I had never been to Nafpaktos before. Although it so close to Athens, I had never even passed by on the way to another destination.
So when I got the change last weekend along with my fellow Travel Bloggers Greece to visit Nafpaktos as a guest of Go Nafpaktia I jumped on this great opportunity and happily discovered not only the town itself, but also Orini Nafpaktia (the highlands of this coastal town) which is bursting with beautiful flora. The overall beauty of this area charms you into returning here again and again.
The road leading to Ano Chora and the rest of the mountain villages of Nafpaktia is full of turns but the more you ascend the more enchanted you feel.
An endless landscape of green, bursting with oak trees, firs, sycamores, chestnuts and overflowing founts of water. A magical place to be.
After an hour of driving we arrived to the hotel “Ta Petrina” and stopped for a cup of coffee before following the trail to the forest.
I must admit that the little time we had there was not enough. How could it be when you enjoy this beautiful view?
Wood and stone combined with the green landscape made me cry out loud “just leave me here, I don’t want to go anywhere else”
Right above the hotel “Ta Petrina” starts the trail leading deep into the forest. Exactly there, right in the middle of an Autumnal scenery was a chestnut festival waiting for us that looked so much like a fairy tale.
Looking around at all this beauty made me think that this is exactly what happens when people of the same background in terms of business, unite their forces and collaborate. They work miracles!
And just like that we found ourselves in the middle of the forest, celebrating along with dozens of other people, dancing in the rhythm of Jazz music, indulging in local tastes, picking chestnuts, horse riding… And there was something so magical in all this experience that even if Hansel & Gretel popped out of the middle of nowhere and danced with us, no one would have been be surprised.
After leaving the festival we tested our resilience by hiking a bit more into the forest. We took a narrow trail, walking carefully on the side of a hill, we then crawled to the ground under the big branches of a fallen tree and finally reached a small waterfall!
After this last adventure we ended up exhausted in the nearby Crystal Mountain Hotel where the tireless small children of the group continued with the new experiences, in some pump track bicycling.
These two hotels -as I found out- plan many activities for the kids throughout the year, something really nice for the families that visit the area.
This was another yet beautiful hotel of the area with nicely decorated spaces. The thing I adored most were the big windows opening up to the mountains and the forest, extinguishing any physical barrier between the visitor and nature and thus giving a sense of taking your coffee out in the wild.
REPRESENTATION OF THE NAVAL COMBAT OF NAFPAKTOS
On Saturday night, down at the bay there would be the representation of the Naval Combat of Nafpatkos (1571). A very impressive event, beautifully orchestrated with the participation of many people of the city. Every year this event brings together many people form all over the country who come to enjoy the celebrations.
I squeezed myself inside the crowd. Mounted the zoom lens on my camera and thanked from the bottom of my heart the technology of Sony for providing the detachable screen which allowed me to lift the camera above all those people, clearly see my subject from below, zoom in and make some great captions of the event.
CASTLE AND OLD TOWN
On Sunday the program included a visit in the Castle and the old town.
The Castle of Nafpaktos is the only one in Europe that still has it’s walls standing from the top of the hill until all the way down to the harbor. Of course there are some broken parts along the ways but only to allow the modern roads to pass through them.
The view from above is marvelous.
The Castle is open from Tuesday to Sunday and on Mondays it is closed.
Opening hours are 8.00-15.00 and the ticket costs 2 euros. The children enter for free.
Contact phone 226340 27240.
And of course, we continued our walk from there, up above the hills, until down to the town alleys.
We arrived to the Old Governors Hall that once hosted the rulers of the City with Markos Botsaris being the very last of them. This is the reason it is now familiar as the House of Markos Botsaris.
… just like that, we ended up at the harbour.
Nafpaktos (both coastal and highland) is an enchanting and inviting place. It wins you from the first moment and you long to visit it again and again. The locals are warm-hearted and cheerful people in the way that only Greeks know how to be.
I want to thank from the bottom of my heart “Go Nafpaktia” for the beautiful hosting, the hotels “Ta Petrina”, “Crystal Mountain Hotel”, “Hotel Nafpaktos” and “Hotel Akti Nafpaktos” (for which there will be a separate post since we had the pleasure to stay there) and finally “Avance Travel” who sponsored our cars for the rides to the mountain.