Overlooking the Gulf of Corinth, Nafpaktos is a historic harbour town that served as an important naval station during the 5th-century-BC Peloponnesian War. It changed rulers many times throughout the Crusades and the Ottoman-Venetian Wars before becoming part of the modern state of Greece in 1829.
Things to do in Nafpaktos
In the heart of Nafpaktos is the Tower of Botsaris, which was built in the 15th century as a residence for Ottoman governors. After the Greek War of Independence, it was purchased by Notis Botsaris, whose statue stands outside the tower today. Inside the tower is an exhibition about the Battle of Lepanto, which took place in the Gulf of Patras in 1571.
Rising atop a hill overlooking the town is the Venetian Castle, which offers magnificent views across the Gulf of Corinth. It has existed since ancient times, with the Locrians, the Romans and the Venetians all using it as their base before the Ottomans arrived in the 15th century. Ringed by imposing walls, the castle’s tumultuous past is detailed through a series of interpretive panels.
Dominating the western rampart of Nafpaktos’s harbour is a statue of Giorgos Anemogiannis, who played a pivotal role in liberating the town from the Turks during the Greek War of Independence. Stretching west is Psani Beach, where you can refresh with a swim in the warmer months or watch the world go by from one of the waterfront restaurants.
Getting around Nafpaktos
Nafpaktos is around 30 minutes’ drive from Patras and an hour from Araxos Airport, which has seasonal flights to destinations across Europe. Ferries travel from Patras to Italy and the Ionian Islands. Regular buses connect from Patras to Nafpaktos and the town is compact enough to explore on foot.