Greece’s first capital remains the escape of choice for Athenians, who weekend here to indulge in the town's gorgeous seaside setting. One of the country's most romantic towns, the warm colour palette and tempting, island-sprinkled waters, pull on plenty of heartstrings. With perfect beaches, crystal clear waters for swimming, and evocative fortress-capped mountains, Nafplion is a sun-soaked Greek beauty.
A gorgeous blend of Greek, Byzantine, Venetian and Ottoman influences, stroll the seafront promenade and soak up the ambience in tavernas and bars. Head into the warren of an old town, which is full of narrow streets, neoclassical architecture and pink-flowered trees drooping over walls. Located on the hill that towers over Nafplion, Palamidi Fortress is a Venetian castle built in 1714, and its steep walls flow dramatically down the slope. If you're feeling brave, a slog of 857 steps will take you to the top to see beautiful views across Nafplion and the Argolic Gulf.
Acronafplia fortress is Nafplion's oldest castle, and its walls enclosed the entire town until the 13th century. Just offshore, the Venetian Bourtzi fortress rises on a tiny islet, a short boat ride away across the glistening waters. Venetians built this harbour fortress to protect the town before it later housed the official executioner. Today its hardy walls shake to music, during its summer festival, and the castle enjoys a gorgeous view back over the waves to the town's humming waterfront. Ancient cities like Corinth lie close by, recovered and unearthed after being wiped from history by immense earthquakes.