Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th February 2018
Our campsite for two nights: Nafplio
The first capital of Greece, Nafplio, gave us two wonderful days of walks and treasures to explore in this city.
This waterfront campsite gave us a front row seat view across to Bourtzi Island Fortress which was built in 1473 and became the residence of the executioners who carried out the death sentences in Palamidi prison. It was converted to a hotel in 1935 with the only access being by boat.
The campsite is one of mixed parking where locals fill the car park over two periods each day. Firstly for around three hours during lunchtime and then again around 7pm to -10pm for dinner – after that mostly only motorhomes and trucks stay during the night.
Saturday is market day so we found our way to the markets and watched locals buying up big on fresh fruit and vegetables as well as a variety of fish and shellfish from the open air stalls – some were not packed in ice!. Australian OH&S Officers would have a field day here. Stall after stall of assorted clothing and nick nacks were on offer and eager customers rummaging through them for a bargain.
Walked through the really interesting Old Town where the entire floor area of the town square was marble. The terraced houses were just beautiful- fully restored and painted in pastel shades with balconies featuring coloured painted wrought iron railings and finishing off the picture with colourful potted plants.
There are so many magic walks that lead around the waterfront headland. Our 3km walk took us along the steep cliffs of Acronafplia and past the walls of Palamidi Prison, through to Arvanitia Beach.
We spent some time speaking to a German motorhomer who gave us a wealth of information about the area and things to explore. We had planned to spend our second night in the area at Karathona Beach but he told us the police were booking over nighters here at €150 a piece for camping there – he got booked two days before.
Left Sunday morning to go sightseeing. First stop was Palamidi Fortress (from the Nafpoli side there were 1000 steps to get there) but by car and on the way to Karathona Beach, there is a turnoff which takes you to the front gate.
This Fortress is huge and even though we didn’t do the 1000 steps to get here, I am sure we did about 250 steps around the site. The views were panoramic across the town below and way out to the sea and mountains. Worth every minute spent here and should be put on “your must do list”.
From there we went to the famous Karathona Beach (for lunch only). Very dead at this time of year with none of the tavernas open but in the summer time would be huge. A beautiful beach but littered with garbage everywhere – very sad but pretty much the scenario all over many of the countries we have seen. Saw the “no camping signs” and wondered why others chose to ignore it – cost them a pretty penny.
Came back to our campsite where a well deserved rest was needed before sampling some more great food at one of the waterfront tavernas.
Monday 5th February
Our first stop was at the Ancient Archaeological theatre in Epidavros.
This theatre was erected at the end of the 4th century BC (not AD) – how old does that make it and how were these structures built with the limited equipment they had in those days.
It is estimated the theatre could accommodate 12,000 spectators.
Theatrical plays are still performed here during summer Epidavros festivals.
The theatre was excavated in 1881 and further restoration work was carried out between 1954-1963.
There are large parking areas at the site but overnight parking is not permitted.
Our campsite for tonight: Porto Heli (PortoCheli).
Not in any of our apps but recommended by our German motorhome friend from Nafplio.
Travelled through some magnificent scenic mountain roads to the southern tip of this part of Greece. Like so many places in Greece, the towns and villages are spelt differently on maps and APPS making it a nightmare to navigate using street addresses.
The village is set on a magnificent harbour front with expensive yachts and motor cruisers everywhere – many flying British flags. Expect this is a place where wealthy Brits moor their boats and probably own some real estate here as well.
The harbourfront has free parking areas and there are no signs indicating otherwise. Found the best spot of course and settled in for another peaceful quiet night.