It may be commonly held that the season for lovers is Spring, but a trip to Greece in autumn would happily contradict that opinion. This picturesque town is enchanting regardless of the weather. The vibrant hues of the houses glow proudly even under the slate-grey sky of a rainy day and the beguiling cosy taverns are all the more inviting on a less clement Fall evening. A trip to this magical town in Autumn is full of surprises and is guaranteed to leave you with some wonderful, lasting memories.
Arriving in Nafplio, you’ll soon understand why it is widely considered to be Greece’s most romantic destination. This port town is perched next to the azure waters of the sea and sits under the impressive gaze of the Palamidi fortress. Its narrow, labyrinthine streets are draped seductively in thick swathes of bougainvillaea and spotted with the occasional neoclassical mansion. Wandering around the old town reveals hidden squares, where locals linger at a pavement café over a glass of wine and some delicate pastries.
Here are the top things to do in Nafplio in autumn.
1. Visit Nafplio in autumn and have it all to yourself
Naturally, a town as charming as this is very popular, which means it can get pretty busy in the summer. Visiting Greece in autumn means there are much fewer tourists, allowing you to see Nafplio in all its glory. Unlike the Greek islands, the monuments, museums, restaurants and bars here don’t shut down in the winter. It is lively throughout the year, with the bonus of its mild Southern climate making it pleasant long after summer has passed. In autumn, there are always plenty of locals around to mingle with and it’s the best moment to experience some of Nafplio’s authentic charm.
2. Indulge in long, rambling walks
Nafplio is a town for wanderers and autumn weather is ideal for exploring on foot. Leave the car at the free parking area by the port and prepare to discover the nooks and crannies of the old town. Old cobblestone streets weave their way through houses ranging from the elegant to the pretty, their façades painted in myriad colours. Revel in the simple lines of neoclassical architecture and the sophisticated opulence of Venetian houses. There are plenty of quaint cafés and bars on every corner in which to dip into and take a break over a warming cup of Greek coffee.
Fall’s milder days also make it the perfect time to climb up to the Palamidi castle where, once you arrive at the top, your aching feet will be rewarded with sweeping panoramic vistas. Alternatively, take a stroll along the coastal road close to the Akronafplia, the town’s oldest castle. This path winds its way through ancient archaeological treasures and is flanked on one side by the blue waters of the gulf. Passing to the west of the castle, you’ll be blown away by an immense cactus field where, in Autumn, the prickly plants are heaving with their lush fruits.
3. Hit up some museums
While during the summer the idea of passing an afternoon indoors can seem unwelcome compared to the temptation of the beach, visiting a museum is an excellent autumnal activity. Nafplio is replete with fascinating museums recounting the tales of its fabulous history. Not to be missed is the Archaeological Museum, which holds the centuries-old treasures unearthed from the surrounding region, some dating from the Neolithic era. Equally interesting is the Komboloi Museum, which is the only one of its kind and is dedicated to the traditional “worry beads” used by elderly Greeks to help them calm down. If the weather gets unseasonably chilly, head to the Karoni Distillery Museum – run by the country’s oldest ouzo producer – to warm up in the most traditional sense.
4. Discover rare off-season cultural happenings
In the fall months, there are plenty of cultural happenings to get involved in. The annual International Choir Festival takes place in November and features voices from all over the world. Best of all, it’s totally free! For nature lovers, take a day trip to the local favourite seaside village of Nea Kios (about 6 km away from Nafplio). As well as finding amazing taverns serving the freshest fish – such as Taverna Tsakaris, where the speciality is delicately crispy fried whitebait, in Autumn this is a beautiful spot for bird-watching as migratory birds stop off on their way down South.
5. Participate in the harvest
The Argolida Region in Greece’s Peloponnese is renowned for its wine and the area around Nafplio is dotted with lush vineyards. Early autumn is the grape-picking time at a winery, so why not take a trip up into the hills and visit one of Argolida’s legendary vineyards? You’ll be able to witness the harvest firsthand and maybe even join in, as well as tasting some truly delectable wines.
Greece in Autumn promises countless moments of cosiness, peace and wonder as you drift through the picturesque Nafplio’s town centre, roam the surrounding scenery and delve into the city’s rich history by way of its many fascinating museums. Avoid the summer crowds by visiting this gorgeous town in the Fall, when shorter days and vibrant colours only enhance Nafplio’s irresistible charm.
If you are looking for more inspiration, read our article about the best Meditterean destinations in autumn.