Sleeping and Dining in Nafplio, Greece

Nafplio is a quaint tourist town within easy reach of Athens making it a weekend destination for many Athenians. Much bigger than any of the previous towns we visited, Delphi, Olympia, Kardamyli or Monemvasia, there are many more restaurants and shopping opportunities to choose from.

Lunch at Karamalis

Arriving in town at lunch time we stopped for lunch at Karamalis, an eatery right off the parking lot as you enter town and convenient for a quick stop before heading to the hotel.

The fresh hot fried anchovies were a real treat. We don’t order them often but it’s nice to have them hot and crispy when we do. We also ordered the wild greens and dolmodes which were served in a lemon cream sauce with fries.

Dinner at Aiolos Taverna

The restaurant terrace was nearly full of mostly Greek patrons when we arrived just after 9PM on a Wednesday. In fact we heard very few if any other foreign tourists. The menu has more interesting fare that most of other restaurants we have eaten at recently.

Hungry, we started with the large black beans with garlic – nice bean flavor and beautiful to look at but otherwise just beans.  The eggplant cooked in tomato and olive oil was as luscious as it’s supposed to be.

For mains we ordered the oven baked lamb cooked and served in a paper wrapping – succulent meat accompanied by a spicy mustard and crispy potatoes – and a large squid stuffed with tomato and cheese – stuffed after it was cooked as the cheese and tomato were still cold. An interesting but not the most flavorful dish. We order the retsina wine with dinner. You have to do it at least once while you are in Greece. Although I’m not a huge fan of the pine resin flavor, it does go well with food.

To end the evening they gave us complimentary desert – two small pieces of Greek cake and sliced apples sprinkled with cinnamon along with a small bottle of a very smooth grappa.

Although I was somewhat disappointed in some of the dishes it was a fun to dine among the Greeks and a bargain at 35 Euros.

Lunch at Palia Taverna  

We just happened by this establishment with a pleasant patio near Syntagma Square. We ordered our usual 3 items to share. This time cabbage salad – simple shredded cabbage and carrots dressed with olive oil – fried calamari and stuffed tomato and pepper – both stuffed with the minty rice mixture we like. All washed down with large cold draft beer. Like so many places, the food was good and the service friendly.  Prices may be a tad higher than some others as it is close to the square.

Dinner at Savouras

Our last night in Nafplio we hit the row of fish restaurants on Bouboulinas street along the harbor front. I was particularly taken by the welcoming owner who led us into his restaurant to show us his drawers of iced, very fresh fish including some beautiful red mullet. How could we say no?

There were not too many people on the pleasant street side terrace, maybe it was too brightly lit for some, but I found it charming. To accompany the red mullet we ordered the tomato and cucumber salad with green pepper and onions and the tzatziki – a dish I love and make fairly often. This was the first time we had ordered it in Greece and it did not disappoint with just the right balance of lemon, garlic and herbs in a blend of yogurt and cucumber. Maybe it’s the setting, maybe it’s the sea air or my general good mood, but the fresh vegies just taste better in Greece.

Don went in to chat up the waiter and choose our fish. He did a great job and chose a beautiful selection of sweet mullet that the waiter suggested we have fried like the Greeks do.

Served piping hot they were super fresh and sweet, easily one of the best dishes of the trip. After devouring the plate of delectable little fish they gave us complementary panna cotta, one with chocolate sauce and another with crème caramel along with a shot of grappa.

Gelato at Antica Gelateria di Roma

This colorful gelatria on the edge of the old town near the Friends of the Greeks Square is a heavily touted Rick Steves pick. Frankly we were disappointed in the quality of the gelato, but enjoyed the atmosphere.

Pension Marianna

Another great and room with a harbor and sea view. I could get very spoiled. If you don’t mind walking up hill to get home this hotel has a great location at the top of the old town.

The rooms are immaculate with small Euro bathrooms and good water pressure, athough the water tends to go cold at odd moments. There is no safe and wifi is spotty in the rooms. However, amenities include a fridge and a hair dryer.

A good quality buffet breakfast is served on lovely shaded terrace overlooking the town and sea – all the usual items, including fresh squeezed orange juice, orange pie (really cake) and fantastic marmalade. I detect an orange theme. It must be from all the groves we passed getting here. Coffee is good and plentiful in a large self-serve urn.

The owners are very friendly and as helpful as you would imagine they would be at a Rick Steves pick. They gave us great restaurant recommendations.

Drive to the airport. We took the expressway into the Athens airport. Leaving at 8:30AM we arrived at the main terminal in just about 2 hours on a Friday morning with very little traffic and after stopping for gas. Everything went as planned at the airport for our flight to Mykonos.

More Photos from Around Town:

May 25-27, 2016

For links to all the posts in this series see the Greece page.