At a glance
Charming chiefly due to its elegant, 17th century Venetian and neoclassical-style architecture, bougainvillea-framed, labyrinthine lanes and scenic seafront position, Nafplio is a popular tourist destination year-round that never becomes oppressively busy.
The capital of the Peloponnese during the 16th and 17th centuries and, at the culmination of Greece’s War of Independence, briefly the capital of the nation – a political standing that is attested to by a beautiful equestrian statue in tribute to the revolution’s commander-in-chief Theodoros Kolokotronis – this appealing city stands on the slope of a peninsula that protrudes into the Argolic Gulf.
It is swathed by the ancient walls of Acronafplia, once a city in itself where occupiers throughout the centuries added their own fortifications, and is crowned by the baroque Castle of Palamidi, built by the Venetians around 1714 and reachable after walking 853km (although legend would have it that it’s 999).
Nafplio’s Old Town (the New Town was an extension made during the 20th century to accommodate a burgeoning population) has a noticeably Venetian style with prominent Ottoman features and is a haven for lovers and eclectic visitors alike seeking an old-fashioned yet up-to-date holiday spot that’s neither island nor typical mainland.