Nafplio - The loveliest town in Greece?
Updated: Nov 10, 2019
Nafplio in the Peloponnesos may be one of the prettiest towns in all of Greece. It's a stunning combination of sea views, castles (three of them!), broad squares and flowery alleys.
It has a kind of beautiful decay that is far more photogenic than depressing. Lemon trees stand against a backdrop of colorful and cracking old walls. Distressed shutters crawl with flamboyant flowering vines, making for oddly lovely vignettes.
(Art directors who choose locations for the those chi-chi-poo-poo catalogs would lose their minds with bliss. You know the ones where bored-looking models wearing two thousand dollars worth of clothing stand against peeling old walls and such? Like, Hi! I'm rich enough to wear all this beautiful stuff but am inexplicably hanging out in a crack house in Paris! Envy me, ye mortals, and despair!)
Aaaaanyway. Nafplio most certainly does not look like a crack house. It looks like this.
But you get my point.
I first went to Nafplio in the 70s, and while I liked it back then, the town has improved a lot over the years. A wide promenade, opposite the seemingly-floating Venetian castle called the Bourtzi, has been built at the far end of town, which wasn't there in it's current form back them.
The town seems to have threaded the needle of keeping it's vintage charm while upgrading overall. It doesn't feel gentrified or too polished - just clean, bright and cheery.
If you plan to pass through the eastern Peloponnesos, or even just want to do a day trip from Athens, make sure to spend some time in Nafplio. (Click here for a beautiful new gallery!) From there it's an easy trip the antiquities of Corinth, Nemea and Myceneae, as well as to the ancient and still-in-use theater of Epidavros, with it's perfect acoustics.
'Til next time,