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Nafplio is one of Greece’s prettiest and most romantic towns. It occupies a knockout waterside location beneath the towering Palamidi fortress, and is graced with attractive narrow streets, elegant Venetian houses, neoclassical mansions and interesting museums. It’s also chock-full of tavernas, posh boutiques and comfortable hotels and guesthouses. Because it’s a popular destination for locals from Athens, it fills up on weekends and gets overcrowded in high season.
Nafplio was the first capital of Greece after Independence (between 1833 and 1834) and has been a major port since the Bronze Age. So strategic was its position on the Argolic Gulf that it had three fortresses: the massive principal fortress of Palamidi, the smaller Akronafplia, and the diminutive Bourtzi on an islet west of the old town.
The town, though quite touristy, is still a charming and ideal base from which to explore many nearby ancient sites.