‘Most romantic’ European seaside city with Venetian streets and golden sandy beaches


A CITY on a Greek island has been compared to Venice, only without the crowds of holidaymakers.

The Italian city is hugely popular among holidaymakers, with millions visiting every single year, which sometimes puts people off going.


In Greek mythology, the coastal city was founded by the Greek god Nafplios, who was the son of PoseidonCredit: Alamy
The Palamidi Fortress is one of the city's main attractions


The Palamidi Fortress is one of the city’s main attractionsCredit: Getty – Contributor

However, there are alternatives to the Italian city, including a coastal city in Greece.

Located in the eastern Peloponnese, in the Argolic Gulf, Nafplio has been described as one of the “most romantic cities all over Greece” by local travel website Visit Greece.

According to Greek mythology, the coastal city was founded by the Greek god Nafplios, who was the son of the god Poseidon.

When Greece became a country in 1830, Nafplio was named the first capital of Greece until 1834.

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Before becoming part of modern-day Greece, several groups of conquerors left their mark on the city, including the Venetians, who built fortresses and other impressive buildings.

One of those is the Palamidi Fortress, a steep rock that was transformed into a medieval castle by the Venetians.

To visit the castle, holidaymakers will need to climb 857 steps to reach the top.

A historical chapel called Agios Andres also stands next to the Palamidi Fortress.

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Entry tickets into the medieval fortress cost €8 for a full-paying adult, with opening times detailed at the entrance of the castle.

Another Venetian infrastructure is the Bourtzi Castle – a small castle located in the harbour just outside of Nafplio.

Built on the St. Theodoroi islet, the tiny castle has been used as a prison and even a luxury hotel and restaurant,

Because of its coastal location, the city also has several sandy beaches, including Arvanitia Beach, which is located behind the centre of Nafplio.

Arvanitia Beach is a small sandy beach where holidaymakers can rent sunloungers and parasols.

Other nearby beaches include Karathona Beach, Neraki Beach, and Tolo Psili Ammos Beach, which is one of the main beaches in the region.

Not only is the beach home to stretches of sand but there are other draws too.

The beach is located next to several deserted islands too, which can be reached on a ferry.

There are also water sports facilities as well as bars and taverns where beachgoers can order drinks.

Kalamata International Airport is the closest airport to Nafplio.

EasyJet operates direct flights from London Gatwick to Kalamata International Airport, with fares starting from £30 for a one-way ticket in April.

From Kalamata International Airport, it’s a 90-minute drive to Nafplio.

But Nafplio isn’t the only lesser-known destination in Greece that’s flown under the radar in recent years.

The overlooked island of Patmos attracts famous faces like Julia Roberts, David Bowie, Richard Gere, and Tom Hanks, but is yet to become popular with British tourists.

Not only does it see temperatures reach 22C in the winter, but it’s also home to colourful beaches.

Whitewashed houses line the coast in Patmos, and the town of Chora is home to tiny restaurants serving local Greek seafood.

The port town Skala has more shops and bars, where the cheapest drink is the local Mythos beer or island-grown wine.

Meanwhile, the island of Naxos is cheaper the many of the other islands – with more goats than locals.

Don’t want to leave the UK? We’ve found some beautiful British islands that are home to sandy beaches, clear seas, and dolphins.

Kalamata International Airport is the closest airport to the Greek city


Kalamata International Airport is the closest airport to the Greek cityCredit: Alamy

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