What to Do in Nafpaktos, Greece
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Nafpaktos is a picturesque coastal town in southwestern Greece. It is only 200 kilometers from Athens, which means that it is a popular and convenient choice as an escape for both locals and tourists alike. This village is known for its gorgeous coastal scenery, and there is plenty here to do to make it a nice escape. Here are some things you an do while here.
Atop a hill, the castle of Nafpaktos affords a beautiful view of the town and the harbor below. It is one of the most impressive and well-preserved fortifications in Greece. The castle served as protection for the city, and during enemy attacks, Nafpaktos’ citizens could retreat into its walls for security.
There are five defensive unique defensive walls, with two of its ramparts extending downward to the sea. Construction was begun in ancient times, and it was added on to through the Venetian conquest and completed by the Turks. The first owners of the castle were the Ozolian Locrians. Around 455 B.C. the Athenians made it their main naval station in western Greece during the Peloponnesian war.
The Romans took possession of the castle in 191 B.C. During the Middle Ages the Venetians occupied the castle until the 15th century when the Turks defeated the Venetians. In 1571, Spanish, Habsburg and Venetian forces defeated the Turks in the sea battle of Lepanto. After the Revolutionary War for independence, the town of Nafpaktos and the castle became part of Greece.
Statue of Cervantes
A statue of the great Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright Miguel Cervantes stands in a park near the city port. On October 7, 1571 the battle of Lepanto took place where the Venetian Republic and the Spanish Empire defeated the Turks. 23-year-old Spanish infantryman Miguel Cervantes took part in the battle and was severely wounded, suffering gunshot wounds to the chest and left hand. Engraved on the statue are the words: “Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547-1616), a Spanish soldier, a genius of letters, honor of humanity, wounded heroically at the naval battle of Nafpaktos”.
The Botsaris Tower is a 15th century house in the old town which now houses a museum dedicated to the history of Nafpaktos. The ground floor includes a permanent exhibition about the battle of Lepanto which took place on October 7, 1571. Other exhibits in the museum include paintings and textiles representing Nafpaktos history and displays on western churches and portraits of western rulers from medieval times.
Statue of Anemogiannis
The statue of Anemogiannis holding a torch stands on the western rampart near the Nafpaktos port. Anemogiannis took part in the liberation of Greece from the Turks during the Greek war of Independence. In May 1821 he was killed in a failed attempt to burn the Turkish fleet which was anchored in the port of Nafpaktos. Anemogiannis is considered a national hero for his courage in sacrificing his life for the freedom of Greece.
Whether you enjoy a picturesque town, beautiful scenery, or historical landmarks, Nafpaktos has something for you. You can enjoy it all in this year-round destination. Be sure to also reserve some time to spend at the beach while here!
This post was written by Greek Boston