Nafplio

Nafplio (or Nafplion, Nauplio, Nauplia or Nafplia) is a small town in Peloponnese (Greece). The name is the remnant of the old Venetian name “Napoli di Romania”, from the Greek “nea poli”=”new town” of Romania, the name of the area during the late Byzantine times.

View of Nafplio from Sagredo gate, Akronafplia

A lovely romantic downtown with cozy streets, a great place to stay for radial travelling around Peloponnese.

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Nafplio was briefly the capital of Greece before the seat of power was shifted to Athens. It is an historical city due to its Byzantine, Venetian and Ottoman heritage, as well as its meaning to the Greek Revolution. It has a beautiful centre with small neoclassical historical houses, squares and churches.

It is the capital of the prefecture of Argolida.

According to Greek mythology, Nafplio was founded and named after the hero Nafplios, father of Palamidis. It was later under Byzantine, Frankish, Venetian and Ottoman rule. In 1829, after the Greek War of Independence from the Ottoman Empire, Nafplio was chosen as the first capital of the newly-founded state under Governor Kapodistrias. His mansion (Palataki, or “Little Palace”) was on the square in front of today’s town hall. In 1833 the capital moved to Athens, and Nafplio remained the capital of the prefecture of Argolida.

The town is built in two parts, the old, covering all the peninsula and the new, expanding to the north and the east. Upon your arrival you will probably drop off at the central bus station, which is at the east end of the old town, or at the port, hosting a large parking area, at the north seaside of the town.

It is sometimes confusing to some that the hill overlooking the town is on the south of the town and the sea on the north. But once you notice it is easy to walk around the orderly shaped blocks.

The major reference point of the old town is Syntagma square, a very large square, with many Venetian-style buildings all around.

Just two blocks north and west is the Philellinon square, by the sea and at the end of the seaside part of the road. Here lies also the old Customs building.

The reference point for the whole town, new and old, is the conjunction of the road coming from athens (Argous street) and the one going east to Epidavros and Porto Heli (Asklepeou street). It is named “endekate”, meaning “eleventh”, after the bus-stop numbering system of old times. It is from here that a large park starts, covering the old train route, leading to the beginning of the old town.

Map of Nafplio

From Athens the trip is 1½-2 hours by car (147 km). Follow the signs to the harbour where you’ll find a large parking area which is free of charge (as of Sep 2018). If your accomodation is within the old town, it should be easily reachable within 10 to 15 minutes by foot.

Buses connect the town with Athens, Salonica and all the major cities of Peloponessos.

From Athens, there are 12 to 14 daily buses (from the Eleftherios Venizelos airport take the X93 bus till the last stop). The buses of KTEL [dead link] leave Athens from Terminal A in Kifissos central bus station. The journey takes about 2 hours and the price is €11.8 one way, €18 return (June 2010). You can buy tickets online.

There are buses from the Corinth-Channel Bus Terminal to Nafplio via Argos (June 2010), priced €5.8 one way, but not from Proastiakos Corinth Train station, due to their competition.

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