Welcome to Argolis!
I bet the first impression is that this is a captivating piece of Greek land with mild climate all year, carpeted with orange orchards. So far so good! It is also the home of the great Mycenaean civilization and home of the grandest theater of ancient Greece, the Theater of Epidaurus. Want a hint of cosmopolitanism? Head to Porto Heli and chances are that you'll catch a great party in one of the resorts or lay on the beach close to the Greek royal family.
And then there's Nafplio.
A tranquil port of cinematic quality perfect for those who like to wander. Strolling in Nafplio translates into ducking under bougainvillea archways with a gelato in hand from the many ice-cream parlors.
The meandering, cobblestone streets unveil a colorful doors galore adorned with the typical hand-shaped door knobs. Looking up, windowsills are punctuated by red and hot pink geraniums in terracotta pots. Old manors ooze Venetian heritage. Nafplio is an Old Town after all and let's not forget that in 1829 it was named the very first capital of the Independent Greek State. So old you can see where the first Greek drug store was! Start from Syntagma square and work your way through the narrow streets. If you follow the lazy cats soaking up the sun you will end up at the steps of Psaromahalas, literally meaning fishermen district.
Walking along Arvanitia Promenade is a must. Happy families, couples holding hands, loners with earphones and podcasts or music playing - everybody has to enjoy that blissful, relaxed, powered by sea breeze, walk.
Pay a visit to Panagitsa church, formerly known as Santa Maria della Grotta when Nafplio was under the Venetian rule. The same church was a secret school when Nafplio was under the Ottoman rule. With such diverse history doesn't this sound like an amazing church to exchange vows? Hurry! The waiting list is long. Really long.
Lat's face it, there is no legit visit to Nafplio without visiting the city's Fortresses.
Boutzi Fortress, is a fortified stone beauty topping an small islet, and the omnipresent Palamidi Fortress is overlooking the entire town. This is the very place where the Nafplio revolt started. Remember what they say, nothing good comes without effort. The only thing between you and Palamidi Castle is about 999 steps.
If museums is your cup of tea, then head to the Archaeological Museum, the Peloponnesean Folklore Foundation and the National Gallery's Nafplio Annex which is housed in an exquisite neoclassical building. Art lovers, Fougaro Art Center, housed in an old canning company called Anthos is an absolute must. You can opt for exhibitions, workshops, the amazing library, a kids workshop or just enjoy your lunch at the excellent cafe. On that account, should you feel a pinch of hunger head to Boumboulinas street and just feast on local delicacies and lots of fresh fish! You can even eat your way through the city with a Food tour or go wine tasting.
Quintessential Nafplio sorted!
Want some more?
Get our Peloponnese Guide Vol. I here