Where's a great place to visit on mainland Greece? Make your hub in Nafplion. You won't regret it.
The map below shows the streets and attractions of the city of Nafplion, Greece. Located on Argolikos Bay in the northeast of the Peloponnese, Nafplion was the first capital of Greece.
Nafplion is a good base for exploring the archaeological sites of the Argolida, including favorites like Mycenae, Tiryns, and Epidaurus. There is a port and you can relax on the beaches of Arvanitia, Karathonas, Nea Kios, Miloi and Kiveri.
The map below shows the old city of Nafplion, a few of the big sites, and the most desirable places to stay during your vacation. Notice the parking at the port to the north of the old town. Despite the fact that Nafplion is a large city, it's not too bad to drive in and park, as long as you can follow the signs to the port.
Click on each map icon for more information.
Napflion Travel Toolbox
Napflion has an old port, a Fortress you can climb up to that often has festivals and celebrations in summer as well as a fantastic view over Agrolikos Bay. Napflion is also the gateway to many of the Peloponnese Peninsula's most interesting ancient sites, many ow which you've probably heard of: Mycenae, Tirins, Epidaurus and Korinth.
The Big Attractions
If you're not adverse to climbing steps, you'll get a good overview from the Palamidi Fortress. Make sure you check the tourist office for possible events held in the fortress while you're there. You won't want to climb those 899 (or so) steps, then come down to earth with your thighs burning only to find out there was a concert scheduled for that evening (sad voice of experience here...)
Bourtzi Castle sits on a rocky island in the middle of Nafplio Harbor. It's was built by Venetians in 1473 to keep enemy ships out of the harbor and was a fortress until 1865. It even served as a hotel from 1930 to 1970. Some concerts are held here in summer also.
Nafplion's Archaeological Museum is housed in a Venetian palace constructed in 1713. You'll find it in Syntagma Square.
The Popular Art Musuem in the old town at Ypsilandou 1 is all about textile arts through the centuries. You'll see superior displays of textile-producing and folk costumes.
Shoppers will find some unique art and craft shops in Nafplion. Like charms and worry beads? You can see them being made and buy them at the Komboloi Museum.
Nafplion has a lively plaka that many describe as more beautiful than Athens'
We'd recommend a Nafplio city tour when you arrive to get you situated.
Weather and Climate
Nafplion has weather much like Athens--without the summer smog. It's hot and dry in the summer, with a rainy season that runs from October to March.
Nafplion Travel Weather shows the current weather conditions and historic climate information for Nafplion for travel planning and suggests the best times to go.
When you arrive in Nafplion you might want to get your bearings by taking a City Walking Tour and Boat Trip to Bourtzi Castle.
If you are staying in Nafplion a while and are adventurous (and handy with a paddle), you might like the Sea Kayak Epidavros - Ancient Sunken City Tour. Here's what it is:
The Ancient Sunken City Tour is a combination of our Medieval Castles Nafplio Tour and our Wilderness Tour, combining the famous Ancient Sunken City, the Small Ancient Theater of Epidavros, with breathtaking and wild scenery, pine trees hanging above the turquoise coloured waters of Argolida’s coastline and wonderful secluded beaches for our stops.
The main way to travel between the Greek islands is by ferry. The Greek mainland and Peloponnese are connected by bus and train service. Napflion is an hour and 40 minute drive from Athens. The KTEL Argolidas bus gets you there in three hours and the website has great info in English on getting around the territory.
You can use the city's "tourist trains" to get around Nafplion without walking.
Places to Stay
The elegant value property that gets high review scores in Napflion is the Pension Dafni. It sits in the shadow of the fortress and is a two minute walk to the beach. Leto Nuevo Hotel is a modern hotel with great views of the city.
Budget travelers will wish to check out Nafplion Hostels.
Below is a lodging map centered upon Nafplion.