will meet your needs all year round.
Nafplion provides something for everyone, regardless of age and preferences - from music cafes, trendy shops and evening dance clubs to cinemas, bars, restaurants, and traditional taverns.
No holiday experience, can not be considered as complete without at least one visit to a glamorous bar or beach clubs on the area. The sounds of famous Greek or International DJs and live bands give the rhythm for endless hours of fun.
In all tourist resorts of the area there are bars and clubs with all kinds of hearings, perfect for a drink accompanied by relaxing sounds or enjoying a drink and nonstop dancing until dawn.
Nafplion and generally all Greece is in the Eastern European Time Zone (Greenwich Mean Time plus two hours during daylight saving time, all over the year).
In Nafplion and throughout Greece, the euro is the standard currency. This converterallows you to determine the value of other currencies compared with the euro.
Of course, there are so many places where you can exchange your currency for euro such as Banks, Currency exchange offices etc.
Nafplion is a popular holiday destination and generally a quite safe place for visitors. Use common caution and be careful when walking around after dark and you won't face any problems while staying on Nafplion.
Power sockets in Greece deliver 220-240 volts at 60 hertz, and you may need a converter to use your electrical and electronical devices here.
If you have a laptop or a tablet with you, wireless Internet is available throughout Nafplion, including in many hotels, coffee shops, parks, etc. At some locations, you have to pay for WiFi.
The drinking age in Nafplion —and throughout Greece—is 18, and smoking is banned in public places throughout the Town, including bars, restaurants, Public Transport and taxis. Cigar smoking is permitted at cigar bars that register with the Town. In Nafplion, those who are 18 or older can purchase tobacco and cigarettes.