Nafplio, Greece

12:15:00 AM Brooke Neal 0 Comments

Nafplio was our only respite from archaeological ruins...kind of.  This historic port town is perfectly located for side trips to near by ruins, but is charming enough to keep you entertained for a few days.  It reminded me of Venice without the canals and understandably so, the city changed hands between the Ottoman's and Venetians time and time again until Greece finally won it's independence in the 1820's.  Alleyways filled with restaurants, shops and weathered architecture, the beautiful coast line and interesting history make Nafplio a worthy stop on your Greek vacation.

The Palamidi fortress stands nearly 1000 steps above the city and you can imagine just how happy my children were when we told them we were climbing everyone of them.  Truth be told, they were good sports; we promised gelato and the beach afterwards.

The Details
Cost: €4 adults, children free
Hours: 8am-3pm
Getting There: Get a map. The entrance to the steps is at the top of Polizoidou street.  Follow the yellow sign for the Akronafplia and you will see two cannonballs flanking the stairway on your left.
Time: This all depends on how long it takes you to hike the stairs and how long you want to admire the views, there really isn't anything else up there.  I'd say 45 minutes on the low end.  It took us about two hours from our hotel.
Tip: Wear good shoes!  I can't tell you how often I see people in the most inappropriate footwear!  Forget the fashion (I know, it's painful) and put on some hiking, running, or trail shoes!
From the fortress you can look down on the Nafplio's ancient acropolis which you can romp around for free.  It is filled with ruins dating from 3rd century BC to 15th century AD. You can also see the walking trail that hugs the coastline.  Bob and I got up early for one of the most beautiful runs we've ever had. We stopped a couple of times along the way to admire the blue sea.  I'm not sure how far the trail goes, but we were able to get a good 5-6 mile run in.
There is also a fortress out in the bay.  Boat taxi's frequently make the trip out to it, but my kids weren't interested, not even for the boat ride, all they wanted to do was hit the beach.  So, that's what we did.  The beach at Nafplio is not a sandy, but rather rocky.  That didn't deter the girls as much as the cold water did.  I was amazed that there were even people swimming.  As you can see my girls didn't make it too far out and the only reason Eden got in all the way is because her sister promised her a bag of gummi bears.  
By the time we made it to Nafplio we had tired of Greek food so we searched and found a really good pizza restaurant. We liked it so much we went back a second time.  Steer clear of the bruschetta, but the pizza and calzones were delish!  The only negative I will give it, and this goes for all of Greece, is that smoking is allowed indoors.  
Scuola 
39 Boumpoulinas strNafplio 21100Greece

I found this photo of the Gelateria we ate at online and unbeknownst to me, it was the #1 rated restaurant on Trip Advisor.  The girls concurred, the gelato was two thumbs up and Eden was especially thrilled because she was allowed TWO scoops.

Gelateria di Piazza
23 Vas. Konstantinau St., Nafplio 21 100, Greece


We loved the location of our hotel, but our two bedroom suite was very small, as a matter of fact the bed in the girls room was barely big enough for the two of them and it took up the majority of the room.  The hotel was clean, offered free wi-fi and breakfast was included in our rate.  On the downside, if you need to leave early you need to be prepared to pay cash, otherwise, you have to wait until 9:00am or so when the owner arrives to run your credit card. 
Family Hotel Latini
Othonos 47, Náfplion, 21100, Greece

We really enjoyed Nafplio. Maybe it was the break from Greek ruins, maybe it was just being on the water.  What I didn't photograph are the churches we went into.  First of all, there is no natural lighting and secondly, it really didn't feel right. Usually when I visit churches they are filled with photographing tourists, but the small churches in Greece were always in use, so it was never appropriate.  What I can tell you is these churches pack an ornate punch!  I've been inside a lot of churches and hands down, the Greek Orthodox are the most richly decorated!
Love, love, love the doors!

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