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Travel to Nafplion, Peloponnese

Above: Nafplio@G Filippini

Plateia Syntagmatos (Constitution Square) in Nafplion, Greece
Syntagma Square in Nafplion

Nafplio is a seaport town in the eastern Peloponnese that has expanded up the hillsides near the north end of the Argolic Gulf. The town was the first capital of modern Greece, from the start of the Greek Revolution in 1821 until 1834. Nafplio is now the capital of the peripheral unit of Argolis.

The Nauplion Promenade is a very pleasant place to spend your time. You can go jogging in the morning hours, strolling in the afternoon and later you can enjoy the spectacular sunset. My best advice, get there about an hour before sunset, get a seat at one of the cafes facing the water, and enjoy the sun setting over the castle in the middle of the bay.  It is probably the most lovely harbor in Greece. There are many cafes if you want to enjoy a frape (ice coffee) or something stronger.

Nafplion Palamidi castle - Agios Andreas Bastion, Greece
Nafplion Palamidi castle – Agios Andreas Bastion

 

Bourtzi Tower
Bourtzi Tower

 

View from Palamidi to Acronauplia, Nafplion
View from Palamidi to Acronauplia, Nafplion

Coordinates: 37°34′N 22°48′E

Palamidi fortress is a military fortress to the east of the Acronauplia which is the oldest part of Nafplion. Nestled on the crest of a 216-metre high hill, the fortress was built by the Venetians during their second occupation of the area (1686-1715).

The fortress was a very large and ambitious project, but was finished within a relatively short period from 1711 until 1714. It is a typical baroque fortress based on the plans of the engineers Giaxich and Lasalle. In 1715 it was captured by the Turks and remained under their control until 1822, when it was captured by the Greeks.
One of the bastions, called the “Miltiades,” was used as the prison cell of Theodoros Kolokotronis, a hero of the Greek Revolution.

Argolic Gulf - view from Nafplion, Greece
Argolic Gulf – view from Nafplion

 

View of the old part of the city of Nafplio from Palamidi castle
View of the old part of the city of Nafplio from Palamidi castle
Nafplio Syntagma@GFilippini
Nafplio Syntagma@GFilippini

The fortress commands an impressive view over the Argolic Gulf, the city of Náfplio and the surrounding country. There are 857 steps in the winding stair from the town to the fortress. However, to reach the top of the fortress there are over one thousand. Locals in the town of Nafplion will say there are 999 steps to the top of the castle, and specials can be found on menus that incorporate this number to catch a tourist’s eye.

Nafplion Archaeological Museum: This museum houses some of the most important artifacts from the Argolid – findings from Mycenae, Tiryns, Argos, and the surrounding area. The museum is rather small with a minor ticket fee, and it’s laid out in an informative and organized way.
A seldom and nice surprise might be the exhibits about the prehistoric civilization in the area, with a few objects that are tens of thousands of years old. (Information about opening hours and ticket prices)

Peloponnesian Folklore Foundation Museum: This small museum in the old part of town will give you an idea of what life was like in the “old days”, a hundred and more years ago in Nafplion.
Address: Odos V. Alexandros 1, Nafplion, Greece
Phone: +30 0752/28-947  Fax: +30 0752/27-960  email: pff@otenet.gr.

Tiryns: Right outside Nafplion you can find ancient Tiryns just to the side of the road. It is nice because there are not so many tourists there, since it is not really organized. You can walk rather freely around the site where old legend tells us that a Cyclops built the walls. The walls are made of huge boulders which tower over you as you walk through the path. It is a short stop that you should not miss! Perfect spot for a picnic! (Further reading about Tiryns…)

The Argolic Gulf, GreeceSailing lessons in Nafplion: Spend a day on the waters learning how to sail while also swimming, snorkling and sunbathing in the middle of the cruise. Discover the underwater scenery with its bluegreen shades and shoals of fish all around you. Captain Aris with his 42′ boat can be hired for the day. You will find him at the habour with a small sign advertising “instructional sailing day trips”. He is an intelligent, “60-something” Greek who speaks flawless British English and patiently teaches all the secrets of sailing.

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