Considered one of the prettiest and the most romantic towns in all of Greece, Nafplio is one of the least commercial as well, a treasure among treasures. A seaside village located in the Peloponnese, which is the southernmost point of the Balkan region of Greece, Nafplio was the original capital of the First Hellenic Republic during the Greek Revolution from 1821 until 1834.
Situated on the coast of the Argolic Gulf in the northeast of the Peloponnese, the majority of the town is located on the peninsula that has a naturally protected bay. The town is stunningly beautiful and is quite romantic. From the peaceful winding narrow streets lined with elegant Venetian houses, to the neoclassical mansions with balconies dripping with vibrantly colored flowers, it is easy to see what makes this lovely city so popular, but thankfully, lesser known. There are boutiques to browse and shop with their posh offerings, cafes that dot the harbor and plenty of hotels and guesthouses for accommodations during your stay. Located less than two hours by car from Athens, it is a great place to spend the day or the weekend away from the crowds and surround yourself with the beauty, tradition and romance uniquely Greece.
The city long held a strategic position because of its location and it was guarded by three fortresses because of this. These three fortresses represent the most popular and well known historic sites of the region and are part of Nafplio’s Old Town. The largest of the fortresses was Palamidi, then the smaller Akronafplia, and then the quite small Bourtzi which is located on an islet to the west of the old town. The large and spectacular Palamidi Fortress sits on an outcrop high above the town. This affords views of the sea and the surrounding area. The citadel was built by the Venetians between 1711 and 1714. This enormous fortress was regarded by many as a masterpiece of military architecture. Inside the massive structure are two more independent citadels. The most well preserved of the two inner citadels is the western one, the Agios Andreas Bastion. This bastion stands at the top of steps from the town. You can actually access the fortress from this staircase. However this might be better left as your descent back into rather than your original access as there are 999 stairs. There is often much debate of the actual count of the stairs and it is part of the experience to count either on your ascent or descent. Of course if you are going to climb them make sure you do it earlier in the day as this is Greece and the sun will be high and hot by the middle of the day.
After exploring the history, comes the time to sit and relax and enjoy the beauty that is Nafplio and one of the best places to do this is the Syntagma Square. Known as the heart of the city, it is the perfect place to enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning, dinner or just a beer. Truly unique this area is known for its style and beauty. From polished marble floors to neoclassical frames, this area is a must see.
Another romantic destination is the Nafplio city park. Lush and beautiful, it dates back to the 1700’s. Plenty of cafes and taverns as well as historic sculptures and beautiful flowers offer hours of enjoyment for you and the one you love.
Romantic must sees – A romantic stroll around the “Arvanitia Promenade” is perfect for any couple. In addition, the Old Town, and the beaches surrounding are perfect for spending some time together.
Whether staying for the or longer, this destination truly is one you will enjoy.
Bill Bailey Travel invites you to explore this and other unique areas and destinations for travel with us.