Nafplio, 857 Steps Above the Sea

In front of the blue Argolic Gulf and under the walls of the Palamidi castle, lies one of the most beautiful towns in Greece. The remains of the Byzantines, Franks, Venetians and Turks make this former Greek capital, unique. 

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Joy of the eyes

Mansions that combine Venetian and neo-classical elements, narrow alleys filled with flowers, stone-paved squares, traditional taverns and beautiful, small shops, combine to create the charming town of Nafplio. Its trademark is the Palamidi castle, which seems almost unreal when lit at night. You can climb the 857 steps to the castle above the city, to wander among the flowery remains, to find the cell where Kolokotronis was kept. Going down towards the fortress complex of Akronafplia, you can follow the paved road by the sea up to the rock and five canons. After taking photos of the Bourtzi that seems to be floating in the Argolic Gulf, enter the Staikopoulos park and rest at the Xira Gate next to the waterfall. The route is full of sights to see; Armansberg’s house, the Town Hall (in the building of the first state school), the first pharmacy, the first hospital, the first Judicial Hall, Kapodistria’s statue, the Army Academy, the old Parliament, the mosque, and the houses of Kolokotronis and Aggelos Terzakis.

The route followed by the little train towards Proneia, the suburb built by Kapodistrias, is most enjoyable. On the way, the sunny Trion Navarhon and Syntagma squares, amazing buildings designed by Bavarian architects like Ziller, parks, statues, marble tubs, fountains and churches like Agios Georgios and Agios Spyridonas, where Kapodistrias was murdered, become unforgettable images. Later, there must follow a visit to the distinguished museums of the town; the archeological museum, the military museum, the folk museum, the National Gallery and the unique Kompoloi Museum. Our tour is completed with a boat trip towards the Bourtzi or a swim in the waters of Arvanitia, Karathonas and Red Rock.


Earthly enjoyment

In Nafplio it is worth buying an amber komboloi from one of the famous komboloi makers, or a traditional Karagiozis figure. Dine at the same places that Kolokotronis and Kapodistrias ate; the “Palia Taverna” will serve us, as it has done for the last 200 years, fried bread, leek pie, rabbit stifado, lemon seasoned pork, fish spaghetti and local wine. The nostalgic atmosphere of the town is perfectly captured in the “Marianna” hotel and its 250 year old building; a magical view, rooms with stone floors, wooden furniture, metallic beds and careful decoration.

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