Nafpaktos is a city that oozes atmosphere and charm all year round, but it truly comes alive during the festive Christmas season. The streets are adorned with bright garlands, the balconies and shops are decked out in their finest holiday decorations, and even the Venetian harbour is transformed by sparkling lights that stretch from end to end, creating a wonderful sight. Whether you’re strolling through the picturesque streets or soaking up the jolly atmosphere at the harbour, this is a destination that should not be missed during the holiday season.


If you’re still trying to figure out what to do for New Year’s, consider a trip to Nafpaktos. Located just 2.5 hours away from Athens by car, Nafpaktos is a quaint town nestled between the mountains and the sea. While you can take the Athens-Patras route to get there, you may want to consider making a longer but more scenic journey via the Athens-Lamia road.

Along the way, you can stop for a coffee break in Arachova, visit the ancient site of Delphi, and pass through the town of Itea before reaching Nafpaktos. Whether you choose the shorter or longer route, your destination is well worth the trip for a memorable New Year’s celebration.

What to See

If you’re planning a visit to Nafpaktos, you’ll want to make sure you spend some time exploring the stunning Venetian harbour that lies at the heart of the city. As you walk along the lamp-lit walls, with the waves lapping at your feet and the old mansions looming above, you’ll be mesmerized by the magic of this delightful town. But the magic doesn’t stop there! Stroll through the cobbled alley of Stenopazaro, where you’ll find a plethora of shops, cafes, and bars housed on the ground floors of traditional old houses, all bathed in the warm glow of twinkling lights. And for a bird’s-eye view of the sparkling decorations, head up to Roloi, located on the uphill side of Nafpaktos. Not only is this a great spot to take in the sunset, but it’s also the perfect place to get a panoramic view of the entire town.

After starting your day with a reviving coffee at the harbour, you’ll be ready to set out and explore all that Nafpaktos and its surrounding area have to offer. One highlight of your trip is sure to be the castle, which sits atop a hill surrounded by dense pine forests. From the top, you’ll have a spectacular vista that stretches out to the coast of Achaia and the Rio bridge. To get to the castle, follow a winding path that leads past the small gate and the chapel of Profitis Ilias, which was built on a Byzantine basilica and features early Christian mosaics in its courtyard. If you’re feeling up to the challenge, continue on to the cisterns, which were used to collect water in case of a siege.

The castle of Nafpaktos is a true architectural masterpiece, with a history that spans centuries. Built during three distinct periods – in antiquity, the Venetian era and the Turkish occupation – the castle is a testament to the enduring strength and resilience of the town’s inhabitants. Despite the passage of time, it remains one of the best-preserved examples of fortress architecture in all of Greece. Whether you’re interested in history or architecture, or simply want to take in the lovely views from the castle’s vantage point, it’s a must-see destination for anyone visiting Nafpaktos.

Where to Eat in Nafpaktos

After a day of exploring Nafpaktos and its surroundings, you’ll probably be ready for a tasty snack to refuel. If you’re in the mood for something light, head to Stenopazaro and stop in at “Ev-inos” for a glass of tsipouro and juicy fried meats (2634028266). If you’re feeling a bit hungrier, try the stuffed karvelaki with cheese, meat, and sauce at “Apiko,” ((2634306927) located just next door.

For a heartier meal, make your way down to Psani beach and visit “Ahinos Seafood Restaurant,” where you’ll find a wide range of dishes including octopus, squid, prawns, steamed mussels, and the catch of the day, fried or grilled to perfection (6955099369). If you don’t want to miss out on the stunning views of the harbour as you eat, be sure to check out “Kouzina Loi,” which is housed in a beautiful old mansion and offers some of the best food plus views in town (2634038411).

As the evening approaches, make your way back to the harbour where you’ll find a host of bars to choose from. On the right side of the harbour, you’ll find the atmospheric “Centro Porto” and the more youth-centred “A.M.” both offering a range of drinks and music. If you’re in the mood for something sweet, head over to the pastry shop “Nafpaktion” on Georg. Nova & Botsareon street, or try the delicious ice cream at “Andrea Gelato” in Stenopazaro. No matter what your tastes are, there’s something for everyone in Nafpaktos when it comes to finding the perfect spot for an evening drink.

play button

Visiting the Surrounding Areas

If you’re up for an adventure, it’s worth venturing outside of Nafpaktos to explore the mountainous side of the region. A must-see destination is Ano Chora, a charming village nestled among the fir trees at an altitude of 1,060 meters. The journey to Ano Chora is an experience in itself, as you’ll be surrounded by a stunning display of cedars, chestnuts, oaks, and fir trees at every turn. The drive takes about an hour, and along the way, you’ll want to make a stop at the scenic Reresi bridge, which spans the Morno River. Whether you’re looking to take in the wonderful views or just relax in the peaceful surroundings, Ano Chora is a destination that should not be missed.

If you’re planning a trip to Ano Chora, you’re in for a treat. Located in the heart of the mountains, this charming village is filled with the refreshing scent of fir trees and boasts a host of activities to enjoy.
As you wander through the steep, cobbled streets lined with stone houses, stop at one of the tavernas for a delicious meal of grilled ribs. Some recommendations include “Patouchas” (2634041392) and “Platani” (2634041002).

For a change of pace, take a leisurely walk to the old watermill or the chapel of Agios Georgios. And if the weather is nice, don’t miss the chance to hike to the Tsoirna waterfall, where you can take in the beauty of the tall fir trees along the way.

If you have time, be sure to also visit the charming little village of Elatos, just a 20-minute walk from Ano Chora.

Where to Stay

If you’re planning a trip to Nafpaktos and looking for the perfect place to stay, there are a few hotels that stand out for their style, comfort, and amenities. The Nafs Hotel , located on Psani beach, offers rooms with breathtaking views of either the Corinthian Gulf or the town, and is known for its discreet luxury.

Alternatively, you might consider the Battaglia di Lepanto, a boutique hotel housed in a renovated stone building that features sophisticated decor and a distinctive cafe.

For a more romantic and sophisticated experience, the Amarillys Hotel is a great choice. Housed in a neoclassical old mansion, this hotel boasts stunning views of the Venetian harbour and offers rooms with romantic touches and a refined ambience.

Read also:

Road trip to the Fokida region’s south: Mythical Delphi, superb beaches, classy Galaxidi

The best restaurants in Arachova, Greece

A water paradise in Greece created by a disaster