12 Best Things to Do in Nafplio, Greece

by Jen
Best Things to Do in Nafplio, Greece
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Are you searching for exciting things to do in Nafplio, Greece? From ancient fortresses to crystal-clear waters, get ready to dive into the most enchanting and enjoyable activities Nafplion has in store for you!

Nafplio is a hidden gem in Greece that deserves a spot on your travel list. It’s where history meets the sea, offering adventures from climbing ancient fortresses to relaxing on serene beaches. For those looking for the best attractions in Nafplio, you’re in for a vibrant mix of culture, history, and natural beauty.

This town is perfect for travelers who love to explore on foot. Wander through the Old Town’s narrow streets, and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time. The local tavernas and the sound of the sea create a backdrop that’s hard to leave behind, making it an ideal stop for those exploring Greece.

Every time I visit Nafplio, it feels like the visit was too short, and I find myself planning my next trip back before I’ve even left.

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Whether soaking up the sun at Karathona Beach or catching a performance at the Nafplio Festival, Nafplio has a way of capturing your heart.

Ready to explore all of the coolest things to do in Nafplio? Let’s dive right in.

The top places to visit in Nafplio, Greece right now

Best Places to Visit in Nafplio, Greece

Ready to discover the best of Nafplio? From the historic Palamidi Fortress to the serene beauty of Karathona Beach, this guide covers it all. We’ll delve into the fun and free things to do in Nafplio, exploring both well-known attractions and hidden treasures.

If you’re a fan of ancient history, seaside relaxation, and charming city life, Nafplio’s diverse offerings are sure to enchant you, making it one of the top places to live and visit in Greece. Gear up for an exciting journey through Nafplio’s finest, beginning with the majestic and historic Palamidi Fortress!

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1. Climb the Palamidi Fortress

Heading to Nafplio? Don’t miss out on the Palamidi Fortress. It’s a bit of a climb, with nearly a thousand steps to the top, but trust me, the view is worth every bit of effort. You get to see Nafplio in all its glory, with the Argolic Gulf stretching out into the horizon.

The fortress itself is a piece of history, built by the Venetians in the 1700s. Walking around, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time. It’s quiet up there, away from the city’s hustle, and you get this serene feeling looking out over the walls.

I recommend starting your climb early in the morning. It’s cooler, and you’ll have the place more or less to yourself. Don’t forget your camera, either. The views are some of the best in Nafplion.

If you’re wondering what to do in Nafplio, Greece, visiting the Palamidi Fortress is a no-brainer. Yes, it’s a hefty climb with nearly a thousand steps, but the payoff? Unmatched views of Nafplio and the Argolic Gulf that you’ll brag about for days. It’s the perfect blend of a workout and sightseeing rolled into one.

Palamidi Fortress is one of the best things to do in Nafplio, Greece.
In Nafplio, the Palamidi Fortress offers a rewarding view after a steep climb.

2. Stroll Along the Arvanitia Promenade

If you’re looking for fun things to do in Nafplio, Greece, I recommend taking a stroll along the Arvanitia Promenade. It’s a straightforward, scenic route that gives you the best of both worlds: views of the sea and a glimpse of historic fortifications. The path is easy to walk. It’s accessible for everyone, whether you’re out for a morning jog or an evening stroll.

The promenade stretches around the edge of the Acronauplia, offering uninterrupted views of the water. Along the way, you’ll find several spots to sit and take in the scenery. It’s the perfect place to catch your breath and enjoy the moment.

Try to visit during the early morning or just before sunset. Not only is the temperature more comfortable, but the lighting is also incredible. The colors of the sky and sea blend together in a way that photos can’t do justice. Plus, it’s less crowded, giving you a more personal experience.

Lastly, don’t miss the cafes along the route. They offer great coffee and snacks, ideal for fueling your walk or relaxing afterwards. Adding the Arvanitia Promenade to your list of places to go in Nafplio is a decision you won’t regret. It’s a simple, beautiful way to connect with the city.

Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the accessible Arvanitia Promenade for sea views and historic fortifications.
Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the accessible Arvanitia Promenade for sea views and historic fortifications.

3. Explore the Old Town

Diving into the heart of Nafplio means spending time in its Old Town. This area is a maze of narrow streets, each turn revealing something new. From colorful buildings with historical facades to small shops selling everything from handmade jewelry to local spices, it’s a feast for the senses. Start your adventure at Syntagma Square, the central hub, and let the winding streets guide you.

One thing you can’t miss is the variety of cafes and tavernas tucked away in these streets. They offer authentic Greek dishes that’ll make you want to come back for more. My personal favorite? I recommend trying the seafood. It’s fresh and often caught the same day.

Photographers, bring your camera. The blend of Venetian, Ottoman, and Neoclassical buildings provides a stunning backdrop. Early morning is the best time for photos—the soft light and empty streets create a magical atmosphere.

Without a doubt, the Old Town is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Nafplio. Take your time, savor the details, and chat with locals if you get the chance. They often have the best stories and recommendations that you won’t find in any guidebook.

Explore Nafplio's Old Town with its maze of narrow streets, revealing colorful buildings and diverse shops.
Explore Nafplio’s Old Town with its maze of narrow streets, revealing colorful buildings and diverse shops.

4. Visit the Bourtzi Castle

The Bourtzi Castle, set on a tiny islet in the harbor of Nafplio, is a sight to behold. Originally built as a fortress in the 15th century, it has served many roles but now stands as one of the city’s most photographed landmarks. Getting there is part of the adventure. You’ll need to catch a boat from the harbor, which adds an exciting element to the visit.

Once you arrive, take your time to explore. The castle may be small, but its history is vast. Walking around, you can almost hear the echoes of the past. The views back towards Nafplio and the surrounding sea are spectacular.

Make sure to check the boat schedule in advance and try to visit during the off-peak times to avoid the crowds. It’s especially stunning at sunset or sunrise, so try to time your visit for those moments if you can.

If you’re figuring out where to go in Nafplio, Bourtzi Castle is a no-brainer. Catching a boat to this island fortress adds an exciting twist to your exploration. Once there, the castle’s stories and the 360-degree sea views make you feel like you’ve discovered a secret part of Nafplio. It’s a spot that combines history, adventure, and stunning scenery.

Bourtzi Castle, a 15th-century fortress on a tiny islet in Nafplio's harbor, is now one of the city's most photographed landmarks.
Bourtzi Castle, a 15th-century fortress on a tiny islet in Nafplio’s harbor, is now one of the city’s most photographed landmarks.

5. Relax at Karathona Beach

Karathona Beach is Nafplio’s little slice of paradise. Just a short drive from the city center, this beach is where you can truly unwind. The water is crystal clear, perfect for swimming, and the sand is soft underfoot. It’s spacious enough that you can always find a spot, even in the busier months.

What sets Karathona apart is its relaxed vibe. There are a few tavernas along the beach where you can grab a bite or a cold drink without ever feeling rushed. If you’re into snorkeling, bring your gear. The water here is teeming with life, offering a peek into the underwater world of the Argolic Gulf.

Don’t worry about packing everything; sunbeds and umbrellas are available for rent. My advice? Stay for the sunset. Watching the sun dip below the horizon here is an experience you won’t forget.

As one of the most fun places to visit in Nafplion, Karathona Beach is the perfect spot to relax, enjoy the sea, and just take a break from sightseeing.

Karathona Beach is a tranquil paradise with crystal-clear waters and soft sands, offering a spacious retreat year-round.
Karathona Beach is a tranquil paradise with crystal-clear waters and soft sands, offering a spacious retreat year-round.

6. Attend a Performance at the Nafplio Festival

If you’re in Nafplio in July, the Nafplio Festival is the place to be. Picture this: every corner of the city comes alive with music, from classical tunes floating down from the Palamidi Fortress to jazz rhythms by the waterfront. Experiencing this festival is one of the most exciting things to do in Nafplio, hands down.

Grab your tickets early, especially for those unique spots like the fortress. These venues are not just about the music. They’re about experiencing Nafplio’s history with a soundtrack. And trust me, these tickets go fast!

The festival isn’t just for hardcore music fans. It’s a chance to see Nafplio at its most vibrant, filled with locals and travelers all looking to have a good time. You’ll feel the city’s heartbeat, meet new people, and maybe even discover a new favorite artist.

So, if you’re wondering what to see in Nafplio in July, the Nafplio Festival should be at the top of your list. It’s the highlight of summer in Nafplio, blending great tunes with a fantastic atmosphere.

In July, the Nafplio Festival turns the city into a vibrant musical haven.
In July, the Nafplio Festival turns the city into a vibrant musical haven. | Image Source: https://www.discovernafplio.gr/

7. Take a Day Trip to Ancient Epidaurus

A day trip to Ancient Epidaurus from Nafplio is like stepping into a time machine. Just an hour’s drive away, this UNESCO World Heritage site is home to one of the best-preserved ancient theaters in Greece. Known for its incredible acoustics, even the slightest whisper on stage can be heard clearly at the top row.

But there’s more to Epidaurus than just the theater. The site is dotted with ruins that tell tales of healing and art, including temples and a stadium. Walking through these ruins, you’re walking the same paths as those who came here thousands of years ago seeking cure and comfort.

I recommend bringing a water bottle and wearing comfortable shoes. The area is vast and requires a bit of walking to fully explore. And if you can, visit during one of the summer performances at the theater. Believe me, it’s an unforgettable experience.

If you’re mapping out the best places to visit in Greece, make sure Epidaurus is on that list. It’s a unique blend of architectural genius and timeless stories waiting to be discovered. Trust me, the journey from Nafplio to Epidaurus is as much a trip through scenic landscapes as it is a leap back into the wonders of the ancient world.

A day trip to Ancient Epidaurus from Nafplio unveils one of Greece's best-preserved ancient theaters.
A day trip to Ancient Epidaurus from Nafplio unveils one of Greece’s best-preserved ancient theaters.

8. Savor Dolmadakia at a Local Taverna

Diving into Nafplio’s culinary scene? You can’t miss out on Taverna Karima Kastro. Tucked away in the heart of the Old Town, this place is a hidden gem in Europe that locals love — and for good reason.

Here’s the deal: Taverna Karima Kastro serves up traditional Greek dishes with a twist. Think mouthwatering dolmadakia, perfectly seasoned and drizzled with just the right amount of lemon sauce. But it’s their grilled octopus that steals the show — tender, flavorful, and grilled to perfection.

What makes this taverna stand out is the atmosphere. It’s cozy, welcoming, and filled with the kind of Greek hospitality that makes you feel like family. Plus, dining under the stars in their quaint courtyard is an experience in itself.

Dining at Taverna Karima Kastro ranks high on the list of best Nafplio things to do for anyone craving authentic Greek cuisine.

Don't miss Taverna Karima Kastro in the heart of the Old Town—a hidden gem loved by locals for good reason.
Don’t miss Taverna Karima Kastro in the heart of the Old Town—a hidden gem loved by locals for good reason.

9. Kayak in the Argolic Gulf

One of the most exciting things to do in Nafplio is kayaking in the Argolic Gulf. Picture paddling through crystal-clear waters, with historic fortresses and breathtaking landscapes as your backdrop. It’s your front-row seat to some of the most stunning views the area has to offer.

You don’t need to be a pro. There are local guides offering tours for all levels, from beginners to seasoned kayakers. They’ll take you to hidden coves and secluded beaches that are otherwise inaccessible.

I highly recommend going for a sunset tour. Watching the sun dip below the horizon while you’re on the water is an experience you won’t forget. Plus, the cooler evening temperatures make for a comfortable paddle.

Kayaking in the Argolic Gulf offers a front-row seat to stunning views with historic fortresses and breathtaking landscapes.
Kayaking in the Argolic Gulf offers a front-row seat to stunning views with historic fortresses and breathtaking landscapes.

10. Cycle Around Nafplio

Cycling around Nafplio offers a refreshing way to see the city and its surroundings at your own pace. Renting a bike is easy, with several spots around town offering daily hires.

Start your ride along the waterfront for breezy views of the Argolic Gulf, then head into the Old Town for a closer look at its charming streets and historic buildings.

For a scenic route, take the path leading to Karathona Beach. It’s a bit of a ride but entirely worth it for the stunning views and the chance to cool off with a swim.

Cycling in Nafplio is about discovering hidden gems and enjoying the freedom to explore at leisure. Plus, it’s a great way to stay active while indulging in all the delicious Greek food you’ll want to try!

Remember, the best Nafplio attractions always include a bit of adventure. Cycling around this picturesque city definitely fits the bill.

Cycling around Nafplio provides a refreshing way to explore the city and its surroundings at your own pace.
Cycling around Nafplio provides a refreshing way to explore the city and its surroundings at your own pace.

11. Hike the Lerna-Myloi Trail

Hiking the Lerna-Myloi trail is my top recommendation for anyone looking for free things to do in Nafplion, Greece. This trail is a journey through nature and myths. You’ll wander through areas where legends say the Hydra once lived.

The trail itself is relatively easy to navigate, which makes it suitable for hikers of all levels. Along the way, you’ll encounter lush landscapes, natural springs, and the remains of historical sites. This includes the ancient ruins of Lerna, known for its archaeological significance and connection to prehistoric water management.

I recommend wearing comfy shoes and packing water. The scenery is beautiful, so bring your camera too. This hike is a fantastic way to dive into the natural and mythical world of Nafplio without spending a dime.

Remember, exploring the Lerna-Myloi trail is about enjoying the outdoors and soaking up stories from the past. It’s a must-do for anyone looking for an adventure that’s both free and fulfilling.

Hiking the Lerna-Myloi trail is a top free activity in Nafplion, Greece.
Hiking the Lerna-Myloi trail is a top free activity in Nafplion, Greece. | Image Source: https://www.kastra.eu/

12. Discover the Archaeological Museum of Nafplio

The Archaeological Museum in Nafplio is a treasure trove that takes you back in time. Located in a striking old Venetian building, it’s where you get up close with ancient artifacts, from shiny Mycenaean gold masks to cool Roman coins. Each piece has its own story, giving you a glimpse into what life was like thousands of years ago in Greece.

Here’s a tip: Keep an eye out for the museum’s free admission days. It’s a perfect chance to soak up some history without spending anything. And really, take your time here. The tiny details in the artifacts are mind-blowing — like the craftsmanship in the ancient jewelry.

Adding a visit here to your list of fun things to do in Nafplio is a smart move. It’s a fun way to spend an afternoon, especially if you’re into history or just want to see something different.

The Archaeological Museum is one of the best things to do in Nafplio, Greece.
The Archaeological Museum in Nafplio is a treasure trove that transports you back in time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Best Things to Do in Nafplio:

Looking for more content on the top things to do in Nafplio, Greece? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help you plan your trip to Nafplio, Greece.

Is Nafplio, Greece, worth visiting?

Nafplio is definitely worth visiting. With its stunning Venetian architecture, sprawling fortresses, and cobblestone streets, it’s a history lover’s dream. The vibrant cafes, seaside views, and local markets make it a hit with everyone. Trust me, Nafplio’s charm is irresistible, and it stands as one of the best places to visit in Greece in the winter as well.

How do I spend a day in Nafplio?

Start your morning with a climb up to the Palamidi Fortress, one of the most beautiful Old Towns in Europe. Yes, it’s a bit of a workout, but the views are worth it. Then, wander through the Old Town and grab a coffee in one of the quaint cafes. For lunch, hit a taverna by the water for some fresh seafood. Spend your afternoon lounging at Arvanitia Beach or exploring the Bourtzi fortress by boat. Cap off your day with a sunset stroll along the promenade and dinner in the Old Town. It’s the perfect mix of sightseeing, relaxation, and indulgence.


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Arvanitia Beach in Nafplio, Greece: Clear waters, historic backdrop.

Is Nafplio a day trip from Athens?

Just about two hours by car or bus, Nafplio is an ideal day trip from Athens. You get to escape the hustle of the city and immerse yourself in the laid-back, picturesque vibe of one of Greece’s most beautiful towns.

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If you can, though, stay overnight. Nafplio by night, with its lit-up streets and lively bars, is something special.

Does Nafplio have a beach?

Yes, and it’s lovely! Karathona Beach is a short drive or a scenic walk from the town center. It’s a beautiful stretch of sand and clear waters, perfect for swimming, sunbathing, or just chilling with a book. There’s also Arvanitia Beach, right at the edge of the Old Town, more rocky but with stunning clear water and convenient access.

Is Nafplio walkable?

One of the best things about Nafplio is how walkable it is. You can easily explore the main sights on foot, from the bustling Syntagma Square to the picturesque streets of the Old Town. Walking is the best way to soak in the town’s charm, discover hidden alleys, and stumble upon cozy cafes and shops. Plus, the seafront promenade is perfect for leisurely walks with a view.

The top things to do in Nafplio, Greece for all types of travelers
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