Ιn news that will not surprise Greeks, who have long regarded Nafplio as one of their own favorite short-break destinations, this historic city, crowned by a Venetian castle and lapped by the inviting blue waters of the Argolic Gulf, has been selected as one of the planet’s top ten destinations for outstanding hospitality by the travel industry heavyweight, Booking.com.
With a history stretching back into the fog of myth, Nafplio has dominated its stretch of the eastern shores of the Peloponnese off and on since antiquity. Fortified by the Venetians in the Middle Ages, it later switched hands back and forth between that power and the Ottoman Empire. Following the Greek War of Independence, the city became the seat of the nation’s first provisional government.
Today, it’s best known among Greeks as the perfect spot for a romantic weekend getaway, combining excellent access to outstanding beaches with a treasure trove of archaeological and historical sites in the immediate area, including the ruins of ancient Mycenae just 24 kilometers away.
Nafplio has it all – charming restaurants and boutique hotels, stunning 19th-century architecture in the old town, and the medieval fortress of Palamidi towering high above the picturesque harbor. Best of all, it’s a friendly place offering relaxed low-key tourism on a human scale, far from the country’s more crowded hotspots.
This article first appeared in Greece Is (www.greece-is.com), a Kathimerini publishing initiative.