Venetian gateway to the Peloponnese
Many visitors fall in love with this gorgeous seaside town, the first capital of modern Greece in the 19th century, boasting Venetian and neoclassical architecture, cobblestone and marble-laden streets, traces of Frankish and Ottoman rule, and a friendly car-free vibe like no other. Nafplion is just two hours from Athens, making it a great escape for the big apple of Athens for both Athenians and visitors alike.
Towering above the town is Palamidi Fortress, a stunning attraction in its own right and an ideal spot for acquiring some breathtaking, magazine-worthy photos. The Venetian-commissioned project was built by a French military engineer for the Venetians and completed in the year 1714. One year later it fell to the Ottoman Empire which imprisoned Greek independence hero Kolokotronis within its walls. Legend has it that there are 999 steps from the town of Nafplion, in reality only 913 steps, which are best walked up or down on milder days rather than in the heat of summer. You will be rewarded by stunning views wherever you are around this magnificent fort and castle.
Beyond the captivating history and architecture, Nafplion is about traditional Greek restaurants and "tavernas", seaside cafés, and boutique hotels or guesthouses that reflect the enhance the local hospitality experience. Importantly, the town is also a great hub to discover the stunning attractions of the Northern Peloponnese, such as the remains of Mycenae, representing one of the first and most important civilizations in Greece and Europe, and which is some 3500 years old. Equally impressive, from the apex of Ancient Greece, the ancient site of Epidaurus with the impressive amphitheater and the sanctuary of Asclepius (a healing center with its own cult of followers) from the 6th century BC. Near Nafplion too is Ancient Tiryns, where walls built by the Cyclops stand and where Hercules performed his 12 labors.
In and around Nafplion there are many outdoor activity providers that can take you on hiking and biking tours, as well as locals who conduct cooking lessons. You can visit some of the area's wineries and olive presses to try its first-grade extra-virgin and organic olive oil. We have a strong network of partners at Akron Travel who operate in and around Nafplion, and we'd be very happy to build a rich experience that will include your favorite pastimes and interests. It is worth noting that just 15 minutes away from Nafplion is the beach town of Tolo, so sun worshippers who want crystal waters and white sandy beaches will definitely not be disappointed.