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The charming coastal town of Nafpaktos is situated on the north shore of the Corinthian Gulf, in Western Greece. Although it is one of the most picturesque places in the mainland, it is not so widely known to foreign tourists. A Venetian fortress surrounds its picturesque port and city center and ends by the sea right at Nafpaktos Old Port. On one side of the port there is an old lighthouse, while on the other a large fortification with two statues. One of them depicts the Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes who wrote Don Quixote. He was wounded in a battle that took place just off the coast of Nafpaktos between the Holy League, led by Venice and Spain and the Ottoman navy on October 7, 1571. In the famous battle of Lepanto, the Ottomans were defeated, and the battle marked the end of the Ottoman expansion into Western Europe and the Mediterranean. Nowadays, the town of Nafpaktos celebrates the battle every year at the beginning of October. If you visit the town that period, you can see the reenactment of the battle and can witness fireworks and displays.

Whether you are visiting Nafpaktos for a weekend or a few hours, there is plenty to see and do. You can start by visiting the Venetian Castle, one the largest and best-preserved castles in Greece. The castle dates back to the 5th century BC and occupies the uppermost part of the fortifications, on top of the hill, overlooking the town with the Venetian Harbor, and the famous Rio-Antirrio bridge. It iis a fascinating place to walk around and it will take around 3 to 4 hours to explore it. As you take the road from the castle towards the harbor, you will pass through the cobbled streets of the old town. The narrow streets are lined with beautiful houses with yards decorated with colorful flowers. On the way you can visit the tower clock and the Botsaris tower, an impressive 15th century house that now hosts the city museum, that displays paintings, sketches, and maps related to the Battle of Lepanto.

However, the landmark of Nafpaktos is its port area. Shaped as a horseshoe, with fortified towers facing one another, is probably the most picturesque part of the town. Around the port there are some of Nafpaktos’ best bars and tavernas where you can sit down and enjoy the chilled atmosphere. The little port is the perfect meeting point and the place you will fall in love with it from the first moment you see it.  

Nafpaktos is also a great place to be during the summer. The city hosts two lovely pebbled beaches on both sides of the port. Grobovo beach on the east, is relatively narrow and Psani beach on the west is bigger and therefore less crowded, but both are well-organized and awarded a blue flag. You can also choose between other beaches close to the city like Monastiraki to the east and Platanaki to the west. From Nafpaktos, you can visit Orini Nafpaktia, a surprisingly beautiful destination, in less than an hour. Orini Nafpaktia is a mountainous area with picturesque villages, small streams along with stone-built water fountains and dense forests. Nafpaktos is a hidden gem of Western Greece. So picturesque with an interesting historical background and natural beauty that combines the sea with the mountain, making it an all-year-round destination.

Due to its proximity to Athens (217 km), Nafpaktos is an ideal destination for a short break. To get there you would first drive to Patras and then cross the Rio-Antirrio Bridge. Once on the other side, follow the coast road to the right and in less than 15 minutes you will reach the town. If you are fan of road trips, you can take a route of Athens-Livadia-Arachova-Delphi-Itea-Galaxidi-Nafpaktos. For those who do not drive there are alternative ways to get to Nafpaktos. You can travel there by bus from Patras or from Kifissos station in Athens. The journey from Athens takes around three hours and there are a couple of buses that depart daily. Nafpaktos hosts a plethora of hotels for every taste and budget as well as plenty of restaurants, tavernas and bars. It is a romantic town to visit. A town where the past meets the present creating one of the most idyllic corners of Greece.