Navplion, Greece

After four ports in Italy, in four days, it was time for a change of Scenery with the first port in Greece, Navplion. Navplion is a small seaport town near the North end of the Argolic Gulf. Again I had chosen to take a tour here and it was well worth it to get a little outside the city and see some of the older archaeological sites of the city.

It turned out a good thing that I had opted for the tour, as once you get into town you really can see the important stuff in a couple of hours, so even with the tour I was able to get in and see the city before having a nice, little bit late lunch and returning to the ship.

The area around Navplion, consists mostly of a large valley surrounded by mountains. The surrounding mountains make for some very dramatic scenery. Having the mountains also made for a great place to build castles to watch over the valley. The ruins of a Mycenaean castle which we visited first had one of the great views over the valley.

View across the valley from the Mycenaean Ruins

The second stop after the Mycenaean Ruins was at another site associated with the first and was the Treasury of Atreus. This is a beehive type burial site with a rather grand entrance, however the really interesting thing is inside it is a rather cavernous beehive shape (which is of course where it gets its name from).

Inside the Treasury of Atreus

The final stop on the tour was much closer to Navplion, in fact it was literally right above the town. This was Palamidi Castle, which sits on a 216m high hill to the east of the town. I did not take too long to look around here for two reasons, the first was the number of people, it seemed to be the final stop for most of the tours. But also I wanted to get down into town and see some of the city as well.

A view over the town of Navplion from Palamidi Castle

While I could have looked around more and waited for the bus back to the port, there was another option available in the way of taking the stairs down all the way down to Navplion. In fact there are 857 steps you can take in either direction from the castle to the town.

Just a few of the stairs from Palamidi Castle

The stairs actually go by fairly quickly on the way down and it was barely even 10 minutes before I reached the bottom. This was with stopping to take pictures along the way. However the best view of the castle comes when you make it to the bottom.

Looking back up at Palamidi Castle

Back in Navplion I spent a good hour just wandering through the streets, and really it turns out that the town is really not as big as I thought it might have been, at least not this central area of the town. Walking around here did not really have quite the same feel as other cities I had visited in Europe so far. Some area’s of town really did show some signs of dilapidation (potentially a result of the financial troubles in Greece) however there were also some really nice areas as well.

A shop in Navplion

Finally after the tour and with all the walking I decided I would stop for lunch. The area along the waterfront is one place that does not show any signs of financial trouble, with quite a large number of cafes and restaurants. Some of the menu’s were only available in Greek, however I managed to find quite a lot in English as well. So the problem was choosing where to eat. In the end I choose one and got a really good burger.

Although I enjoyed my time in Navplion, I think that I will be waiting to return to Greece, when they recover from their financial troubles. Really because there are a number of other places I would like to visit, that are at the moment maybe not so safe.