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Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Small Quaint Town of Nafplio, Greece


Palamidi Castle, Nafplio, Greece

After a 16-hour flight from Manila to Athens, and another 2-hour bus ride, I finally made it to Nafplio. The European dry summer heat greeted me, and the maze of small streets of the Old Town left me confused not knowing how to get to my hotel. I walked into one of the small shops and asked a nice old woman for directions. A few turns into narrower streets and I finally saw a signage to my hotel.

It was what I imagined it to be – a small building with lovely windows and balconies. The hotel owner welcomed me into my room, lovely and cozy and with its own balcony. Despite not having proper sleep, I went out again and walked around.


Nafplio, Greece

Nafplio, Greece

Nafplio is a small seaport town in Peloponnese, Greece. I only had a few days to travel on my own before I go back to Athens to attend my friends’ wedding. Instead of spending such a short amount of time in the more famous destinations in Greece – Santorini, Mykonos, and Crete – I decided to look for another place to visit that’s only a few hours from Athens. I chanced upon photos of Nafplio and read on how charming the town is. It’s not as crowded as the islands are and it offered a more relaxed vibe.

Upon walking around the streets, I knew I made the right decision to come to Nafplio. Traditional and quaint Venetian houses with balconies filled with flower baskets, and buildings covered with bougainvilleas, outlined its streets. Warm greetings from the residents, and restaurant- and shop-owners added to its charm.

Nafplio, Greece

Nafplio, Greece

Nafplio, Greece

Most of the streets are lined up with small souvenir shops and boutiques, but every now and then you’ll see charming little doors and houses in between.

Nafplio, Greece

Nafplio, Greece

Tavernas can be found on almost every corner, serving a variety of authentic Greek delicacies. And for desert, one can choose among a number of places serving Greek yogurt and Italian gelato.

Nafplio, Greece

Nafplio, Greece

Nafplio, Greece

Another activity worth doing in Nafplio is climbing the Palamidi Castle, a fortress built during the Venetian occupation. 

Palamidi Castle, Nafplio, Greece

Palamidi Castle, Nafplio, Greece

Palamidi Castle, Nafplio, Greece


It’s not an easy feat climbing up the 800 plus steps especially with the sun beating down on you, but the views of the Argolic Gulf and the town from the top are worth it.

Palamidi Castle, Nafplio, Greece

Palamidi Castle, Nafplio, Greece

Palamidi Castle, Nafplio, Greece

Palamidi Castle, Nafplio, Greece

To end a day of walking and climbing the fortress, I decided to have early dinner and walk to the pier to wait for the sunset. It was a simple sunset. Not much color, yet still beautiful.

Nafplio, Greece

LR Nafplio-0878

LR Nafplio-0873

It was 9pm and the town is only starting to come alive. But I decided to call it a day as the exhaustion from the long flight and from walking around the town kicked in. I was tired and sleepy, but my heart was full. It was my first time in Europe, and I’m glad to have made Nafplio as my first destination. A small, not-too-crowded, charming, and picturesque seaside town that offered a taste of what my future European travels can be.



How to get there: From the airport, ride a bus going to Kifissos Intercity Bus Station. From there are buses going to Nafplio. It takes about two hours.

What to do: Walk around the streets of the Old Town. Climb the Palamidi Castle for a great view of the town and the gulf. Swim at the Arvanitia beach which is just near the foot of the castle, or head to Tolo (20 minutes) which is also the take-off point to the islands of Hydra and Spetses. Or take a half-day trip to the Ancient Theather of Epidavrus (45 minutes).