Nafpaktia is the perfect choice for someone who wants to combine sea, mountain, good food and plenty of history. This beautiful Kastropolis (castle city) is situated just 8 Kms away from the Rion-Antirrion Bridge and 216 Kms from Athens. Its nobility and traditional architecture charms you deeply. The view from the extraordinary Fortress is so magnificent that you’ll be thrilled. Our seas have crystal clear waters and organized beaches. No matter what time of the year you may choose to visit Nafpaktos, it will fascinate you with its beauty. It can also be used as your base and starting point for excursions to many historical places, which are close by, such as Delphi, Olympia, Mesolonghi.
Nafpaktos is related to the “Descent of the Dorians” who constructed here their ships in order to traverse to the Peloponnese. The name “Nafpaktos” comes from the ancient Greek “nafs” (ship) and “pignimi” (to build). A big part of the old city is surrounded by the two main walls of the fortress, which begin from the top of the hill and reach the sea, where they form the famous Venetian harbor in the shape of a horseshoe with two small towers on each side. Four different walls, in between, divide the hill (from the top to the sea) to five tiers. Very close to the harbor, we find the Botsaris tower. This building is dated to the 5th century and today it is used as a museum with exhibits from Nafpaktos’ naval battle.
The Rion-Antirrion Bridge was completed in 2004 and joins the Peloponnese with the western Greece. It is the longest multi-span cable stayed bridge, which is supported by four piles and it has a length of 2.280m. Right next to the toll station are the offices of Gefyra, where you can find an exhibition of photos and videos showing how this magnificent construction was built. Its building is considered to be a great technological achievement. (http://www.gefyra.gr/?page_id=205)
Because of its strategic location, Antirrio’s fortress played a very important role to the Byzantine and the after Byzantine era. It was surrendered to the Ottomans in 1499a.d, during the first year of the war between the Venetians and the Turks. When the sultan Vayiazit the 2nd realized how important this place was, he built one fortress on each cape (Rion & Antirrion) to secure and control the transpassing of the strait.
Just 18 Kms away from Nafpaktos, at Trikorfo Doridas, is the Holy Monastery of St.Avgoustinos & Serafim of Sarof. It’s the only monastery worldwide, which is dedicated tο the great miraculous Russian St.Serafim of Sarof. It is globally known for its impressive belfry with 400 gongs and 62 bells.
Drive 40 Kms away from Nafpaktos and you’ll find yourself in the Mountainous Nafpaktia, or Kravvara as it is otherwise known. Villages immersed in the firs, historically marked trails through forests, rich fauna, mountain shelters, rivers, waterfalls and lakes, raki, chestnuts, festivals, what else could anyone ask for? Mountainous Nafpaktia is also ideal for those who love alternative activities (rafting, mountain biking, hiking and climbing).
As you drive up to mountainous Nafpaktia, you’ll find the historical women’s Holy Monastery of Panagia Varnakova. The holy monastery of Varnakova is one of the oldest in Greece. It was founded in 1077a.d. by Saint Arsenius the Vernikoviti. It is 30km (a 45 min. drive) from Nafpaktos.
The Holy Monastery of Panagia Ampelakiotissa was founded in 1456a.d. It’s a historical monastery located in the magical landscape of Kravara. Priceless relics such as the image of the Virgin, the epitaph of Mariora (1735a.d.), the remarkable wooden temple (1874a.d.) and the silver reliquary (1470a.d.) are being kept there. It is 60km (about 1.5 hours) away from Nafpaktos.
About 30km north of Ano Hora we find the artificial lake of Evinos river (Evinolimni). An enchanting landscape that combines the calm waters of the lake on the one side of the road and the green fir forests on the other. Around the lake many small picturesque villages (Arachova , Klepa, Perdikovrysi, etc.) are waiting for you to visit them . In the village of Agios Dimitrios you can see the impressive dam from which the region of Attica is provided with water.