How does one describe the city they would live in if given the chance?? We have been to some very cool places like Munich, Vienna, Salzburg…(all those are fabulous, by the way!) I am completely a mountain girl who loves The Rockies, but Nafplion is just so enchanting. During our Zesty Greek Travel Adventure, we were staying just up the way in Assini (10 minutes) so trips into Nafplion became almost a daily need. I say “need” not because we didn’t have the amenities in Tolo, but because we loved the beat and energy of this city that sits on the tip of The Peloponnese. It began like this…
Journal- Day ? (Mid May) What day is it? I can’t really say and does it really matter at this point? Today we are exploring Nafplion…Ingrid is very serious in delivering her advice to us as we shuffle pass the bar and walk to our little car. Something about driving into Nafplion. She says to be aggressive when we get to the big square (intersection?) “Just drive, don’t stop or you will never get thru!” Guess we will know it when we see it. Music on…Windows down…Let’s explore!
I must admit, our first trip into this city was more of a scope it out, figure out where to park and poke around a bit. The nice thing about extended stays in a place is that you don’t have to rush and fit everything into one day, so we enjoyed a nice lunch and walked around.
By the end of our 6 weeks in The Peloponnese we had hiked up the stairs of Palamidi a dozen times and spent many evenings on the port promenade. I will be sharing about the Fortress of Palamidi in a separate post, so be sure to keep your eyes out for that!!!
Anyway, back to your tour of life in Nafplion.
This is the Bourtzi Castle
Ancient Sites of Nafplion include:
- Bourtzi Castle
- Fortress of Palamidi
- Akronafplia (the first picture is a view from there)
Once the Capital of Greece, Nafplio or Nafplion, is one of the most romantic cities in all of Greece. The architecture and culture here was influenced early on by Turks, Franks and Venetians. Today, many Neoclassical buildings make up the landscape. Visitors can shop in “Old Town”, relax in Syntagma Square, visit museums, tour three different castles, or just watch cruise ships and yachts come in. This city is bustling with activity, yet still has a charming, cozy feel. And, it is only a couple hours from Athens! Easy to find, just rent a car and drive…We found it with no GPS, just a map (unlike some things we didn’t find like that hotel in Athens)…
Tavernas, Cafe’s, Night Clubs , Fashion Boutiques and Gelato ….Italian food. Greek food. Shop! Shop! Shop!
Greg’s favorite Salad at one of our favorite cafe’s in Syntagma Square.
Museums of Nafplion It is easy to visit 3 or 4 museums in one day here in Nafplion. They are all close to each other.
The Folklore Museum shows traditional costumes of Greece from various time periods and has displays about how different fabrics are made. Now I understand the price of silk!
The Archaeological Museum of Nafplio is right in Syntagma Square and has fascinating relics from the neolithic, mesolithic and paleolithic periods as well as the mycanaen era. Visitors can watch an impressive video while touring the large neoclassic building.
There is also a Wartime Museum, located at 22 Amalias Avenue in an old military academy building. It has three stories of fascinating exhibits showing a large assortment of weaponry used by the soldiers of this city, as well as their uniforms and photos of all the battles.
There is also a Komboloi Museum
Kali Spera! That means Good Evening… Many nights we meandered the back alleys and old world staircases in search for the perfect dinner, becoming familiar and very fond of our moments in Nafplion. There is a port promenade where visitors can relax and people watch. Clubs and bars playing Greek pop music stand next to fine seafood restaurants and pizzerias. Whatever you have a hankering for, the food and drink is plentiful. The Palamidi Fortress, all lit up under the stars, stands perched high overlooking the busy Nafplion streets. Bourtzi Castle poses on the water while boats float by. Wednesdays and Saturdays the farmers market brings a flurry of activity to town and you can find anything from flip flops to flounder…We absolutely fell in love with the lifestyle here.
Here is one last note to those who may be planning a trip to Greece: Forget the expensive tourist spots that you always hear about like Santorini and go where Greeks go when they want to get away for the weekend. The Peloponnese has countless Ancient Sites and Beautiful Beaches and while you will find some stores that are pricey, you will find plenty of great lodging at affordable rates. You don’t have to stay in a hostel to get a good deal!
Overlooking the Swim Beach from the walking path…