Admire the well-preserved fortifications of this Venetian fortress and then enjoy spectacular views of the wild beauty of Nafplio’s coastline.
Perched on a hilltop overlooking Nafplio and the Argolic Bay is the architecturally impressive Fortress of Palamidi. Stroll amid the fortress’ solid stone walls to spot well-preserved bastions and monuments. The Venetians constructed the fortress in the early18th century and it was added to by the Ottomans, after they conquered the city in 1715. The fortress takes its name from Palamedes, a Greek mythological hero of the Trojan War.
There are two ways to access the fortress. One is to climb the 800-plus step staircase which leads up a steep hill to the west entrance. As you climb the staircase the views across Nafplio and its surroundings get better with each step. Keep an eye out for the original vaulted staircase, characterized by gaps in the roof that helped provided ventilation. The other option is to drive to the main entrance situated on the east side.
Upon entering the fortress you’ll discover a collection of eight striking bastions, each named after a notable figure from Greek history. One of the most notable is the Bastion of Agios Andreas, accessed via a stone staircase and dominant gate. Check out the Agios Andreas Chapel, which stands at the back of the bastion’s central courtyard. Find the remains of a former prison at the Bastion of Miltiades.
Go to the southern tip of the fortress and climb to the Bastion of Achilles for unbeatable panoramas out to the Argolic Gulf and Nafplio’s Old Town. On a clear day you can see the mountains of Arcadia on the opposite side of the bay. Don’t miss the Bastion of Fokionas, which affords great views over Arvanitia Beach.
From Nafplio’s city center it’s a 10-minute walk to the fortress’ west entrance and a 15-minute drive to the east entrance. There’s a small car park outside the east entrance. From May to November a city sightseeing bus stops at the fortress.
The Fortress of Palamidi is open daily and there is an admission fee. Collect the information brochure at the entrance and follow the self-guided tour. Concerts take place at the fortress in the summer months. Ask at the entrance for details.