Greece’s 1st Capital Nafplio World’s Fourth Most Welcoming City

ATHENS – A favorite of Greeks and tourists alike – even while underpromoted – Greece’s first capital, Nafplio, known for its charm and cobblestone streets along the sea in the Peloponnese, was named the world’s 4th Most Charming City by the travel site Booking.com.

The small city of nearly 34,000 is on the Argolic Gulf and features a towering Venetian Castle that requires 999 stairs to reach but is a special lure to the historic venue.

It’s also where Ioannis Kapodistrias, Governor of the newly-formed Greek state and one of the most gifted statesmen of the age, was assassinated outside a church on  Oct. 9, 1831 after he ordered the imprisonment of

Petrobey Mavromichalis, who had been the leader of the successful uprising against the Turks afer the city became the government seat.

It’s known as a romantic getaway spot with access to beaches, history and only 24 kilometers (15 miles) from the ruins of ancient Mycenae that is a major attraction as well.

“A relatively unknown gem, Nafplio is a great choice for those looking to avoid the throngs of foreign tourists during the summer months, and offers plenty of stunning architecture and historical sites to explore. A hike to the Palamidi castle will provide visitors with jaw-dropping views of the city’s harbour,” Booking said.

Matera, Italy was ranked first, followed by Bled, Slovenia and then Taitung City, Taiwan. Fifth was Toledo, Spain, then Monte Verde, Brazil, and Bruges, Belgium. Eight was Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia, followed by Ponta Delgada in the Azores in Portual and then Hoi An, Vietnam.

“Nafplio has it all – charming restaurants and boutique hotels, stunning 19th-century architecture in the old town, and the medieval fortress of Palamidi towering high above the picturesque harbor. Best of all, it’s a friendly place offering relaxed low-key tourism on a human scale, far from the country’s more crowded hotspots,” also said Kathimerini.


ATHENS - Just in time for the approaching summer season of tourists already pouring in as the COVID-19 pandemic gradually abates is the good news that Greece’s beaches ranked second in the world for quality.

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