What to see in Nafplio, Peloponnese | The most beautiful Greek city

Nafplio old city downtown

What to see in Nafplio, Peloponnese | The most beautiful Greek city

Nafplio is the most beautiful Greek city and a top place to visit in Peloponnese. You will have too many things to see and do in the city that for sure you will come back more than one time!

Nafplio Arvanitia beach
Arvanitia Beach Nafplio

Nafplio is well known for its old city downtown, full of small pedestrian streets, the historical buildings, its unique architecture and its 2 castles and 1 fortress.

Nafplio is a timeless city. Streets that are barely if ever used by automobiles, shops, restaurants and cafes selling the same things they have been selling all century (with the exception of the tourist shops) and people who have a kind of homegrown sophistication. Nafplio is a hip little city that will certainly remind you of a more romantic age than the one we are in now.

Syntagma Square

Syntagma (Constitution) Square is the heart of Nafplio old city downtown. Surrounded by historical buildings, the Syntagmatos square is also full of cafes, restaurants and shops. The city’s archeological museum is also located at the west side of the square and it is one of the places in Nafplio that deserves your time to visit.

The square it is one of the best preserved 19th Century squares in Greece. You will love to walk there and explore all these little shops around. A break for a coffee or for food at any of the restaurants and cafes, it is a must!

There are a number of important churches in Nafplion and even a mosque or two. The old town is made up of Venetian buildings and neoclassical mansions.


Nafplio old city downtown

Mpoumpoulinas Street - the sidewalk next to the port

The Bouboulinas Street which follows the port is a place where people watch the sunset and walk off their evening meals. The street is full of restaurants and some amazing colourful historical buildings. The street is also amazing for the sunset view!

Exactly behind the Mpoumpoulinas street, there are many small streets that belong to Nafplio old city downtown. Make sure to walk also at these small streets and enjoy the most colourful neighbourhood you ever visited!

All the streets have many shops, cafes and restaurants and you will find some nice places also for a glass of wine. 

Bourtzi Fortress

Nafplio Greece Acronafplia

Once you pass the Mpoumpoulinas street, you will have a great view to the Bourtzi fortress. Located in the middle of the port, Bourtzi is unique fortified islet. It used to be a prison for many years, today is the symbol of Nafplio!

The fortress is reached by small boat from the port.

The round of Arvanitia Beach

Acronafplia Nafplio

If you continue walking after Mpoumpoulinas street, you will end up at the end of the port, where you can see the port’s lighthouse. From there you will be able to enjoy special views to Bourtzi fortress looking in front of you and if you turn on the back side you will enjoy amazing view to the city’s castles, Palamidi and Acronafplia!

Next to the port, there is a very small path that you can take and continue to walk around the Acronafplia hill – castle. We call it the round of Arvanitia because it ends at the Arvanitia beach.

The whole path is builded next to the sea, from the right side you will enjoy unique view to the Argolis gulf and on the left side you will have the Acronafplia hill.

Having a lighthouse, a cave, a monastery hidden in the hill, the round of Arvanitia is a must once you are in Nafplio.

Palamidi Castle

The Palamidi castle, which sits above and dominates the city, is actually three separate fortresses walled together.

There are 999 steps leading up to the fortress and from the top there is a spectacular view of the city and much of the entire bay and the eastern Peloponnese. 

You can also drive to the castle (it takes around 4 to 6 minutes).


Acronafplia Castle

Nafplio old city downtown

The Acronafplia is the oldest part of the city, in fact up until the Venetians and the Franks arrived in the 13th Century, it was the city.You can drive or walk up past the fortifications and the views of the town and port to the north and the rocky shore and the Peloponnese to the south.

Acronafplia castle is full of hidden spots for amazing city views. You will for sure love it! Acronafplia is also the best place in Nafplio to enjoy the sunset!



Interesting archeological sites close to Nafplio

There are enough interesting archaeology sites in the area to make Nafplion a good place to base yourself.

Ancient Mycenae and Ancient Epidaurus are the two MUST SEE archeological sites. Both of them located only 20Km away from Nafplio city.

Nafplion is a great place to visit especially in the off season when you want to do nothing but shop, eat, drink and watch life in this small city.

Kondili beach nafplio

If you are planning to visit Nafplio anytime soon, you can find our city guide to be your support on planning your trip. Click the button below to explore Nafplio’s city guide:

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Nafplio Greece Arvanitia Beach

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Nafplio, Greece | Best vacation in Nafplio | Explore East Peloponnese

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Nafplio, Greece - Best vacation in Nafplio - Explore East Peloponnese

Nafplio is one of the most beautiful cities in Greece and an ideal destination for family and couple vacations. Located at the East side of Peloponnese, Nafplio is not only an amazing place to visit but it can is also a great base for you to explore the most beautiful side of Peloponnese region.

Nafplio Greece Karathona Beach

Nafplio is located 120 Km away from Athens (140Km away from Athens airport), at the Argolis Gulf, the east side of Peloponnese region.

Nafplio was the first capital of Greece and currently Nafplio is one of the most beautiful cities in Greece and an ideal destination for thousands of visitors every year, especially families with kids and couples.

At this article, we will present you Nafplio city and some great destinations close to Nafplio – all of them located at the East Peloponnese. You can either combine all these destinations and create a long vacation with your beloved one or you can use Nafplio as your base and explore all the other destinations on daily trips (this is how we visit all these places as locals).

The places we will present at the article are: Nafplio, Spetses island, Portoheli, Hydra island, Poros island and Palaia (old) Epidaurus. The 3 islands are part of Argosaronic gulf islands, all of them small islands and extremely beautiful.

The full map of the locations we suggest you

Athens to Nafplio map

Nafplio, the most beautiful city in Greece

Nafplio is the most beautiful city in Greece and one of the most romantic places you ever visited.Nafplio is an ideal places for both families with kids and couples. The city is family friendly and in the same time, Nafplio can be a great romantic place for couples who really want to enjoy some great time together.

2 castles, 1 fortress, 2 must see archeological sites, more than 15+ different beaches, a picturesque old city downtown full of pedestrian streets and squares, many hidden paths next to the see, great spots for city views, best dining options – all these make Nafplio a top destination for your holidays.

Nafplio Greece Acronafplia

Nafplio is a city full of pedestrian streets. More than that, Nafplio has some really amazing paths that you will love. Nafplio has many landmarks that deserve your time to visit. Palamidi castle, Acronafplia castle, Bourtzi fortress and an amazing old city downtown. Nafplio offers a big range of dining options. Many nice restaurants and cafes with great city views are located across the city’s old downtown and port. Nafplio is a city of history. There are many archeological sites and museums inside the city but the 2 MUST SEE archeological sites are Ancient Mycenae and Ancient Epidaurus, both located on a short distance from Nafplio.

Nafplio Arvanitia beach

Nafplio is located close to Nemea and Argos, where some of the most well known wineries of Greece are located.

Nafplio and all the area close to the city is full of amazing beaches. Karathona, Arvanitia and many many more.

How to reach Nafplio from Athens

Well Nafplio is only located 1:45 hours away from Athens airport. Click the below button for the full directions on the google maps.

Kondili beach nafplio

What to do in Nafplio

Nafplio offers you a big range of different options. You can enjoy the amazing beaches in and close to the city, you can walk the old city downtown and visit the city’s two castles. You can also visit the Archeological sites, in and close to Nafplio or you can choose to be lost in some of the many dinning options you will have.

We created a full guide with everything you might need to know for Nafplio, before you visit it and during your days in the city. Find below your full guide

As we mentioned earlier, Nafplio is also a great place to use as your base to explore to East side of Peloponnese region. Let’s explore the areas that deserve your time to visit!

Spetses Island

One of the most beautiful islands to visit in Greece. Small, with amazing natural beauty and architecture, with no cars, an original concept of the Greek island. Spetses do not offer an extreme night life, but they offer amazing food – especially seafood – amazing beaches and of course a very elegant concept of vacation, simple and unique. 

From Nafplio you have to drive until Kosta port. Then with small boats in less than 10 min you arrive at the main port of Spetses (no need to book any tickets, there are always taxi-boats available). The closest beach is Agia Marina beach. If you like riding, you can hire bikes or motorbikes and drive to back side of the island at the Agioi Anargiroi beach. Do not miss the chance to enjoy fresh seafood at Patralis restaurant.

In case of you choose to spend some days in Spetses, choose to stay close to city new port or close to the city old port. You can consider both areas “downtown” and you will be close to everything on a walking distance.


Porto Heli  is a summer resort town in the municipality of Ermionida in the southeastern part of Argolis, Greece. It is situated on a bay of the Argolic Gulf, 6 km south of Kranidi and 40 km southeast of Nafplio. The island of Spetses is located 6 km south of Porto Heli. There are ferry connections from Porto Heli to the islands of Spetses, Hydra and Poros, and to Ermioni and Piraeus. There is a small private airport, Porto Cheli Airport, south of the town.

The ancient city of Halieis (named Halike by Pausanias), excavated by Michael H. Jameson, is situated near Porto Heli.

It offers the holiday visitor a choice of water sports, sandy beaches and nightlife.  Due to the beautiful climate with plenty of sunshine and light winds, the bay is ideal for all kinds of water activities.  It is an area of great natural beauty, especially along the coastline with its numerous sheltered coves and crystal clear water.

Hydra Island

Hydra island belongs to Argosaronic Gulf islands and it is very unique as per its beauty. Small, without cars, with an amazing downtown. You can drive from Nafplio to Metohi port and from there in 20 min with a small boat you arrive to Hydra main port. You can walk all the small pedestrians streets around the port – downtown or get the local bus to visit the beaches. Do not miss to visit the Gatto Nero Hydra restaurant!

In case of you choose to spend some days in Hydra, make sure to stay close to the port, because the islands has no streets and the whole city centre is on the hill, so every time you want to go out…you will have to walk up to hill to return at your room!

You can check the boat trips from Metohi to Hydra at the islands official website HERE.


Poros Island

Poros island is located opposite of Galatas city. Once you arrive at Galatas, you simply take one of the small taxi boats and in 3 minutes you will arrive at Poros. Make sure to enjoy some of the below beaches at Poros: Mikro Neorio Bay beach, Love Bay beach and Calypso beach. The port is full nice restaurants where you can enjoy fresh seasfood!

If you decide to spend some days in Poros, make sure to stay anywhere between the Poros port and the “Poros beach” on the right side of the port.

Palaia (Old) Epidaurus

Palaia Epidavros or Palaia Epidauros (also Palea Epidavros and Palea Epidauros is a small town in the Argolis prefecture of the Peloponnese . Today also called Archaia Epidauros, it is built in the same place where was located the ancient city of Epidauros, on top of and surrounding a small peninsula between two bays, on the coast of the Saronic gulf.

At the foot of the akropolis of Ancient Epidauros is located the so-called “Small Theatre of Epidauros” (not to be confused with the more famous theatre at the Sanctuary of Asklepios in Epidauros, some 10 km to the South-West Theatre of Epidaurus). This smaller theatre was built in the middle of the 4th century BCE.

Since Palea Epidauros is a coastal town, there are a number of beaches. The most famous is Kalamaki beach. Other beaches are Polemarcha beach and Gialasi beach.

Nafplio and all the places of the East Peloponnese region at this article are family friendly places, ideal for family and couple vacations. All of them located very close to Athens, so be sure that you will not have to drive long distances. For those of you, who do not really enjoy being on a ferry for long hours, this trip is ideal! You combine many different places and islands, which are connected with small taxi boats (short distance from the mainland ports). 

Vida Hospitality team

We hope this article was useful for you! In case of you need more information or any kind of advice or assistance, feel free anytime to contact us. You can click the below button to live chat with us – we will be more than happy to support you enjoy a unique vacation with your beloved ones!

Or you can always send us email at vida@vida-hospitality.com or text us/call us at +30-6979005260 (and WhatsApp/Viber).

Do not hesitate to follow us on social media – we post often photos, videos and articles for Nafplio and Peloponnese vacations.

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Easter in Nafplio | Things to do in Nafplio, Greece for Easter | Nafplio

Karathona Nafplio beach

If you decide to visit Nafplio for the Easter and you wish to spend your time as the locals will do with their traditions, then this article will be your guide.

So, in Nafplio there are a lot of different churches some very old, connected directly with the Greek history and some of them newer built. Below you will find a full list with some of the most popular churches in Nafplio.

Church of Panagia – Directions HERE

Saint Nicholas Church– Directions HERE

Saint George Church– Directions HERE

Evangelista Church– Directions HERE

Moni Karakala– Directions HERE

Agia Moni Panagias Monastery– Directions HERE

For the Greeks, Easter is the biggest religious holiday of the year as it is connected with Orthodox faith and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The preparation for the Easter starts the “Kathara Deutera” – “Clean Monday”, the first day that Greeks start the lent that lasts for forty days until the Easter. According to the Christian Orthodox Religion, the lent is the period that people clean their body and their soul. They stay away from all the food that comes from animals with blood in its veins, including meat, milk, cheese. In addition, they clean their soul by visiting the Church more often, that helps them remove all the “bad” thoughts from their mind and replace them with thoughts of love and compassion. A charity, a little help to someone who really needs and good actions will also help someone clean his/her soul and bring him/her closer to the God.

The Holy Week, “Megali Evdomada” is the week starts from the Plam Sunday until the Easter Sunday. During this week there will be every evening church services, each of the day dedicated to the last week that of the life of Jesus Christ on the planet earth.

On Thursday there is a tradition for all the Greeks to cook the cake called in Greek “Tsoureki”, cook also biscuits that are related to the Greek Easter and also paint cooked eggs in red color.

On Thursday night the church will last for at least 3 hours as it is the liturgy for the death of Jesus Chris on planet earth. After the liturgy some of the locals will go to the church and create the epitaph with flowers. So, on Thursday night some locals go from church to church in order to embrace the epitaphs. On Friday is the most important day for the Greek Orthodoxy and is a day that all the country is in sableness. All across the country you will hear all day long the church bells until nine o’clock in the evening that is the time that according to the religion is the official hour of Christ’s death. At this time all across the country follows a symbolic funeral of Christ were the epitaph will go around the streets and people will follow carrying candles and the experience overall is quite solemn.  

Good Friday is one of the busiest days of the holy week as it is not a working day for most the Greeks and all of them will spend their day for getting prepared for household shopping, going to the church. On Friday according to the religion is a strict day for the lent and people should not eat even olive oil.

Saturday is the last day of the lent. During noon there will be liturgy and all day long you can see people at the streets getting prepared for the night. On Saturday night people will go to the church again for the resurrection. The liturgy starts at 10pm and will finish until 2am. Just before midnight all the lights will be switched off, the priest and the people will go outside from most of the churches carrying candles or the traditional candles called “lampada”. Everyone carries candles with them to be lit by the priest’s candle which represents the “holy frame”. The tradition is that representatives from the Greek orthodox church have transported to Greece a candle lit by the eternal burning flame at the Church of the holy Grave in Jerusalem, and the flame is spread from candle to candle all across the country. At 12am exactly the priest will announce the “Christos Anesti” or Christ has risen, meaning the resurrection of Jesus Christ. At most of the places in Greece at this time the night will become full of lights from the fireworks and you will see all the people start cheering, greeting and kissing each other. Most of the people at this point will go home to eat with the whole family together, even the liturgy will continue until 2am. When people will go home they carry the flame at home for the blessing of the family. For Saturday night the most common food that you will see at the dinner table is the “Magiritsa”, a traditional meat soup.

 On Sunday is the Easter and people spend most of the day at their homes with their families or at friendly homes. The table for today will have roasted lamp being cooked in very traditional Greek way and also the Greek tsoureki and the home-made cookies that people cooked on Thursday.

In addition, people will play the game with the eggs “tsougkrisma” where they will break each other’s red eggs by hitting them against each other. All people wish each other “Kalo Pasxa”!

Find the full guide for Nafplio city – HERE.

If you are interested about the Archeological sites in and close to Nafplio, find your full guide – HERE.

Mycenaen Civilization | Ancient Mycenae | Nafplio,Greece

Mycenae Archeological Site

The Mycenaean Civilization (c. 1700-1100 BC) named after their major center, a city called Mycenae aprox 20kms North from Nafplio, the first capital of the modern Greece. Their civilization flourished during the Late Bronze Age. The Mycenaean Civilization was influenced by the Minoan one which had flourished during the Early Bronze Age and started from Knossos, Crete. The Mycenaeans dominated most of the Greek Mainland and some of the Greek Islands and had trade relations with Cyprus, Levant and Egypt.

The Mycenaeans were Greeks who created their own culture influenced by the Minoan and other Mediterranean cultures. Some of the major centers of the Mycenaean civilization were located in the Eastern Peloponnese region including, Mycenae, Tiryns, Argos, Midea, and Sparta. The largest city of all the above is the Mycenae were even today visitors can admire the citadel, tholos tombs from the 16th century BC, shaft graves, the Cyclopean Walls and the Lion Gate, the entrance made from huge stones and having the famous pair of lions.

At all the Mycenean centers there are complex buildings, all of them sharing common architecture features. All the buildings were built around a large rectangular central hall or Megaron. The Megaron consisted of an entrance porch, a vestibule and the hall itself. This was the main area of the palace that contained a large circular hearth with four wooden columns supporting a holed ceiling. Usually there was a second smaller hall, the Queens Megaron, many private apartments and other areas such as storage, administration and manufacturing. The rooms in the palace were constructed with rubble fill and cross-beamed walls that were covered with limestone blocks at the outside, plaster inside and were richly decorated with fresco paintings.

At the outside of the complex there was a huge wall, consists of huge stones that were called the Cyclopean walls, taking their name from the Cyclopes. People could not imagine how can someone move these walls rather than the Cyclopes. The Cyclopean Walls were up to 13m (42.6ft) high and up to 8m (26ft) thick. Mycenaeans used to include a terrace at the agricultural lands, damns for flood management and small bridges that were built from stone blocks.

Find the 5 MUST SEE archeological sites to visit in Greece – Click HERE.

Palamidi Castle, Nafplio | by Vida Hospitality

One of the most well-known landmarks of the city of Nafplio is the main fortress in the city, the Palamidi Fortress. In the old times where there were not cars and gps people who wanted to reach Nafplio were using Palamidi as the point of direction in order to know how to reach the city. Built in the highest point of the city, on top of the 216m hill, Palamidi is visible even from many kilometers away.

So, Palamidi is the final important fortress that was built from Venetians’ outside of their own country. They started the construction in 1711 and by 1714 the massive fortress was already built. One year after the completion of the Fortress the Turks defeated and took control of the castle. During 1822, when Greeks won their independence, in one night they were able to take control of the city by controlling the Palamidi fortress.

The Palamidi, which takes its name by the Homeric hero Palamidis, was built based on the design of Giaxich and Lasalle and was based on a system of mutually supporting and mutually defending bastions, which are all connected each other and were built in different levels and with different directions in order to protect the city.

The Aghios Andreas bastion that was the best equipped was the headquarters. Each occupant of the fortress was changing the name of the bastion with heroes or important people form their nation. Nowadays the names of the bastions come from Geek people that are directly connected with the Greek history.  To the North of the fortress there are the Leondias and Miltiadis bastions, to the North-West the Robert one, to the South the Themistocles and to the East side is the Achilles bastion. All the above bastions were constructed by the Venetians while the last one, the Epameinondas was completed during the Turkish occupations and the Fokion one was entirely built by the Turks.

In the 29th November of 1822, Staikos Staikopoulos lead a unit of Greek rebels and within one night was able to take control of the Palamdi fortress with a surprise attach that started from the bastion of Achilles.

Some of the bastions of Palamidi were used as a prison later on the history. In 1833, Theodoros Kolokotronis, one of the leaders of the revolution, was imprisoned in Palamidi, during the time of the regency, when King Otto was still a minor. The Miltiadis bastion was converted also as a prison from 1840 till around 1926.

There are two ways to reach the top of the Palamidi hill, either by car driving around the hill or by the staircases that are located at the West of the fortress and lead to downtown Nafpio. Locals still support that there are 999 steps and the last one was destroyed by Kolokotronis’ horse. Some support that this story was created by some people who wanted to emphasize how greedy was Theodoros Kolokotronis. Once you are in the Palamidi fortress you can see the impressive water tanks that are used even today to collect rainwater.

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