Our trip came to its end, in this last published post, and after 2 nights stay in enchanting Nafplion, and the exciting surroundings of the Northeastern Peloponnese ,
The previous posts on this entire Peloponnese trip are found:
(here) Mistras & Epidaurus
(here) Port Gerkas & Sparta,
(here) Monemavasia, Elfonisos Il. &Sunken City of Pavlovpetri
(here) Ancient Messini,Kardomili, Stoupa, Grolines,& Gythio
Nafplion layout, its architecture and ambiance reminded me, very much of the one
of Corfu Town, in the Island of Corfu, but smaller, which we also loved very much, both important sea-port towns influenced by the Venetian ruling period.
Beautiful waterfront, small streets with quint shops, and historic buildings crowned by a fortress looming over the harbor, is the scenery to enjoy.
Nafplio is now the capital of the regional unit of Argolis, but in its glorious past, it was the capital of the First Hellenic Republic, and of the Kingdom of Greece, from the start of the Greek Revolution in 1821 until 1834.
The town, which expanded up the hillsides near the north end of the Argolic Gulf. was held under a succession of royal houses in the Middle Ages as part of the lordship of Argos and Nauplia, initially, held by the de la Roche following the Fourth Crusade before coming under the Republic of Venice and, lastly, the Ottoman Empire.
Nafplion in 1597
The main platia -square, in the center of the Old Town, called Syntagma (Constitution) Square, like in Athens, but smaller, is one of the best preserved 19th Century platias in Greece. A paved in marble. and a blend of old and new architecture surrounds it.,
Its historical buildings include a former Turkish mosque Aga Pasha, wooden balconies and Turkish fountains,several very popular cafes, shops, a bank that looks like an art-deco version of Knossos, the well-stocked Archaeological museum, and the Xenon Inn Hotel, housed in an impressive historic building.
The hotel we stayed in was is an alley just off this beautiful square..
Early morning before it got unbearably hot, we ventured out to explore the imposing and looming, grand castle.complex, above town.
Castle of Palamidi - the huge, well-maintained and probably the best castle in Greece and the finest sample of the a typical baroque fortress fortifications in Greece. built on a high hill, in 1714 by the Venetians, within the record time of 3 years during their second occupation of the area (1686-1715)..
It is nestled on the crest of a 216-metre high hill, The strategic advantages of the location are obvious: it controls the city of Nafplion, the port, the fortress of Acronafplia and the entrance to the gulf of Argolis.
The fortress was a very large and ambitious project. It is a typical baroque fortress.
In 1715 it was captured by the Ottomans and remained under their control until 1822, when it was captured by the Greeks
The view from the castle
The 8 bastions of the fortress were originally named after the Venetian provveditori. However, when it fell to the Ottoman Empire, the bastions were given Turkish names. Lastly, when the Greeks overthrew the Turks the bastions were renamed after ancient Greek leaders and heroes
Nafplion Archaeological Museum
Situated in the imposing in size, as well as strict in symmetry, the 3 story stone-built Venetian structure of the 17c, covers and encases the central, Syntagma Square.
The small museum housed in the buildings,which I visited one afternoon, when David rushed to the beach, displays art artifacts encased in 2 floors only.
The building also houses the town's municipality,
The building was first built in 1713, during the second reign of the Venetians, under the Naval Proveditore Augustine Sagredo, to be used as the navy's depository, according to the marble inscription fitted on the building's frontage, written in Latin.
It is widely acknowledged as one of the best well-preserved Venetian structures in the whole of Greece.
Street's Farmer Market
The very colorful moveable Fruit &vegetable, out doors Farmer Market
in the Town's center under the Palamidi castle, functions every Wednesday and Saturday between 8:00 to 2;30. It also sells trinkets and clothes
It was fun to visit in it after the tour of the castle, and binge on a juicy piece of
watermelon, in the heat of the day.
After-noon drive South of Naflion along Tolo Golf
After the brief visit of the seaside Ancient. Assini
We checked Tolo village
Tolo village is situated in a beautiful protected natural bay setting and Its harbor is shielded by nearby islands from storms and large tides.
Toló (or Tolon) was first written about by Homer in the Iliad, as a city involved in the Trojan War. Its bay gave refuge to Greek ships over the centuries.
The village is dotted with many low coast hotels, set right on the beach and it was busy with local tourist, stretched over the long horse shoe beach strip
The beach swimmers were bathing in the water, right next to the small boats which were lie at anchor. at the harbor, a fact which didn't appeal to us, at all.
This popular beach and proximity to Athens and Nafplio draw large crowds.
Kandia - Amanzi Beach
This hidden local gem, a protected sand beach strip, with great pristine water and organized facilities, but NOT YET, that developed commercially.
Only 2 provisional bars on the entire strip
Great virgin beach to swim in, with no harbor no boats and very few people.
Dinning in Vivari
Vivari is a very small quaint seaside village with nice pebble beach,and natural harbor, .along which few local seafood restaurants, right on the beach, carry their good reputation.. We had a great grilled fresh fish there in a place called:
Boteli Sea Food Restaurant
It is run by a young friendly dud named Jimi, a local Greek who spoke the best English, we have heard so far in Greece.
On our last day of this trip we could’ve resist a last dip in the seawarer, before departing Nafplion, so a short drive from town took us to:
Where Sambla Beach Bar and Utopia bar are located.
Very near Nafplio, about 15 minutes drive from town's center on the other side of the castle, this quint sand beach is well organized, shallow water beach, on a tranquil bay with no harbor nor boats with fantastic clear water to swim in.
Our accommodation in Nafplion was at:
Ippoliti Hotel - an old town's center Hotel
firstname.lastname@example.org +30 2752096088
The 2 nights we spent in the northeastern part, were slept at Nafplion's old town center., in a very quint seaside renovated neo-classical mansion of the 19th c, with great modern amenities, The spacious beautifully decorated rooms and suites were decorated in a light neoclassical style, with authentic Tuscan furniture.
Another charming seaside front hotel at town's center to consider is
Hotel Grande Bretagne - on the from square
info@grandeBretagne.com.gr Tel: +30 2752096200
The Joy of Flying back to Isreal
The flight back to Israel was due on July 8th, at 6:00 pm
On the way to the airport we decided to stop by Ancient Corinth to briefly glance at the huge archeological site overlooking the bay, from the outside, as it shows in full view.
At the small quint village, next to the archeological site, we even managed to have a quick bite, before heading to the airport, at:
Marinos Taverna - Apaxia Korinth
A quick late lunch
Making it on time, to the flight was not an issue, but actually getting on it... was...
We discovered at the airport that, despite being vaccinated and having the"green Passport", all passengers are required to get a PCR corona test, within 48 hours prior to entering Israel, which we,for add reasons, not knew nor were informed about...
We were able to get the required test at the airport (around 7:00pm) but were notified, that 24 hours, at least, are needed for the results to be sent via email.
I have only praise to share regarding the efficiency and friendliness in conducting this testing procedure, at Athens airport.
Thus, spending the unexpected extra night, at Athens airport, was unavoidable.
Checking into the Soffitel, the only hotel adjacent to the airport's terminal, was the pragmatic solution, to end this day's bungled ordeal,... .and then prayed...
Hoping all heartily we "prayed", that the negative test's results, would be due earlier, so we would make it to the El-Al flight, scheduled for 10:30am, on the next day - Friday,., otherwise we would have been stuck, all weekend in Athens, since El-Al doesn't fly on Sabbath.
With much luck our prayers were answered.
The negative test results arrived at 7:30am Friday early morning, way before check-in, and there were sits on the 10:30am flight, which we manged to switch to, and without any penalty..
.The morning flight on July 9th left and arrived on time, landing safely back on midday.
We were released from the airport, only after having another corona test, obliging all incoming to the country. So we had 2 tests done in 24 hours .
That testing operation, to our surprise and relief, was also fast and efficient, and the negative results of the airport test, also arrived, in less then 24 hours.
It is nice to be back .... for a while....