Today I will bring you on a tour of the Greek town of Nafplio on my travel guide. It’s likely you have never heard of this place before. It is not visited by your average tourist. Instead, this is a tiny, historical town by the sea frequented by Greek natives during the summer months, seeking respite from the city, away from the swarms of tourists that flock to the more popular Greek Islands.
Who Am I?
Hello, my name is Kayy. I was born and raised in New York, USA. I did move around during my first few adult years, but I am currently living in New York once again.
Since 2013 I’ve traveled throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. During my travels, I prioritize saving money and finding the best deals wherever possible. However, I also enjoy the luxury experience from time to time.
1. Duration of Ideal Stay and Visiting Season
Summer (late May-early October) is the perfect time to visit Nafplio. The weather is warm, perfect for enjoying the outdoors. Nafplio is right on the sea and summer would be the perfect time to go to the beach! Aside from the occasional cruise ship, crowds are rare, even during the summer. This allows visitors to experience Nafplio’s charm to the fullest.
Nafplio is quite small. A visitor could easily see everything the town has to offer in less than two days. However, the atmosphere of this Greek destination is quite laid-back. It would be to your benefit to slow down and take everything in over a three-day weekend instead.
2. How to Get to The City from Airport?
The closest major airport to the town of Nafplio is Athens International Airport. I stayed in Athens for several days prior to venturing out to Nafplio. This is my recommendation to you as well. Athens is a wonderful city.
A bus departs from the Athens city center to Nafplio two times daily. It is easy and hassle-free. Tickets are available online and cost US$15. Uber or a taxi is the fastest way to reach the bus station, however, it’s pricey, so you may want to take the subway which connects to the airport.
3. Where to Accommodate in Nafplio?
Nafplio is quite charming and fairytale-like. The hotels and guesthouses resemble this. Reasonably priced and perfectly placed lodging is the norm in Nafplio. Since the town is so small, anywhere you choose to stay is within walking distance to the water. Most places listed below also offer authentic Greek breakfasts along with the room!
- Amphitryon Hotel: A 5-star waterfront hotel, averaging 185 euros a night
- Hotel Grande Bretagne Nafplio: a 4-star boutique hotel near the sea, averaging 125 euros a night
- Nafplia Palace Hotel & Villas: A 5-star waterfront hotel, averaging 230 euros a night
- Acronafplia Pension: a 4-star guesthouse within the town, averaging 50 euros a night
- Adiandi and Amymone Hotels: a 4-star hotel near the seaport, averaging 70 euros a night
- Αmfitriti Palazzo Design Hotel: a 4-star hotel in the city center, averaging 80 euros a night
- Gambello Luxury Rooms: a 4-star hotel by the sea, averaging 65 euros a night
- Kyveli Suites: a 4-star hotel near the seaport, averaging 95 euros a night
- Rex Hotel: a 3-star hotel slightly outside the main area of town, averaging 70 euros a night
- Hotel Vasilis: a 3-star hotel 2km outside the main area of Nafplio, averaging 35 euros a night, making it one of the cheapest accommodations in the area!
- Park Hotel: a 2-star hotel immediately outside the city center, averaging 45 euros a night
- Pension Eleni: a 3-star hotel not too far from one of Nafplio’s beaches, averaging 45 euros a night
4. In City Transportation
There is no need for transportation during your stay in Nafplio. The town is small enough that you can absolutely cover the entire destination with your own two feet! If necessary, there are a few taxi services available. You can also rent a bike if you would like! In addition, there are both a bus and train station in the town. However, these are for getting to or from Nafplio, rather than around it!
5. Suggested Budget for Nafplio
There are only a handful of “paid attractions” in Nafplio. The best activities during your stay are outdoors and free or low budget! Your budget for this trip will primarily include accommodation, food, drink, and souvenirs. Unless you are looking for a luxury vacation, you can find a way to spend less than 100 euros a day while in Nafplio.
6. Things to See and Do in Nafplio
Here is the most important part of our Nafplio travel guide! Let me list you the best places to visit in Nafplio!
a. Best Beaches in Nafplio
- Arvanitia Beach: a rocky beach, but great for laying out in the sun and cliff jumping
- Banieres: not quite a beach, but a swimming area instead
- Karathona Beach: A great beach for swimming, water sports, and laying out
- Akronafplia Fortress: Nafplio’s oldest castle with fabulous views is accessed via elevator. There is no entrance fee here.
- Bourtzi Fortress: Nafplio’s third castle is only accessed via boat. Entry is free, however, arranging a boat costs between 4 and 5 euros.
- Palamidi Castle: Located at the entrance of the town, this historical fortress is at the top of a large hill. To reach the top, you need to climb 999 stone steps, though you can also take a car. Entrance fee is 8 euros.
- Nauplion/Arvanitia Promenade: A paved, 1 km walk along Nafplio’s scenic waterfront
- Karoni’s Distillery Museum: See how liquor is made at one of the oldest distilleries in the country! Tastings are available as well. 40 euros for a tour per group of 4.
- The Archaeological Museum: A museum displaying many archaeological finds from the area. Entrance fee is 6 euros.
- The Folklore Museum: A museum showcasing traditional objects from the 18th century. Admission is 2 euros.
- The Komboloi Museum: Greek Kombolou are “worry beads” that are part of Greek culture. The purpose of the museum is to raise awareness of this part of the culture. Admission fee is 2 euros.
- The War Museum: A museum covering history from the wars in the 1800s and World War II. Entrance costs 3 euros.
- The Three Admirals Square: Another square full of history, with buildings and monuments, including the town hall.
- The Town Park: a park with plenty of seating, a playground for children, and a lot of greenery, along with a statue and a fountain. There are many great places to eat surrounding the park.
- Syntagma Square: A picturesque square located in the center of Nafplio. It contains historical monuments and architecture, fountains, cafes, restaurants and shops.
There are many shops throughout Nafplio that sell a variety of souvenirs and local gifts. The great thing about Nafplio’s shops is the product authenticity. Here you will not find the tacky, mass-produced magnets, keychains, etc. Instead, there are many hand-made items, such as jewelry, kitchen items, clothing, and shoes. Keep in mind this is reflected in the pricing, however, it is worth it. I personally bought a pair of hand-made leather sandals in 2019 and they are still in perfect condition as of 2021!
There are very few, if any, organized tours within the city of Nafplio. You can hire a private taxi driver to take you around the various sights. This is a great option if you or a travel companion has difficulty walking long distances or on uneven surfaces. Otherwise, Nafplio is the perfect place to explore on your own!
Aside from this, there are tours on TripAdvisor or Viator that leave from Athens as a day trip. These tours visit Nafplio, though they often include the surrounding areas as well. Nafplio is certainly worth more than a few hours, so I would suggest skipping these and staying overnight instead.
7. What to Eat/Drink at Where?
Let’s continue with the tastiest part of our Nafplio travel guide!
- Central Bakery
- Gelarto Nafplio
- Gelateria Di Piazza
- Kosmos Bakery Nafplio
b. Coffee Shops
- Black Cat
- Coffee Berry Nafplio
- Coffee Island
- Alkioni Wine Bar
- Petrino Bar Nafplio
- ROSSO music cafe | wine bar
- Aktaion Mare ($$) – a waterfront Greek cafe, serving breakfast and brunch
- I Folia ($$) – A Mediterranean restaurant focusing on seafood dishes, with fabulous reviews
- Il Porto ($) – an excellent Italian eatery
- Kastro Karima ($$) – Authentic Greek food in the town center
- Nafplio Falafel ($) – a highly rated restaurant serving Middle-Eastern and Greek cuisine near the Town Park
- Rendez vous ($$) – a waterfront bistro, great for having a cocktail and appetizers while enjoying the views
8. Warnings, Tips and Tricks
Nafplio is a perfectly safe city for your travels. While there, I did not experience any scams nor did I feel unsafe at any point, even at night. As with anywhere, exercise normal caution. However, rest assured that Nafplio has a very low crime rate and is one of the safest places in the country of Greece!