Discovering Nafplion: Your ultimate guide to exploring the city

Discovering Nafplion: Your ultimate guide to exploring the city

Are you looking for a city that has it all? Look no further than Nafplion, Greece! This historic city is located on the eastern coast of the Peloponnese Peninsula, and it has been a popular tourist destination for decades. With its picturesque Old Town, stunning beaches, and ancient ruins, Nafplion has something for everyone. In this ultimate guide to exploring Nafplion, we will cover everything you need to know to make the most of your trip. From the city’s history and culture to its top attractions and hidden gems, we’ve got you covered. So let’s dive in and discover all that Nafplion has to offer!

Brief History of Nafplion


Nafplion has a long and storied history dating back to the Bronze Age. The city was once known as Nauplia and was an important seaport during the Mycenaean period. Over the centuries, Nafplion has been ruled by various empires, including the Byzantines, Venetians, and Ottomans. In 1821, Nafplion became the first capital of the newly independent Greece. Today, the city is a popular tourist destination that attracts visitors from all over the world.

Getting to Nafplion

Nafplion is located about 140 km southwest of Athens, making it easily accessible by car or public transportation. The closest airport is the Athens International Airport, which is about a two-hour drive from Nafplion.

By Car

If you plan to rent a car, the drive from Athens to Nafplion takes about two hours. The route takes you through scenic coastal roads and winding mountain passes, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

By Bus

If you prefer to take public transportation, there are several bus companies that offer service from Athens to Nafplion. The KTEL bus service operates several daily buses between Athens and Nafplion, with a journey time of approximately two hours. The bus station in Athens is located near the city center, and the bus drops you off at the main bus station in Nafplion.

By Taxi

Taxis are available in Athens, and they can take you directly to Nafplion. The journey takes about two hours, and the cost depends on the taxi company and the time of day.

Once you arrive in Nafplion, it’s easy to get around the city on foot or by bike. Many of the main attractions and beaches are located within walking distance of the city center. If you plan to explore the surrounding area, it’s best to rent a car or take a guided tour.

Exploring Nafplion’s Old Town

“Nafplio Old Town” by Gareth RushgroveFlickr is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Nafplion’s Old Town is a must-see for any visitor to the city. The charming cobblestone streets are lined with neoclassical buildings, shops, and restaurants. Here are some of the top attractions in the Old Town:

The Palamidi Fortress

“NafplioThe Palamidi Fortress ” by Dennis JarvisFlickr is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The Palamidi Fortress is a Venetian fortress that sits atop a hill overlooking Nafplion. Visitors can climb the 999 steps to the top of the fortress and enjoy stunning views of the city and the surrounding area.

The Bourtzi Fortress

The Bourtzi Fortress
Ava Babili, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Bourtzi Fortress is a small island fortress that sits in the middle of Nafplion’s harbor. Visitors can take a short boat ride to the fortress and explore its fascinating history.

The Archaeological Museum of Nafplion

The Archaeological Museum
Zde, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Archaeological Museum of Nafplion is home to a fascinating collection of artifacts from the ancient city of Nafplion and the surrounding area. Visitors can learn about the city’s rich history, including its role in the Mycenaean period, the Byzantine Empire, and the Ottoman Empire.

Discovering Nafplion’s Beaches

Nafplion is also known for its beautiful beaches, which are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing. Here are some of the top beaches to visit:

Karathona Beach

“Karathona beach” byDiscover Peloponnese , Flickr is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Karathona Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Nafplion. It has crystal-clear waters, golden sand, and a stunning mountainous backdrop. The beach is also family-friendly and offers plenty of activities, such as beach volleyball and water sports.

Arvanitia Beach

Arvanitia Beach
Arvanitia Beach
S-miroslav, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Arvanitia Beach is a smaller and quieter beach that is located just a short walk from Nafplion’s Old Town. It has clear waters and is surrounded by stunning cliffs and greenery. The beach is ideal for those who want to escape the crowds and enjoy a peaceful day by the sea.

Day Trips from Nafplion

Nafplion, palamidi-Greek castle

Nafplion is a great base for exploring some of the other historic sites and attractions in the Peloponnese Peninsula. Here are some of the top day trips to take from Nafplion:



Mycenae is an ancient city that was once the center of the Mycenaean civilization. Visitors can explore the city’s ruins, including the famous Lion Gate, the Treasury of Atreus, and the Mycenaean Palace.



Epidaurus is another ancient city that is known for its well-preserved theater, which dates back to the 4th century BC. Visitors can also explore the city’s Sanctuary of Asklepios, which was once a healing center.


Acropolis of Tiryns
Zde, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Tiryns is an ancient fortress that was once one of the most important cities in the Mycenaean period. Visitors can explore the fortress’s ruins, including its massive walls and underground tunnels.

Read also: Explore the Best of Greece: Top 10 Must-See Places

Where to Eat in Nafplion

Nafplion is also known for its delicious cuisine, which features fresh seafood, traditional Greek dishes, and international cuisine. Here are some of the top restaurants to try in Nafplion:

Palia Taverna tou Psarra

Palia Taverna-source

Palia Taverna tou Psarra is a traditional taverna that serves fresh seafood and local dishes. The restaurant has a beautiful outdoor courtyard and a cozy indoor dining room.

3Sixty Grill Dining Experience

3Sixty Grill Dining Experience is a steakhouse that offers a fine dining experience in a beautiful setting. The restaurant has an extensive wine list and a menu that features premium steaks and fresh seafood.

Ta Fanaria

Ta Fanaria is a cozy taverna that serves traditional Greek dishes in a charming setting. The restaurant is located in Nafplion’s Old Town and has a beautiful outdoor courtyard.

Where to Stay in Nafplion

Nafplion offers a variety of accommodation options to suit every budget and preference. Here are some of the top hotels and guesthouses to stay in:

Amphitryon Hotel

Amphitryon Hotel

Amphitryon Hotel is a luxury hotel that offers stunning views of Nafplion’s harbor and Old Town. The hotel has a beautiful outdoor pool, a spa, and a rooftop bar.

Nafplia Palace Hotel & Villas

Nafplia Palace Hotel & Villas is a luxurious hotel that is located on a hill overlooking Nafplion. The hotel has a beautiful outdoor pool, a spa, and a restaurant that serves delicious Mediterranean cuisine.

Pension Marianna

Pension Marianna is a charming guesthouse that is located in Nafplion’s Old Town. The guesthouse has cozy rooms that are decorated in a traditional style and a beautiful outdoor courtyard where guests can relax.


Nafplion truly is a hidden gem in Greece that is well worth exploring. With its rich history, stunning beaches, and mouthwatering cuisine, Nafplion offers something for everyone. Whether you are interested in delving into ancient ruins, unwinding on the beach, or indulging in local culinary delights, Nafplion is the perfect destination for your next vacation. In conclusion, Nafplion boasts a fascinating history, stunning architecture, and a delightful atmosphere. Its unique blend of ancient and modern attractions, coupled with its proximity to Athens, make it an ideal destination for a day trip or an extended stay. So why not plan your next trip to Nafplion today and discover all that this captivating city has to offer?


  1. What is the best time of year to visit Nafplion?

The best time to visit Nafplion is from May to October when the weather is warm and sunny.

  1. How do I get to Nafplion?

Nafplion is located about 140 km southwest of Athens. The easiest way to get to Nafplion is by car or bus.

  1. Is Nafplion family-friendly?

Yes, Nafplion is a great destination for families. There are plenty of activities and attractions for children, including beaches, museums, and historic sites.

  1. What is the currency used in Nafplion?

The currency used in Greece is the Euro (€).

  1. Is it safe to travel to Nafplion?

Yes, Nafplion is a safe destination for travelers. However, it’s always a good idea to take normal precautions when traveling, such as avoiding carrying large amounts of cash and keeping an eye on your belongings.

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