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Most people visiting Nafplion are just passing through, whilst they visit the nearby sites of Epidavros & Mycenae, but the town merits a longer stay as there is plenty to explore. Being only 2 hours by road from Athens, with a regular bus service, it is a popular haunt for sophisticated Athenians wanting to get away from the stresses of the city. The old town area is a warren of back streets and alleyways, where beautifully restored Venetian houses stand shoulder to shoulder with crumbling ruins. There are numerous small pensions for a stay in the old town, or modern hotels in the new town area. There is a good selection of shops selling hand-made jewellery, gifts and art, together with plenty of cafeterias and tavernas to suit every taste and pocket. The harbour front is lined with cafeterias, where you can watch the world go by, before jumping on board one of the small boats ferrying tourists over to the picture-postcard Boutzi Castle, which sits on its own island in the middle of the bay, and was at one time the home of the town executioner. There are two more castles to explore in the town. The Acronafplia Citadel, which overlooks the old town, and the Palamidi Fortress, which towers 200metres above the town and provides more of a challenge! The fortress can be reached by climbing the 999 steps, which zigzig up the rockface. It's a challenge on the knees and the heart - so take care! The effort is rewarded by fantastic views across the bay to Argos and the mountains beyond. An easier option is to take a taxi to the eastern entrance - and then walk DOWN the steps (no stroll in the park either!) There is a paved walkway encircling the Acronafplia Peninsular where, with the sea glistening like mercury on one side - and a forest of prickly pears clinging to the hillside on the other - you can enjoy the silence and the views of the bay. There are no major tour operators with hotels in Nafplion, as most visitors are independent travellers, but the busy resort of Tolo is just 12km away and can be easily reached by the hourly summer bus schedule. There are also daily buses to Epidavros and Mycenae. The Epidavros Festival (in August) offers the chance to see ancient Greek plays performed in their original setting - and special buses operate from Nafplion throught the festival. Nafplion is one of my favourite spots in Greece (maybe I should have kept quiet about it!)
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Greece: The Peloponnese Contains a diversity of landscape, everything from classic image ... more
of Greece - white sand beaches and sleepy white-washed villages through to the ancient sites of Olympia and Mycenae, Byzantine churches and medieval fortresses; towering mountains for hiking and skiing, olive groves which produce the finest fruit, and mountains covered in flowers. Full description