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Navplio - the small pearl of Peloponnese

06 May 2009 / 11:05:02  GRReporter
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Athenians are very busy and they live under the everyday stress. Because of this during the weekends they want to run away from the busy city.

One of the places, which they love going to is Navplio. It is a colorful, small and quite city on the sea-shore. Navplio is situated on the east side of Peloponnese, in a small hidden cove. Let me note that Peloponnese is the biggest peninsula in Greece, which is famous and proud of its olive oil production and its developed archeological and cultural tourism. Not many tourists know that many Athenians come from there.

The distance between Athens and Navplio is 147 km and with a car you can get to for about two hours and a half. You need to take the Korinthos highway and after that the road twists and turns to the east, offering you great sights, which please the eye. Nature in this part of the island is representative for the typical Greek landscape – rocky mountains dressed in olive trees.

Actually, from Athens you can get to Navplio with a bus, which leaves every hour from 07:30am until 07:30pm from Kifisos bus station.

What should you expect when you arrive in Navplio? The city is relatively small, with Venetian architecture, right on the sea-shore, as I already mentioned. According to mythology, the ancient Navplio city is named after the son of the Sea God – Poseidon, who founded it during times, which no one can remember. When the Franks conquer it, the city becomes very important. Later on the Venetians give it up to the Turks in 1715. Navplio was freed on December 3rd 1822 and right away it became the capital of the newly created Greek country, which gladly greeted its first Greek Prime Minister Yoannis Kapodistrias.

The old city was built under the Big rock and later on it was expanded with neighborhoods around it, which grew very fast. In order to be able to take a good look of the city you can take a route, which starts from the famous Porta Xira - was built during the same time as the Palamidi castle. If you want to get lost in the small streets, which is nothing to be afraid of because you can see the Palamidi castle from everywhere and it can be your guide, then you can start from the “Big road” – “King Constantine.”

The “Big road” is the first town planned street in Greece. The initiative was srated by Yoannis Kapodistrias, who wanted all roads to be like the ones in Europe. At the beginning of the “Big road,” where right now is a monument of the first Greek king Otton, there was a house, which was called “the little palace” and belonged to the Prime Minister Kopodistrias. Unfortunately, the house burnt in 1929. The street leads to the “Constitution” square, where you can see one of the most important buildings in Navplio – the archeological museum, which was built during the Venetian armory in 1930.

In Navplio you can find the first pharmacy and the building of the first high school, which right now is the city-hall – both buildings were built at the beginning of the 19th century. In 1839, the same neighborhood became the home of the first elite school of the Greek army – the Evelpidi, who used to be the guardians of the president.

According to hotel manager, with whom I spoke, Navplio has many tourists at the beginning of May and during August. But if you have decided to spend more than a day there, then you can take a look at some hotels and rooms in the city. Even if they tell you (not a big possibility) that all rooms are reserved, it is worth it to go and see for yourself.

Ten kilometers away from the city is a little village called Tollo, which has many fish taverns and a great central street with small stores. The most attractive thing in the area is that is combines sea and mountain, it has many coves with rocky beaches and spread islands near to the shore. Few kilometers from Tollo there is an organized camping with a very nice beach.

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