Walking Tour of Nafplion, Greece
Nafplion, Greece, is the quintessential Greek village and walking this lovely town is an excellent way to spend a day. It is located about 150 km (100 miles) southwest of Athens, in the northern part of the Peloponnese. It has the classic castle on a hill, the Palamidi, actually a Venetian fortress, narrow streets, numerous churches and beautiful squares. There are actually more fortresses at the Acronafplia, as well as parks and museums.
My walk begins on Syntagma (Constitution) Square, the most popular gathering place in town. The colorful marble paving of the square is extremely attractive. The Old Mosque, no longer a religious establishment, sits on one side of the square. At the western end is the Archaeological Museum, worthwhile if you are interested in Mycenaean culture and artifacts.
Further west is the Church of the Virgin Mary’s Birth, which sits next to an old olive tree which has a legendary history. Just south of the square is the National Bank building, an interesting blend of architectural styles. Behind the bank is the Turkish Mosque, known as the Parliament, because it once held official meetings.
From here, walk eastward on Staikopoulou and then right on Kokkinou, which becomes Potamianou Street and leads toward Akronafplia, one of the town’s most imposing fortresses. You can climb to the summit via roads or by elevator.
When you return to the town below, walk back to Staikopoulou Street and turn right. Although the street name changes, this road leads to Kapodistrou Square, near the huge Palace of Justice. Walk across the square or across Staikopoulou Park to Polyzoidhou Street and turn right. Ahead are the nearly 900 stairs which lead to the Palmidi, the other major fortress in Nafplion. There are actually three forts here, to explore, as well as imposing walls.
Return to town and walk down Polyzoidhou Street to its end, and then turn left along the seaside promenade, all the way to the Five Brothers, another ruined fortification, on the western end of town, above the harbor. The five cannon here display the Venetian winged-lion.
Now, head back along the harbor. Notice still another imposing fortress, on an island north of the harbor, called Bourtzi. You may want to take a short boat ride to explore it, before proceeding. Next, walk across Philhellenes Square (across the street from the boat launch), and take Vas Alexandrou Street eastward to Siokou Street. Turn right and then right again, onto Amalias Street, to return to Syntagma Square, where you began your walk.