discover Nafplion with our yachts

Welcome to Nafplion

“The first capital of Greece that should not be missed”

The first capital of Greece that should not be missed

Right on the edge of the Peloposesse looking towards the Argolic gulf, lies Nafplion a glorious town that will captivate your senses and take you back in time, in an era of fortresses, prisons, colors and political inspirations. It is an area that even if you are not a history lover, you will be dazzled by the looks of the castles and scenery while you should definitely explore what used to be the first capital of Greece after the Ottoman empire.On the top of the town lies fortress Palamidi, a dominating castle (that used to act as a prison as well), that was built by the Venetians in the 1700’s, conquered by the Ottoman empire the years to follow and was liberated in 1822 during the Greek revolution of 1821.

If you are looking for adventure and exercise you are welcome to climb up the 999 steps from the center up to the fortress (the urban legend says that the steps were 1000 but on the day of liberation the horse of a Greek hero, Theodoros Kolokotronis, destroyed the last step as a proof of domination) in reality the steps are 916 but since these are a lot as well, you have the option to drive with a car or a taxi if you like to avoid the possibility of stopping half way (like me in a way).The castle will give you the feeling of a labyrinth, stone paved monument and will surely be a moment to remember. The view from the top is spectacular down to the town center all the way to Bourtzi castle and the Argolic sea in front of you.

Right opposite the town of Nafplion, right in the middle of the sea (as if someone had ordered it to be there) lies a small islet on top of which one of the most famous castles, ‘Bourtzi’ was built. Used mainly as a castle to protect from invaders, pirates and other type of enemies, Bourtzi has been the trademark of Nafplion all the way to the past. Used as a prison for the ones to be executed (since it was considered bad luck to be in the town), the castle has been used also as a hotel, a museum and today if someone want to visit can hop onto a small rib that crosses every hour and enjoy the looks of what used to be one of the most famous castles in the town of Nafplion.

Apart from the castles the alleys of the old town, are the ones you should finally visit and will fall in love with. The buildings are full of colors, classical architecture, scenic hotels and charming looks impossible to forget. For me the best way to visit Nafplion is via sea with a sailing yacht or catamaran. You will avoid the traffic (outside the old town) and you will be directly in the heart of events. Walk in the old town, relax for lunch or dinner and then hop onto your sailing yacht or catamaran for your next destination during you private sailing cruise in the Greek seas. Enjoy!

1

Location:
Peloponesse Coast

2

Known for:
Historic events

3

Anchorage:
Nafplion port

4

Distance from Athens:
86 miles

5

Famous heritage:
Palamidi Fortress

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Interesting info:
First Capital of Greece

NAFPLION IN GREECE
Included in our 1 week route for the Saronic Gulf

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3 TOP THINGS TO DO IN NAFPLION

Visit the fortress of Palamidi

Located 999 steps away from the old town of Nafplion (or 10 minutes’ drive with a taxi) this is the No1 must see if you will be visiting. The castle was built by the Venetians (did not complete the entire project) but still the one completed is really amazing for you to visit. The views from the top are unique and the labyrinth alleys are romantic in a way, remind you how people used to live and treat each other in previous centuries. If you plan to head to the castle on foot make sure that you are prepared for a lot of exercise, get yourself a bottle of water with you and of course try to avoid the times of midday (11.00-16.00) since the heat might be unbearable to climb up. Very important not to forget your camera since the location is magnificent and you need to capture a moment to remember.

Visit the islet/castle of Bourtzi

We must admit the looks of the castle is greater from a distance. Located right opposite the old town of Nafplion, deserted onto an inhabited islet and with the legend of the prison going back in centuries will remind you the movie ‘Rock’ with Sean Connery. Truth is that once you hop onto the little boat that leaves the old town and will take you in the castle in 3 min, you will have the chance to see how the soldiers used to feel when the fortress was used as a castle towards the pirates, how the prisoners felt when it was used as a prison for the ones to be executed and how someone can cover a small islet with castle to use during the period of war and revolution. Not so fancy as advertised but surely a visit that should not be missed.

Walk in the old town

Colorful and charming the old town of Nafplion is really a great place to walk and relax. Considered one of the most beautiful little cities of Greece, the place of the first Greek constitution along with the place where the first Greek parliament was built. The atmosphere is touched by the Venetian domination in the 1700’s. Red roofs, classical mansions, colorful flowers and stone paved alleys will be an add on to the history sightseeing of the city that ones used to be the heart of Greece. Still today, a relaxing walk and a dinner in the streets behind the waterfront will be amusing and a romantic experience to remember. Easy to access since the old town is right in front of the port so if you have reached the area with one of our sailing yachts or catamarans you will be just minutes away. Enjoy!

We are very sensitive in being objective, in each island there are things we admire and others you need to be aware of.
PROS

Very romantic scenery

Many options of restaurants and activities

The town is right on the port – no transportation needed

Great sightseeing, fortresses, prisons, mansions, museums etc.

Very calm waters and protected port

Water and electricity in the port (in most of the births apart from the ones close to the eastern side)

CONS

Very hot during July and August

Quite busy (it might remind you of a city traffic) outside the old town

Not many options of attractive beaches nearby

Nafplion is a wonderful town and a True Greece example. I would suggest you to enter the port in the afternoon, walk in the alleys of the old town, have dinner there and visit the Palamidi fortress early in the morning since after noontime the heat is really unbearable. Visit the castles and then hop onto your yacht and head to one of the beaches since there is no breeze in the port to cool down the atmosphere

-Eugene suggests

  • “Wonderful people, boat, and, of course, sea, sun and islands”


    We chartered a 54ft sailboat from YachtSailing.gr for a 2 week Greek Isles vacation. We opted to have a skipper even though we are experienced sailors because we don't speak Greek nor do we know the islands and ports. Vasilis, one of the founders of the company, was our skipper and he was wonderful. He did everything he could to make our vacation the best possible. We visited the islands in the Saronic Gulf and then headed to the Cyclades where we visited well-known as well as less well known islands. Regardless of where we stopped, the people were so friendly and eager to have us love their island and their country. The islands themselves are beautiful with little fishing ports, clear clear water, and in many, fascinating ancient ruins dating back thousands of years. We sailed at the beginning of November and were very lucky to have blue skies and sunshine everyday. Not beach weather but we weren't looking for that as much as wanting to get to know the people and places of Greece. Eugene and Maria helped us before and during the trip in everyway possible and were always available and happy to answer questions and make whatever arrangements necessary. All in all, everything was perfect!


    Visited November 2015

    JAT600
  • “Fantastic Sailing in Greece”

    We were seven sailing for the first time in Greece for a week. We chartered a Lagoon 420 with George as the skipper. We had fantastic time through the Saronic Island.
Yachtsailing team is great, very friendly, professional, helpful and all very well organized. Price was fine. the boat was great and well equipped. they booked all transfers for us from Athens, did the first shopping delivered on the boat the day of departure. We will definitely do it again next year and still with yachtsailing! we definitely strongly recommend them.

    Visited August 2015

    Isabelle2712
  • Bourtzi castle in Peloponnese, Nafplion, Greece by Milan Gonda

  • Fortified walls with Venetian lion carved above the gate to the Palamidi fortress, Nafplio, Greece by Inu

  • Embankment in Nafplio, Peloponnese, Greece by Walencienne

  • Nafplion village seen from Palamidi Castle, Greece by Alberto Loyo

  • Main shopping street in city of Nafplio, Greece on June 11, 2015. Nafplio is a seaport town in Peloponnese in Greece that is now the capital of the regional unit of Argolis.

  • Panoramic view with the belfry at the top of Palamidi Fortress in Nafplion, Argolis - Greece by Kotsovolos Panagiotis

  • Palamidi fortress on the hill, Nafplion - Greece by Kotsovolos Panagiotis

  • Greece, Nafplion in a beautiful summer day by S-F

  • Greece, Nafplion in a beautiful summer day by S-F

  • Central square in Nafplio, a seaport town in the Peloponnese in Greece by lulu and isabelle

Sites Worth Visiting

Church of Agios Spiridonas

A wonderful church and simultaneously the most important one for the city of Nafplion. Decorated with glorious byzantine paintings with beautiful colors and unique representations. The church is mostly recognized for an incident that took place in 1831, when the first governor of Greece Ioannis Kapodistrias was assassinated by two men while he had visited the church. The first bullet that did not manage to kill him, was stuck into a wall and remains there preserved until today (in a glass frame). This was the first political assassination that ever took place in Greece. 

Acronafplia

Used to be the Acropolis of Nafplion, Acronafplia will offer you imaginary views from the top of the hill, looking towards the Argolic gulf on the one side and the center of Nafplion on the other. If you have the interest on a romantic promenade it will surely be interesting (and not so exhausting since it is only a distance of 1km). Make sure you are equipped with a bottle of water as there are no shops around once you are there. Ideally try to visit during sunset to avoid the high temperatures and have the chance to admire the sun diving into the sea from such a distance.

Bouleftikon Building

Initially constructed by a Turkish lord but during an earthquake on the years to follow it was destroyed and finally abandoned. In 1825 Architect Vallianos re formatted the place which housed the first Parliament of Greece until spring 1826. Served as a prison for the years to follow. Today, is a conference room and on the ground floor is the Municipal Art Gallery.

"Museum of Kompoloi"

Located in the heart of the old town the most famous museum of Kompoloi (worry beads), constructed by the Evagelinou couple, is until today the best in the world. It is one and only worldwide. It was founded in 1998 with a huge and remarkable collection of worry beads -approximately 1000 pieces- from all over the world, dating from 1700 to 1950. Its purpose of foundation is to make famous and preserve the Greek worry bead.

Weather
  • Athens - Average temperatures of 30C during July and August
  • Very sunny and hot during summer
  • Very calm waters in the port
  • During July and August it is unbearable to stand into the port due to the high humidity and heat
  • Nice sandy sea bottom for good grip in the port

Map of Nafplon

NAFLION IN GREECE

Included in our 1 week route for the Saronic Gulf

CLICK TO SEE THE ROUTE
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