Nafpaktos is another of my favourite haunts. It is a beautiful touristy town with a university vibe. It fairly hums with energy no matter what time of the year you visit. Don’t expect a quiet night’s sleep at the weekends or on a public holiday but definitely put it on your list of ports to stop at during your sailing holiday.
Nafpaktos’s Venetian built harbour is the hub of the town and is lined with trendy cafes and restaurants. Sadly, there isn’t a lot of room in the harbour for more than a few visiting yachts. Fortune favours the bold so rig your lines and fenders and venture in to see if there is any space. Once in, the protection from the prevailing winds is second to none.
Shoehorning a yacht into the SW corner of the near circular walled harbour is a nerve-racking experience. The SW end of the harbour has the best protection. I have made it in there with a 12.5m yacht by dropping my anchor in amongst the mooring lines of the fishing boats opposite.
Be warned though, it is very tight for manoeuvring in the harbour and it shallows quickly. An easier mooring choice is the concrete quay directly opposite the entrance. Ready your crew and back through the entrance to get the best line.
Outside the harbour the Nafpaktos townsfolk have placed a pontoon for visitors. Protection from the wind and wave action is not as good out there. On the plus side, power and water are available. Neither are offered in the harbour. Yachts anchor outside the harbour as well and if the wind is in the right direction, the holding here is more than adequate for an overnight stop. You can also anchor off the beaches.
Ashore in Nafpaktos there are bars, cafes, restaurants and shops galore. Prices can be higher here but the quality is better as well. The backstreets hide an abundance of quirky gift shops as well as some very upmarket clothing and house-ware stores. If you can’t find what you are looking for, ask around and it is bound to be somewhere in town!
There are a few bigger supermarkets here as well, including a large MyMarket. On Saturdays a lively market is held in town.
If the crew fancies a bit of sand between their toes (or in this case pebbles) and a quick dip, there are two good beaches; one either side of the harbour.
Standing guard over Nafpaktos, the Venetian Castle is well worth the sweaty 30 minute climb. The views back down to the harbour and out over the Gulfs of Corinth and Patras are sublime. On a clear day the Patras Bridge (Rio Antirio Bridge) seems to float out over the water in a most unearthly manner. In the Castle grounds there is a small museum and some very interesting statues and interpretation panels. The Castle is closed on Tuesdays and costs 2€ per person.