In the Peloponnese, you’ll encounter a vibrant city-museum with listed architecture and majestic Venetian castles crowning the town
Holidays in the Peloponnese and an aerial view of Nafplio: tile roofs, grey stone, grand homes and a blue-green sea. The famous Bourtzi, Akronafplia and Palamidi castles. A stunning seaport town, consisting of fortresses, neoclassical buildings, old neighbourhoods, wide sidewalks and large squares. A town brimming with life that preserves its legends and entices you into its mystical ambience. It was the Venetians’ “Naples of the East” and the first capital of Greece.
What to do in Nafplio
Palamidi Castle: 999 steps above the town
Are there 999 or 857 steps that lead to the top of Palamidi Castle? Discover it for yourself. Once you climb up the steep hill, you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular panoramic view of Nafplio and the sea. The fortress was built in record time, between 1711 and 1714.
Akronafplia: the Acropolis of the Argolic Gulf
The acropolis of Nafplio, which the Turks named Its Kale, was erected by the Venetians and later passed on to the Byzantines and Ottomans. It has three levels, each with a different castle and walls from different time periods. From the rock of Akronafplia, you’ll take in the stunning view from the Bourtzi Castle to Arvanitias beach.
Bourtzi Castle: Nafplio’s ‘sea tower’
From afar it looks like an elegant stone sculpture. As you approach the islet of Agio Theodoro by boat, travelling the few metres that separate it from the coast, and finally see the Venetian castle up close, you’ll immediately feel its rich and tumultuous history. The castle (shaped like an irregular hexagon) was built in 1473 and the executioners of Palamidi prisoners once lived here.
It was also the residence of two governments (of 1824 and 1827) and a luxury hotel. Today it is one of the most significant attractions in Nafplio, and hosts various cultural events and festivals.