Today we arrive in the port of Nafplio, Greece. Even though Italy is a beautiful country, it is nice to be visiting a new country after four different Italian ports.
Nafplio is a small seaport town located near to the Northern end of the Argolic Gulf. The tour I opted for today was named “Mycenae & Palamidi Castle”. There were some interesting destinations on this tour, and I am happy with my choice. The tour also enabled me to make the most use of the time in port today. As there was not a lot to see in town, and I still had ample time to see the city and enjoy lunch before returning to the ship.
The area surrounding Nafplio consists primarily of a large valley with mountains in the distance. It does make for a rather dramatic landscape. The mountains made for a perfect place to build castles to watch over the valley and the first of the Mycenaean ruins we visited was one such castle. There are some spectacular views over the valley from here.
As the tour continued, the next stop is closely associated with the first, the Treasury of Atreus. A beehive type burial site with a particularly grand entrance way. Once you get inside you can understand where the name comes from with the shape of a beehive forming the rather cavernous space.
For the last stop on the tour at Palamidi Castle, we come back almost to Nafplio. In fact, Palamidi Castle sits atop a mountain, overlooking the city from a height of 216m. I had some interest in seeing the castle but did not spend long here for two reasons.
The first reason was the sheer number of people. It seemed to be the last destination for most of the tours, and they all appear to arrive at the same time. The second reason is that I wanted to get down and take a look around the city.
Even though there was the option to return to the dock by bus, there was an hour wait until the scheduled return time. However, there was the option to take the stairs down to Nafplio. I decided this sounded like fun and some 857 steps later I found myself in one of the streets.
The stairs take considerably less time than you would think. The time was less than 10 minutes even with stopping to take a few photos along the way. From the bottom, there is a much better view of the castle.
I spent over an hour wandering the streets of Nafplio. It turns out that the city is not quite as big as I thought it might be. That is at least not this more central area of the city.
Walking around the city, it does have a considerably different feeling to other European cities I have visited. There are some area’s that are very nice and exhibit some real individual traits of Greece. While there are other area’s that show signs of dereliction and dilapidation. Of course, quite likely all stemming from the same origins as the overall financial difficulties of Greece.
After spending so much time exploring both on the tour and on foot around the city, I was getting hungry. I found my way back to the waterfront where there are plenty of cafe’s or restaurants with lunch on my mind. Although some restaurants seemed to only cater to locals with menu’s only in Greek, there were a couple with English menu’s available. In the end, I found a great little spot and choose a burger and chips, at least I could be somewhat certain what I was getting.
Even though Greece is not a country that has been on my must-visit list, it is nice to have some time to see it. I have enjoyed the time in Nafplio today, but cannot see that I will be rushing back, as there are other places I want to visit.
You can read more about my visit to Nafplio by visiting the posts from the day “Port Call – Exploring The City of Nafplio, Greece“