How Many Steps to Palamidi Fortress?
804 steps, reads one blog. 1000, says TripAdvisor. The cafe's sign next to the entrance to Palamidi Fortress’s staircase reads, “999 steps”. Basically, it takes a lot of steps to reach the Palamidi Fortress.
I'm not one for strenuous activity in general but when I know that there's an epic view ahead, I make an exception.
I can’t lie, it’s tough. Being centuries old, the 800-ish steps are not easy. I had to pause around every corner to catch my breath. Sometimes I stopped to take a look around and snap a picture or two but mostly it's that whole breathing thing.
After 40 minutes of huffing and sweating profusely, I arrived at the entrance to the fortress. After seeing a notice on the gate outlining visitor entrance fees, I actually contemplated leaving without going inside.
It's not even particularly expensive, just €8 per person, but I was just three days shy of finishing a two week jaunt in Greece and had indulged in a few too many pricey sunset cocktails on the islands.
Panting and likely dehydrated, my brain started to argue with itself...
“The whole point is the view, right? I've already walked up a large number of steps and seen an incredible view.”
“But you've come this far - how could you not go inside?”
“You need to checkout at 12pm, it's 10am now and you made the grave error of deciding to pack after this hike. Is it worth spending the money when you'll have to come straight back down?”
“If you ever come back to Nafplio, which you fully intend to do, will you walk these steps again?”
It was this final thought that settled the matter in the end. I walked through the gates, paid my €8 and started to explore.
And I'm so glad that I did, because there is so much more than a view waiting at the top of the Palamidi Fortress.
A Little History about Palamidi Fortress
Rather than being a testament to Greek architecture, the fortress was actually built by the Venetians. It turns out constructing an enormous fortress 200 metres on the side of a mountain was a challenge but it only took them a relatively brief three years, with construction finishing up in 1714.
However, the fortress was less than effective. It was captured several times in the following couple of centuries, first by the invading Turks in 1715 and then finally by the Greeks in 1822.
What There is to See at Palamidi Fortress
On your romp around the ruins, you will come across a prison, said to be where leader of the Greek Revolution, Theodoros Kolokotronis, was held on charges of high treason. You’ll also find an ancient bell tower, and a tunnel running the length of one of the bastions.
360 Degree Views
Being a strategically-positioned fortress, it has incredible views of the Argolic Gulf and the quaint urban sprawl of Nafplio into the Greek hills.
All of this for just €8. That's one hell of a bargain.