Routes in the city

dnp011bUpon arrival in Nafpaktos you can enjoy a coffee or drink at one of the charming cafés that are around the port square. The shade provided by two giant plane trees can cool you off while you enjoy the view of the small scenic Venetian port.
On the western arm of the port are two statues of heroes that serve as reminders of nautical events from the long history of this small town. The first is of the famous Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes (1547 – 1616) who took part in Nafpaktos’ (Lepanto) Naval Battle in 1571 at the age of 23 and lost his arm. The second, higher up in the ramparts of the port, there is the statue of Georgios Anemoyiannis (1796 – 1821) from Paxoi, who took part in a nautical attack against the Turkish ruler in May of 1821 and attempted to set a Turkish corvette on fire but that cost him his life.

Walking in the castle


Going north of the Port square you will find yourself in front of a building with impressive form, which causes the attention and interest of everyone who sees it for the first time. It is the Botsari Tower. This building was constructed in two phases within the 15th and 16th centuries. It was many times used to accommodate the city’s governor. Immediately after the city’s liberation in 1829 the building came into the Soulioti general Notis Botsaris’ ownership. Today the tower belongs to “Dimitrios and Egli Botsari Foundation” and hosts a year round exhibition of replica paintings, maps, and sketches related to Lepanto Naval Battle (1571).
Passing under the arch formed in Botsari Tower you come across “Sideroporta” a unique communication gate between the fortified district of the city and the harbour district. To the left there is a Turkish faucet built into the wall. Across the faucet, a protective wall rises supported on the main walls protecting the gate and at the same time hiding it from the side of the sea. The decoration of the gate as well as a part of the wooden double door that still exists today is very interesting.
If you continue your tour you will find yourself in the Mosque district with its small stone houses where the Soulioti militants who contributed to the liberation of the city settled after the emancipation. On the rampart of the castle’s second level the town clock was built in 1914. Further up from the clock on Souliou Street is the Tzavella family mansion. It is one of the few surviving old homes within the fort. It has two floors and rich interior design. Lately it has been fully renovated and houses the 22nd Ancient Byzantine Tax Office. At Yiannis Vlachoyiannis Square, the esplanade of the old mosque district, with the great plane tree and the stone fountain, you can see the remains of the Turkish mosque and a Turkish baths complex in relatively good condition. Continuing uphill you can either reach the higher levels of the castle or enjoy the beautiful view of the city, the Corinthian gulf and the mountains of Peloponissos from the cafés located at the end of the residential zone.

Walking in the city


Continue to the port there is Stenopazaro, the old town market where formerly traditional tavernas flourished. At the end of Stenopazaro is Agios Dimitrios church and within a short distance the City Hall. Across the City Hall it is the manor of the author Georgios Athanasiadis-Nova with its impressive gardens.
Within a short distance from the City Hall there is Papacharalambos Public Library and the County Court of Nafpaktos. The library is housed in a neoclassical building that was built in 1955 by the benefactor of the city Dimitrios Papacharalambos. It is one of the most organized public libraries of the country with over 50.000 book titles and 2 mobile libraries that visit and lend out books to schools and villages of Aetolia-Acarnania and Dorida in Fokida. It has a rich collection of editions of local interest and part of Yiannis Vlachoyiannis collection. It is a lending library and is open Monday to Saturday from 08:00 – 14:30 and Wednesday’s afternoons apart for summer months.
At Dimos Farmakis square in the city centre you will find traditional cafés and restaurants. Next to the square is a reputable private museum, the “Farmakis – 1821’s Artefacts Museum” with valuable exhibits of the liberation struggle of the Farmakis family.
Further up, during an excavation in Ovraiolaka district the ruins of a great old Christian royal church were found. The great dimensions of the monument led the archaeologists to believe that it was the church of the Theotokos (greek:Mother of God) which Ioannis Apokafkos, bishop of Nafpaktos mentions in his literary work (1204-1232). If this is valid, then according to the findings, the church was built in the 5th century, five-aisled with transverse possibly shut and was probably destroyed in an earthquake.
East and west of the city are 2 beaches where you can swim. The beautiful beach in the district of Psani is 1 kilometer long with great plane trees and luxurious stores. This beautiful beach has been many times awarded with blue flags by the E.U. During the summer months it is literally flooded by vacationers who enjoy the beach and water by day and a cool walk on the beachside road by night. At Gribovo beach one can enjoy the shade and dew of the perennial plane trees but also can find modern hotels, cafés and restaurants that attract thousands of tourists mainly in the summer months.
On the small hill that is across from the Kefavryso square there is a small opening where there are illegible ancient Greek plaques. This is the point where it is believed that Asklipios’ altar was abandoned since the ancient times when Pafsanias passed through Nafpaktos. Further east, at the top of the pine filled hill is the beautiful church of Saint George.
In Dendro district there is the Gorgopikoou Monastery, founded in 1951 by Archimandrite Arsenius Koumpougia. This is a real den with important social and religious work. Currently 12 nuns are serving the monastery. (T: 2634027688).