When I choose a destination, I usually don’t know what to expect. I will research where to stay, but I like to be surprised by what I find. In Nafplion, I was simply blown away.
When you approach Nafplion, you cannot fail to notice Palamidi castle dominating the skyline. The castle rises to a height of 216 metres and has approximately 900 steps taking you from the town to the castle. When I visited, I didn’t count the steps, but I did climb them, it is quite steep going, but the views of Nafplion and the Argolic Gulf are magnificent.
Palamidi was built by the Venetians, captured by the Ottoman Empire and later by the Greeks in their war of independence. There are 8 main Bastions in the castle that have been renamed by each of its conquerors, the bastions were used to store food, ammunition and also to house prisoners.
Nafplion is overlooked by a further castle, Akronafplia as well as the fortified island of Bourtzi.
Nafplion was the first capital city of an independent Greece and it retains its feel of splendour. The architecture in the medieval quarter illustrates its Venetian and Ottoman influences. For me, the true magic of Nafplion can be found strolling among the side streets, stopping at one of the many bars, to take stock and watch the world go by.
As the sun sets over the Arcadia Mountains, Nafplion bursts into life, as the many bars and restaurants on Plateia Syntagmatos and Philellion, the side streets adjoining them and even the marina become a hive of activity.
I stayed, for free, in the large car park next to the marina. I shared the car park with cars, lorries and motorhomes alike. It was quite noisy at night with people returning to their cars, but it was such a great location, with views over the Argolic gulf and Arcadia mountains, that a little noise wasn’t a real issue.
I could have stayed here much longer than the two days I did, it offered something different to the places I had up until that point stayed. I had a notion in my head that I just could not shift and it motivated me to move on, but more about that next time.
One of the most interesting things I noted during my time in Greece, was the spelling of place names could have several variants. I’m not an expert on the classical or modern Greek language, but I suspect that the translation between the two and then to modern English is the reason for this. Needless to say, it occasionally gets a little confusing when referring to a place, hopefully, I haven’t made too many errors.