Nafplio, located 12km southeast of Argos in the Argolic Gulf, is one of Greece’s prettiest and most romantic towns. It occupies a knockout location – on a small port beneath the towering Palamidi fortress – and is graced with attractive narrow streets, elegant Venetian houses, neoclassical mansions and interesting museums. Both overseas visitors and weekending Athenians flock to this lively, upwardly mobile place. It’s full of quayside cafes, posh boutiques and many comfortable hotels and guesthouses (but it does get somewhat overcrowded in high season and holidays).
Nafplio was the first capital of Greece after it declared its Independence (between 1833 and 1834), and has been a major port since the Bronze Age. So strategic was its position, that it had three fortresses – the massive principal fortress of Palamidi, the fortress of Akronafplia and the significantly smaller Bourtzi on an islet west of the Old Town.