A romantic looking port town of elegant Venetian houses lining narrow streets, Nafplio was the first modern capital of Greece. It attracts a nice mix of visitors and the best places to stay in Nafplio reflect this with a wide range from pensions and guest houses to boutique hotels.
Weekending Athenians mingle with international travellers in the cafes and tavernas along the waterfront, browsing the upmarket boutiques and being impressed by Nafplio's treasures.
Some of its beauty, and romance, it gets from its position, beneath the Palamidi Fortress, a vast citadel built on top of an outcrop of rock 200ms above Nafplio's port. The fortress is just the literal tip of the historic points of interest here. Nafplio is an ancient town, with numerous museums, several smaller forts, and some charming churches. And it's got great bus connections to other ancient sites and sights nearby.
Nafplio has been an important Greek port since the Bronze Age, and has been targeted, and taken by the Venetians, Franks and Ottomans, who all left marks on the architecture and culture of what's now a relatively small town. It was the constant threat of invasion which lead to the construction of three different fortresses in Nafplio:
⁃ the Palamidi Fortress, which is the spectacular, Venetian style citadel sitting atop the rocky outcrop;
⁃ the Akronafplia Fortress, which is the oldest, dating back to the Bronze Age, and sits above the oldest part of town, and used to mark the town's walls;
⁃ and Bourtzi, also built by the Venetians, which sits on an islet just west of the main port.
Nafplio also has an Archaeological Museum, which is in one of the beautiful Venetian buildings overlooking Syntagmatos Square, Nafplio's main square. The Nafplio branch of the National Gallery is also housed in a particularly lovely building.
There is a very well regarded Folklore Museum and a War Museum. And it's an excellent base for visiting Mycenae and the Epidaurus Theatre. The ancient town of Argos is also worth popping out to if you get a chance, it's quiet and rural now, but it's also thought to be the oldest town in Europe.
The Old Town, which covers the peninsula, is the most romantic part of town, and is one of the best places to stay in Nafplio if you appreciate fine architecture. It has a very Italian look to is, but look closer and you'll begin to see the Byzantine and Ottoman influences.
Everything within the Old Town is within walking distance and one of the greatest pleasures of any stay here is just strolling the lovely streets.
The area around Psaromachala, is less grand than the other parts of town, but has its own Greek Island feel and also invites strolling couples.
Several of the few larger mansions in this area have been converted to guesthouses, and this is one of the best places to stay in Nafplio if you want to feel like you're away from other visitors
Some of the little fishing villages around Nafplio are worth exploring, and you'll discover some beautiful lagoons, quiet beaches, charming old churches and friendly tavernas.
Given that some of the best places to stay in nafplio are guesthouses, there will be something for everyone no matter what your budget is. Our favourite is:
Still not sure which to book? Browse though our list of all the best places to stay in Nafplio, or call, or email, one of our gurus for advice. For more choices check out our full list for the Peloponnese.
Small, pretty townhouse hotel with balconies and views and a sunny terrace above the harbour, a good value base for local exploring.
Charming 'neoclassical' pension in an 18th century mansion in the old Venetian town of Nafplio with wonderful sea views. An excellent base for exploring ancient Greek sites in the Peloponnese. Family run, the delightful owners give a warm welcome. Everything from the jams to the bread are homemade.
Highly luxurious hotel in a beautiful setting. Sea-facing rooms and suites in contemporary style with private balconies, all the mod cons and private pools. Two excellent restaurants, pool, and private beach. A holiday haven for romantics.