Monemvasia, Peloponnese | Vacation in Greece by Vida Hospitality


Monemvasia is a small town located at a small island that is connected to the mainland by a short causeway 200m in length at the South-East part of the Peloponnese region.

The town’s name is a synthetic word deriving from the two Greek words, mone and emvasia meaning “single entrance”. People worldwide know it with the nicknames of the Gibraltar of the East, the Rock, the Italian Malvasia.

The town was founded by inhabitants of the mainland in 583. From the 10th century AD, the town developed into an important trade and maritime center. Monemvasia was a part of the Byzantine Empire and remained until 1460. It was the seat of an imperial governor, a landing place for Byzantine operations against the Franks, the main port of shipment for Malmsey wine, and one of the most dangerous lairs of corsairs in the Levant. It seems that in 1419 the rock had become the possession of Venice, though it soon returned to the Despot. The town was fairly prosperous under the Venetian rule until the peace of 1502-3, in which it lost its lands source of its food supply and of Malmsey wine. The Ottomans ruled the town until the brief Venetian recovery in 1690 and then again from 1715 to 1821 at the Greek War of Independence.

The Castle

Directions HERE

The Castle in Monemvasia is divided into a lower and an upper town. Many ruins of the original 800 houses and only four out of the original forty churches can be found in the lower town. The upper town is built on top of the rock and is protected by walls. There are the ruins of the Byzantine houses and public buildings and a vast cistern that ensured a water supply at times of siege. A fortified zigzag path from the upper town leads to the Fortress of Goulas on the summit overlooking the town of Monemvasia. At the entrance there is a tunnel that still retains its gates. Among the ruins of houses and christens of the acropolis of the upper town stands St. Sophia, a Byzantine church found on a plan similar to that of Daphni in Athens.

Archeological Museum

Directions HERE

The Archeological Museum in Monemvasia is located at one of the best-preserved buildings that was a former Muslim Mosque. At the Museum there are findings from the history of Monemvasia, such as remains of the fortress, walls, temples and houses.

In addition, findings that were used in the daily life of the inhabitants of Monemvasia and ceramic objects, sculptures and marble temples present the permanent exhibition of the Museum. The former Mosque was built during the 16th century and was converted into a Frankish church, a prison and a Greek Kafeneion through the years. From 1999 until today it is the Archeological Museum.


The Church of Elkomenos Christos

Directions HERE

Right next to the Archeological Museum of Monemvasia is located the most famous church of the castle town, the Church of Elkomenos Christos. The church is dedicated to Christ who was led chained to Crucifixion, which is why it celebrates on Hoy Thursday in Easter.

The church was constructed in 1697, probably on the site of a former church founded in the 6th – 7th century. At the entrance of the church there are two thrones at the left and at the east that were dedicated to the Byzantine Emperor and Empress. Inside the church there are Byzantine and post-Byzantine icons, including the icon of Christ in chains before He was crucified and the Crown of Thorns on His head.

Church of Agia Sophia

Directions HERE

At the top of the hill is located one of the oldest and most important Byzantine churches of Greece, the church of Agia Sophia. The church was originally established in the 12th century by the Byzantine Emperor Andronicus II and was dedicated to Panagia Hodegetria, which means the Virgin who leads the way.

After the Greek Independence it was dedicated to the Wisdom of God and then it took its name Agia Sophia. Even if during the history time and wars had caused serious damages to the church, it was restored in the 20th century and stands at the point from where you will enjoy the most amazing views to Aegean Sea.

Church of Panagia Chrysafitissa

Directions HERE

At the edge of the town of Monemvasia is located the church of Panagia Chrysafitissam a beautiful 17th century whitewashed church that operates even today.

The Lighthouse of Monemvasia

Directions HERE

Another must-see monument of the town of Monemvasia is the historic lighthouse that is located at the very end of the hill. The lighthouse was built by the British in 1896 and automated in 1960 the lighthouse has been recently renovated.

The tower is seven meters (23feet) tall and its focal plane is 15 meters (49 feet). The original stone tower, ruined during World War II, was built near the remains of the Venetian fortress of Monemvasia.


Monemvasia Swimming Area – Directions HERE

Monemvasia Beach – Directions HERE

Pori Beach – Directions HERE

Ambelakia Beach – Directions HERE

Restaurants in Monemvasia

Voltes – Mediterranean cuisine – Directions HERE

Oinomelo Castle – Mediterranean cuisine – Directions HERE

Mateo’s – Seafood – Directions HERE

The Cannon – Italian cuisine – Directions HERE

Skorpios Restaurant – Greek cuisine – Directions HERE

Chrisovoulo Restaurant – Seafood & Wine Bar – Directions HERE

Monemvasia is one of the greatest places that deserve your time to visit once in Peloponnese. For those of you who choose to explore the Peloponnese region, you can use Nafplio as your base and explore many great places on short distance from the city. Find your full guide HERE.

Find many articles and advices for your next Greek family vacation in Peloponnese at our blog HERE. For any kind of support, feel free to live chat with our customer service team HERE.

For the best family apartments in Nafplio, check our properties HERE.

Vida Hospitality Team

Nafplio Marathon 2020 | Sunday 8 March 2020, Nafplio, Greece

Nafplio Marathon 2020

Nafplio Marathon is an event that takes part every year in the city of Nafplio. This year, 2020, the official day is the 8th of March.

Nafplio Marathon is a running sporting event of high standards and at the same time, a pioneering event that has created a multifaceted social event with numerous actions & programmes that promote health, education and culture!
The Event includes the races: Marathon, Half-Marathon, 5km & 2,5 km fun run!

The Event is organized by the Municipality of Nafplio (DOPPAT) in cooperation with the Nafplio track and field athletic clubs, Regional Union of Argolis, under the support of Chamber of Commerce of Argolis, Administration of Education of Argolis, Harvard University’s Center for Hellenic Studies in Greece and under the auspices of PSAT, EOT, SEGAS and AIMS.

You can register for the event at the official website – HERE.

Nafplio city

Called one of the most beautiful and most romantic Greek cities, located  only 120 km from Athens, Nafplion takes pride in being also the first capital of the modern Greece.

Turbulent  history  has shaped its architecture and overall culture and tradition, so expect to experience Frankish, Venetian and Turkish influence combined in one idilic mosaic picture that will make you fall in love with this city.

With more than 320 sunny days per year, Nafplio is by far a top destination for your holidays any time of the year.

A picturesque old city downtown, full of pedestrian street next to the port, two castles, one fortress and many beaches in and close to the city, Nafplio is a place where you can relax and enjoy great moments with your beloved one and your family.

Nafplio Greece Acronafplia

Most beautiful City

Nafplio is by far the most beautiful city in Greece and one of the most picturesque places you ever visited

Family Friendly

Nafplio is very family friendly city, full of pedestrians streets, parks and kids playgrounds.


Nafplio is located only 20km away from the 2 most visited archeological sites in Greece, Ancient Epidaurus and Ancient Mycenae

2 castles, 1 fortress

Nafplio is a city full of monuments. Palamidi castle, Acronafplia castle and Bourtzi fortress are some of the city’s landmarks

Top dining options

Nafplio offers a big range of different dining options, so you can enjoy the original Greek cuisine

Your full guide for Nafplio

Find a full guide for Nafplio city, so that you can schedule your days easier! All you need to know to explore the best areas of Nafplio.

Find what to do and what to see in Nafplio, Greece – HERE.

Vida Residential Apartments Nafplio Wallpaper
Vida Residential Apartments Nafplio Greece


For support with the best accommodation in the city, explore our properties – HERE.

If you need more information or assistance with your trip in Nafplio, you can live chat us with – HERE – or you can call us or text us at anytime at +30-6987240010.

Vida Hospitality Team

8 Tips for first time Nafplio visitor

Nafplio old city

8 Tips for Nafplio first time visitor

If you are visiting Nafplio for first time, get to know the city with our tips and our Nafplio city guide

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Nafplio old city

Over the last 20 years, Nafplio has gone from a small city to an international cultural destination. With a quiet, island vibe, Nafplio has plenty to take in once you know where to go, from the old city downtown, the Palamidi and the Acronafplia castles to the Bourtzi fortress and the amazing beaches.

Travel tips for first time Nafplio visitor

The "Laiki" - local market

Every Wednesday and every Saturday at one of the most known streets in Nafplio, you find “Laiki” – a local market event where local producers offer their products.

You will be able to find the most fresh fruits and vegetables, plus if you are not familiar with the concept, which by the way it is very known between Greeks, you will enjoy the experience!

Shopping in Nafplio

Nafplio is a small city, despite that, there are many many shops where you can enjoy shopping. From the old city downtown, where you can find many retail traditional shops to the Sideras Merarhias and Argous streets, you will have a range of different options for shopping.

Don’t miss the chance to visit some of the traditional shops selling local products, for local desserts (mainly pastry and dairy).

The red bus

It is not a double floor one, but still Nafplio has its own red bus! It is a great way for you to see the city of Nafplio and some of its landmarks, like the “Lion on the rocks”.

The train

You can find this train next to the port and it is a great option for you to explore the city of Nafplio! If you have kids, they will love it!

The bike

Nafplio is a city full of pedestrians streets and squares! The best way to explore Nafplio, if you are not a fun of walking, is the bike! Next to the port you can rent a bike for 2 or 4 and explore all the secret areas of Nafplio old city downtown!

The boat to Bourtzi

The top landmark of Nafplio is Bourtzi fortress, a castle-island in the middle of the port! Do not miss the chance to take the boat from the port and visit it!

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Go fishing

At the end of the port, you can find “Omilos” or “Banieres” – a place where you can go fishing! The location is also great for amazing views to the Argolis Gulf.

The path

There is an amazing rocky path that starts from the port and ends very close to the Bourtzi fortress, just on the back side. From this path you will enjoy the best view to the Nafplio city ever!

Nafplio Arvanitia beach

The best things to do in Nafplio

Nafplio with its picturesque old city downtown with an amazing architecture will for sure be one of the most beautiful cities you ever visited! Full of history, with many landmarks, castles, fortresses and museums, offers you many things to do and see. Find our customized city guide for Nafplio

Things to do in Nafplio

Your full guide for Nafplio city

For more information and suggestions for Nafplio city and Peloponnese region in Greece, visit our blog

Vida Hospitality Team

For any kind of support or assistance with your trip to Nafplio, feel free to contact us at +30-6979005260 (and WhatsApp) or via email at or simple, click the below button to live chat with us

For more videos and photos from Nafplio, follow us on social media

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 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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You can find more articles, advices and tips for your next Greek vacation on our blog.

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