Often regarded as the most romantic destination in Greece, Nafplio is a seaport town in the Saronic gulf perfect for your honeymoon or anniversary trip. Thanks to its proximity to Athens, Nafplion is easy to access from any corner of the world and a must-see during your luxury charter cruise in Greece. Whether you’re a culture vulture looking for a vibrant scene and loads of history, or want to spend a few days relaxing, swimming and shopping, Nafplion will exceed your expectations.
Thanks to a moderate climate and gorgeous scenery, Nafplion is a popular destination throughout the year.
Enjoy the maze of old streets that connect one mysterious fortress to another, marvel at the Venetian mansions that adorn the coastline, and surrender to the allure of turquoise bays on this Peloponnese jewel.
Best beaches in Nafplio
This scenic city is surrounded by both secluded coves and organized sandy bays where you can spend time swimming, snorkeling, and practicing water sports.
The main beach of this scenic town is Arvanitia and it’s situated between Palamidi and Acronafplia in the south of Nafplion. With many sunloungers, parasols, and cafes serving drinks and refreshments, it’s easy to spend hours relaxing on this gorgeous beach with great views of the city. The water is very clean and deep, and the beach is pebbly, perfect for diving and snorkeling.
One of the most impressive spots in all of Greece is the enchanting beach of Baniers. Very close to the old town, yet so tranquil and serene with mesmerizing views of the Acronafplia castle and Bourtzi fortress. Ideal for couples and young singles, the water here is clean and deep, so you can spend hours diving and exploring the underwater world. The Yachting Club is very close, so you’ll see many glamorous vessels docking here. There’s also a very chic bar here, Omilos, where you can get colorful cocktails to enjoy at sunset and romantic restaurant, Agnanti, for special occasions with your loved one.
A secluded cove where you can enjoy completely transparent waters and dramatic cliffs, Neraki Beach is a great choice for escaping the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It offers both rocky and sandy stretches, so you’ll find your perfect hiding spot regardless of preference.
Near Nafplio, you’ll find many picturesque villages with more swimming options. Just 9km from Nafplion, Tolo has a seemingly endless organized sandy beach perfect for families traveling with children. Plaka Beach is also nearby, usually blissfully overlooked by tourists, with long stretches of fine sand, verdant pine forest, and crystal clear water. Kandia and Kontili are also beautiful, while Nea Kios is very shallow, and thus popular among young parents.
What To See In Nafplio
Those who enjoy sightseeing will have their hands full during their stay in Nafplio. The city has a rich history, influenced by numerous rulers, including Byzantines, Ottomans, Franks, and Venetians. Named after Nafplios, son of Poseidon, and home of Palamidis, a Trojan war hero and the inventor of weights and measures, lighthouses, the first Greek alphabet, and the father of the Sophists, this city served as an important strategic spot throughout centuries. Influences numerous cultures can still be felt today and the town oozes a cosmopolitan aura.
If you want to learn a bit about Greek history, Nafplion is a great place to explore. Start with a visit to the Archeological Museum, located on the main square in the Venetian Naval Depository, built in the early 18th century. You’ll see a large display of artifacts from the Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Helladic, Mycenaean, Classical, Hellenistic and Roman eras from different parts of southern Argolis. The oldest exhibits are the paleolithic clay hearts, found in the Franchthi Cave from 20,000 B.C.E. Considered one of the best museums in Greece thanks to an extensive list of artifacts that tell the story of the region’s history, the Archeological museum is a must-see for those who have a flair for learning.
Wear your comfortable shoes, because there’s quite a walk ahead of you: the Palamidi Castle sits high above the town and can be accessed by taking the 913 steps from the center.
Built in typical baroque fashion, the castle was one of the most ambitious projects of Venetian architecture, and was subsequently used by the Ottomans and Greeks.
When you reach the stunning Palamidi castle, you will be awarded panoramic views of the gorgeous Nafplion, Argolic Gulf, and the region - come at sunset to snap the best photos.
Emblematic of the town, Akronafplia Fortress is one of the oldest castles in Greece with walls that date back to the Bronze Age. The fortress has three different castles and played an important role in the history of the town, serving as a prison for political prisoners until the 60s. The rocky peninsula of Acronafplia constitutes three different levels, with distinct walls, and was used by the Ottomans, Franks, Byzantines, and Venetians.
A castle in the sea, floating on a small islet, Bourtzi played many roles throughout history. Commissioned by the Venetians from the Bergamo architect, Antonio Gambello, who built it in 1471, the castle is still known by its Turkish name, which simply means “tower”. The design was envisioned to fit the peculiar shape of the islet and served as a prison and execution place for the Palamidi convicts. Between 1930 and 1970, the castle was a hotel and now welcomes a music festival each summer where you can dance to the tunes of Europe’s best performers while absorbing the views of the spectacular bay.
A true rarity, the Komboloi Museum offers an exhibit of the rare komboloi beads used to create religious and ceremonial jewelry. Hinduistic, Buddhistic, Muslim, Greek, and Catholic strings of beads are on display in this tiny museum devoted to this curious topic, privately owned by a couple determined to preserve this peculiar tradition. The museum was praised by Vogue, New York Times, and BBC.
Best Restaurants in Nafplio
A playground for the hedonist, Nafplion offers a wide range of traditional tavernas, romantic spots, and luxurious world-class restaurants. Like any other place in the Peloponnese, the cuisine is focused on fresh ingredients, olive oil, and recipes passed from generation to generation.
Mediterraneo Wine & Deli
A fine dining option in the heart of the city, Mediterraneo Wine & Deli is the perfect place for the aspiring sommelier. Offering a huge selection of reds, whites, and rose from Greece and all over the world, this is a place where you pair the dish with the wine, rather than doing it the other way around. Book a table in advance, as it can be quite hard to get a table here, and enjoy the tasting or a la carte menu in this stylish, but unpretentious restaurant.
Valaora Resto Nafplio
An elegant restaurant ideal for your next romantic diner, Valaora Resto focuses on Greek fusion cuisine and offers a culinary spectacle, enjoyed by the pool. The lamb and squid ink ravioli are simply divine, and the staff is very attentive and always ready to give recommendations. All the dishes are delicate, refined and wonderfully presented - eating at Valaora is a treat for all senses.
Perivoli Farm-to-Table Restaurant
With wonderful views of the countryside, Perivoli Farm-to-Table Restaurant focuses on locally sourced fresh ingredients, organic and grass-fed meat, and delicious fish. Set in a garden just by the pool, Perivoli allows you to enjoy a tasting menu or a la carte options prepared by very talented chefs, or enjoy a decadent Sunday brunch with family and friends. Definitely try the trahanoto with wild mushrooms paired with delicious Peloponnese wine. Vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options are readily available, too.
Whenever you feel like having a home cooked meal, book a table in Taverna Psalidas, where every dish is cooked with love. Located on an offbeat track from Nafplio, the taverna is a true gem with classic Greek cuisine - the moussaka is out of this world, and the place has a cult following of both locals and visitors who claim this is in fact the best restaurant in the region. The place is ridiculously underpriced, and the garden and environment are a perfect choice for a family-friendly lunch.
When you get bored of seafood, if that can ever happen, and crave a good steak, visit T’Alonia, a gorgeous restaurant that is both rustic and sophisticated. It has a lovely countryside garden, while the interior is quite chic and timeless. Try the lamb chops and saganaki, and finish off with a tasty tiramisu, all paired with aromatic wine recommended by the friendly waiters.
Shopping in Nafplio
If you want to bring a few souvenirs home, visit one of the cool shops in the old town. Owned by a French sommelier in love with Greek cuisine, T'Anapliotiko Bakaliko is a trendy shop with amazing products like wine, pasta, olive oil, eggs, and deli goods, where you can buy both gifts and goodies to enjoy on the foredeck of your luxury charter yacht. Taste3 offers a chocolate tasting experience and gift sets to save you time when you pick presents. To get a pair of custom shoes, visit the Sandalworkshop, while several art galleries, including Agora, sell cute ceramic and paintings to remind you of your cruise once summer comes to an end.