Become an amateur archaeologist in this multilayered seaside city, which features Turkish mosques, Venetian palaces, Greek acropolises and Mycenaean ruins.
Due to a long history of passing from one ruling civilization to another, Nafplio is a city of beautiful and diverse ruins. Walk among the remains of a Mycenaean acropolis, take a boat to a tiny, island-bound Venetian Castle of Bourtzi and learn the regional history in local museums.
Nafplio rests in the shadow of a rocky peninsula and a hill south of town rising 709 feet (216 meters). Explore both to see the remains of palaces from two different civilizations. Climb up the 999 steps to the top of the hill to explore the Fortress of Palamidi, built by Venetians in the 1700s. Head down the hill and out onto the peninsula, where you will find the ruins of a grand Greek acropolis called the Acronafplia.
From the peninsula, you will have a clear view of the Castle of Bourtzi, which stands on a small island to the north. Take a boat to the island to explore the castle.
Additional ruins can be found a few miles north of town, where the Mycenaean metropolis of Ancient Tiryns once stood. Tour the well-preserved ruins of the Acropolis, which was built around 1600 B.C.
Many of the artifacts found at the Tiryns dig site can be viewed in the Nafplio Archaeological Museum, which stands within a stately 1713 Venetian building. Learn about the development of the Argolis area from prehistoric times through Late Antiquity. Find more artifacts at the Komboloi Museum, which exhibits a collection of noisemaking bead bracelets popular in Greek culture.
To enjoy some time relaxing, drive 5.6 miles (9 kilometers) south to Tolo Beach. Since it is surrounded by resort hotels, the large beach can be crowded, so visit early in the day.
Arrive in Greece through the international airport in Athens, and then drive 104 miles (170 kilometers) southwest to reach Nafplio. The city center is compact, so you can generally get around on foot. However, with so many archaeological sites scattered around the area, you may want to rent a car to explore.