Our family (including 3 teenagers ages 17, 15, and 14) had a fabulous time on the sea to summit bike tour with Carola! She is one of those people that is immediately likable and was so patient with the wide range of biking ability in our family (my husband brought his own clip pedals and my 14-year-old was slow and walked her bike up some of the rocky hills!) She took us around the point of the island, offering lots of interesting information on nature, current local facts, and history on the landmarks (ruins, beaches, historic monuments…) as we traveled. We then cycled through quaint old neighborhoods of Nafplio, then off to the country. The countryside was absolutely gorgeous–beautiful views over the cypress, olive, and orange trees, the sea in the distance, farms, and rolling hills (reminded me of Tuscany). We visited a beautiful monastery and the local construction workers that were remodeling the church shared their cofffee and biscuits with us as we chatted in the shade. The bike ride was beautiful and it was much more exercise than I expected (in a good way!) You can’t get to the summit without a little sweat and effort 🙂 But the bikes were very good with suspension forks and disc brakes and excellent gearing. In the middle of the tour, we stopped at a beautiful quiet beach for a lovely swim in the ocean–so refreshing! The last part of the tour was a bit nerve-wracking along a busy road, but we had a lovely finish at a local “workshop” that made traditional broken-wheat pastas. We sampled (then couldn’t help but purchase!) delicious hand-made local gourmet treats here. What a fabulous day! Thank you to Carola–we can’t recommend this activity highly enough. We already look forward to our next visit to Nafplio!
Nafplio-Suburb Pronia-Agia Moni-The Lion of Bavarian- Nafplio
Starting point: Nafplio
Distance : 8 km
Ways of crossing : On foot, by bicycle
Main sights: Suburb of Pronia, olive fields, panoramic sea view & mountains view, middle-byzantine age monastery, the Lion of Bavarian.
• The route starts from the center of the city, we walk through narrow side streets and we pass across to the suburb of Pronia. This suburb occupies the north-eastern slopes of the Palamidi hill, is of special importance because it constitutes the first organized refugee settlement in modern Greece.
Starting in 1822, when Nafplio was liberated from the Turks, a large number of refuges flooded into the city, chiefly from Crete. This created a major housing problem. In 1828, Ioannis Kapodistrias together with the engineer, Stamatis Voulgaris, chose the Pronia area to create a new refuge settlement. It said that Kapodistrias chose the name Pronia, from the greek word pronoo, meaning to provide for, because the settlement provided a solution to the accommodation problem faced by the refugees.
Pronia survives to a certain extend today, with its low buildings and small houses, which were the most characteristic of the Kapodistrian period.
Noteworthy spots are the traditional cafes & the central church of the suburb.
We continue our walking eastern & from here the trail begins a smooth descend & we arrive to the famous local monastery of Agia Moni which is dating at the 12th century of the Middle Byzantine period .We can see its ancient spring, goldfishes, remarkable mosaics with frescoes & a great view of Palamidi’s castle & Nafplio city.
We return back from the same way with a small detour to the famous and an exceptional sculptured monument known as the lion of Bavaria which dates from 1840 & it is one of the most important of 19th century in Greece. The sculpture of this beautiful monument was the German Christian Siegel. This monument was commissioned by Ludwig of Bavaria, father of Otto first king of Greece, in memory of the Bavarian soldiers in Otto’s escort who died during the typhoid epidemic in Nafplio which devastated the area between 1833 & 1834.