Nafplio is a Venetian town with ancient Greek roots. It is located on the Argolic Gulf in the northeast Peloponnese, one and a half hour driving from Athens.   

Nafplion was already inhabited in the Mycenaean period (1600-1100BC) and up till the present day, although there have been times that the city was largely deserted. Known in Venetian times as Napoli di Romania, the modern Nafplion is largely an Italian-looking town. It was also the first capital of modern Greece after the war of independence against the Turks. Here also the first president of Greece, Johannis Kapodístrias, was murdered in 1831.

In the early Middle Ages (500-600 AD) the city had shrunken to a castle and a small settlement, but in the 11th century AD the lower city was again completely fortified by the Byzantines, largely on ancient Greek and Hellenistic foundations. Around 1200 a local ruler, called Leon Sgouros, for a long time successfully defended the city against western Crusaders (‘Franks’).

The Venetians (who had taken the city as a gift from the Franks), ruling Nafplio in 1389-1540 and again in 1686-1715, completely transformed the city. During their second reign the Palamidi hill was provided with extensive fortifications, which turned the city into the most powerful fortress of Greece, if not of Europe.

Breathtaking castle experience: 

The famous Bourtzi
The castle of Bourtzi is located in the middle of the harbour of Nafplio. The Venetians completed its fortification in 1473 to protect the city from pirates and invaders from the sea. In 1822 (during the Greek war of independence) it was captured by Greek troops and served as a fortress until 1865. It was then transformed into residence of the executioners of convicts from the castle of Palamidi. From 1930 to 1970, it served as a hotel. Since then, it is mainly a tourist attraction hosting occasionally parts of the Summer Music Festival.

Bourtzi sea castle
View to Bourtzi
Aspect of Bourtzi
The unique Palamidi
Palamidi is a fortress nestled on the crest of a 216-metre high hill. It was built by the Venetians during their second occupation of the area (1686–1715).  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 eight bastions of the fortress was used as a prison and among its walls was also held Theodoros Kolokotronis, hero of the Greek Revolution. The fortress commands an impressive view over the Argolic Gulf, the city of Náfplio and the surrounding country. There are 999 steps (as the myth says) in the winding stair from the town to the fortress.

Palamidi fortress

999 steps to Palamidi
View from Palamidi
The romantic Acronafplia
Acronauplia is the oldest part of the city though a modern hotel has been built on it. Until the thirteenth century, it was a town on its own. The arrival of the Venetians and the Franks transformed it into part of the town fortifications.

Aspect of Acronafplia
Clock of Acronafplia
The Nafplio archaeological Museum (at Syntagma Square), in an ancient building of the Venetian fortress, belongs to the finest museums in Greece. It has a nice collection and offers a good overview of the Mycenaean centers in and around Nafplio, in particular Tiryns and Lerna. One of the most famous items shown is the Mycenean armor of Dendra, a bronze armor worn by a Mycenaean aristocrat around 1200 BC.

Other museums of town are War Museum, National Gallery - Alexandros Soutzos Museum, V. Papantoniou Peloponnesian Folklore Foundation, Komboloi Museum.

The archaeological Museum
War Museum
National Gallery - Alexandros Soutzos Museum
V. Papantoniou Peloponnesian Folklore Foundation
Architecture & urban sculpture
Nafplio maintains a traditional architectural style with manytraditional-style colourful buildings and houses, influenced by the Venetians, because of the domination of 1338–1540.

Also, modern-era neoclassical buildings are also preserved, while the building of the National Bank of Greece is an example of Mycenaean Revival architecture.

Around the city can be found several sculptures and statues. They are related mostly with the modern history of Nafplio, such as the statues of Ioannis Kapodistrias, Otto of Greece and Theodoros Kolokotronis.

Syntagmatos Square
Filellinon Square
Vouleutiko - First Parliament of Greece
Trion Navarchon (Three Admirals) square
Old Customs
The Church of Panaghia
The sleeping Lion of Bavaria
The Land Gate
Ioannis Kapodistrias Square
Kolokotronis Park
Metropolitan Church of Aghios Georgios

Courthouse Square
Church of Agios Nikolaos
Town Hall
Aspect of old town
Traditional architecture
Take a walk at picturesque alleys
Nafplio’s beach is called Arvanitia, situated between Palamidi and Acronafplia, in the south end of the town. An organized beach with gravel and small rocks. It is also fun to dive and swim from the low cliffs nearby.

About 3 km from Nafplio is Karathona, the most popular beach of the area. It is regarded as the point of reference for summer sea swimming. A long, sandy beach with shallow waters, proper for children and families. You can walk there on a nice path that begins at Arvanitia beach (about 45 min.), or drive via 25 Martiou Street. In summer, there is bus connection with Nafplio. The beach is well developed, including cafes and taverns, sun loungers / parasols, lifeguard and sports facilities. Rewarded constantly with blue flag.

Path between Arvanitia & Karathona
Fishing at Karathona
Drone experience:  

Local specialities include Goges (Pasta with cheese), Giosa (meat), Bogana (lamb meat with potatoes).

The town has been served by public bus (KTEL Argolida), which provides daily services to all destinations in region as well as other major Greek centers such as Athens. The journey to Athens takes less than two hours, going via Corinth / Isthmos and Argos.

You can also rent a car or a bike and drive an 138 km distance from Athens to Nafplio, in almost 90 minutes. The distance from Nafplio to Tolo is 12 km, almost 15 minutes driving.

Less than half an hour from the famous archaeological sites of Mycenae and Epidaurus.

Lions Gate Mycenae
Ancient Theatre in Epidaurus