Nafplio is on the east side of the Peloponnese, about 1.5 hours drive from Athens Airport making it a very convenient place to stop if you don’t want to go into Athens. More than that, it’s a splendid Venetian town with a large marble paved main square, many narrow streets to explore, a waterfront lined with cafes, plenty of tavernas, and all overlooked by a imposing byzantine citadel. It’s also very well placed for visits to Epidavros and Mycennae – two world class ancient sites. We stay there usually twice each year for 1 or 2 nights on our way to or from the airport and always enjoy our time there.
The town is squeezed between the waterfront and the high craggy outcrop on which the citadel is built. The narrow lanes beneath the citadel rise up very steeply with many flights of stone steps. If you want to avoid steep climbs to your hotel make sure it is situated down in the town. Also parking is impossible in these lanes, take this into account if you have a hire car.
If you are visiting the Peloponnese out of the holiday season Nafplio is a particularly good place to stay as the town functions all year and many of the outdoor cafes and some restaurants have overhead gas heaters on in the evening. When we stayed there last week on 22 February we sat outside at the excellent Alaloum restaurant and stayed warm and comfortable all evening.
Here are some photos we took last week:
There are steps you can climb up to the citadel – a lot of them! Luckily you can also drive up, there is a road that goes up a more gentle slope behind the citadel.
The main square is lovely but also functions as the local kid’s football pitch in the evenings and can be noisy.
In summer these waterfront cafes are very busy
From the waterfront you can walk on further around the base of the cliffs to a small local beach which is very rocky, no sand at all. It’s a beautiful walk, especially at sunset.
The view from the waterfront is dominated by the Bourtzi – a small island fortress. You can visit the fortress, there are small ferry boats that depart from the port area.