The bus departs at 08:00 am from Omonia Square, follows the coastal road driving South, and arrives at Corinth canal an hour later. (Short-stop).
Continue to Nafplion (generally accepted as one of the most beautiful Greek cities, and arrive an hour later. Rest of the day.
According to mythology, the town was founded by Nafplios, the son of Poseidon and Anymone. The town’s history traces back to the prehistoric era when soldiers from Nafplion participated in the Argonautic expedition and the Trojan War. The town declined during Roman times and flourished again during Byzantine times. Frankish, Venetian, and Turkish conquerors left their signature and influenced the town’s culture, architecture, and traditions. Ancient walls, medieval castles, monuments and statues, Ottoman fountains, and Venetian or neoclassical buildings mesmerize the visitor with their unique architecture and beauty.
Nafplion is a great place to visit, a colourful town with culture, history, and natural beauty. It’s a charming little town with a picturesque promenade, old stone houses, town squares, and streets full of life and historic buildings all crowned by a fortress. The stone castle together with the Bourtzi’s round fortress that was built in the middle of the harbour, are Nafplion’s features.
Modern architecture hasn’t spoiled the old town of Nafplion, which is a feast for the eye. Nafplion was the capital of the liberated Greek state, after the island of Aegina but before Athens, in the early 1830s. Here, is the first residential palace for the young Bavarian Prince, Otto, the first king of the new country after the revolution against the Turks. The old town is beautiful, with old mansions and paved roads. The two fortresses, the Palamidi and the Akronafplia played a key role during the war of independence. Many restaurants, traditional Greek tavernas, cafeterias, souvenir shops, and other fashion stores make your stay an enjoyable one.
It is a pleasure to walk around the old town with nice views of the waterfront and some neoclassical buildings that manage to maintain the grand feel of this city.
It’s the old city that so many people include Nafplion in their itineraries. It’s a timeless city. A version of the Athens’ Plaka neighbourhood, only more picturesque and beautiful. The main square paved in marble is also called Syntagma (= Constitution) and is surrounded by historical buildings.
The streets approaching it, barely used by automobiles, are full of restaurants, cafes, and shops that are full of people who have a simple elegance. Nafplio is a sophisticated little city that will certainly remind you of the more romantic age. There is a beach in town just around the other side of the Akronaphlia, with change rooms, a bar, and water sports. Three kilometres east of here is the Karathonas beach.
Nafplion became the capital of modern Greece (1829-1834) by Ioannis Kapodistrias, after the Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire occupation in 1821.
Kapodistrias and Switzerland. Switzerland would not be what it is today without Kapodistrias’ exceptional negotiating skills. He gave Switzerland its federal state structure and the policy of neutrality. Known as Conte Giovanni Antonio Capo d’Istria, he was the statesman who played a prominent role in Switzerland’s institutional reorganization and in asserting Switzerland’s permanent status as a neutral country.
When you arrive in Nafplion you must visit:
- the Venetian fortress of Palamidi, which crowns the city,
- Bourtzi, the fortified islet as well as
- The Archaeological and the Folk Art Museum.
Palamidi: The Venetian fortress which dominates the city is actually three separate fortresses walled together and built by the Venetians in 1714. The two engineers La Salle and Giaxich constructed the Venetian fortress, on the top of a hill at an altitude of 216m. It changed hands several times and after Greece’s liberation, Palamidi was used as a prison. Theodoros Kolokotronis, the hero of the Greek revolution was also held here. Inside the bastion of Saint Andrew lies the homonymous church, built in Venetian times. There are 999 steps leading up to the fortress but you can also take a taxi to the top. The Palamidi is open from 8:30 am to 2:45 pm.
Bourtzi: A small island situated at the entrance of the port, 450 meters from the land. It was fortified by the Venetians in 1473 and served for preventing the enemy from entering the port. It served as a fortress until 1865. It then transformed into the residence of the hangmen who executed the convicts in Palamidi. It also operated as a hotel at a time. Our days it is one of the city’s attractions.