Perivoli Country Hotel & Retreat

Nafplio Peloponnese, Greece Book from Book from £80 per night

Perched on a hill above Nafplio, this lovely agro-hotel wraps great views, big pool, home food and Greek history into a friendly, affordable package
Perivoli means ‘orchard’, and this terracotta-coloured hotel sits right among the orange and lemon groves, high on a hill above the handsome and historic town of Nafplio, with the Argolid Gulf sparkling behind. It’s the perfect setting for a taste of Greek history – besides neoclassical Nafplio, you’ve got ancient Mycenae, Epidavros, Nemea and Tiryns all within easy reach – combined with lazy days on the beach, exploring the region’s rolling Tuscan-like hills, or just chilling on the hotel’s sunny south-facing pool deck. Whether as a self-contained minibreak - it’s only an hour from Athens – or as a stopover en route to the southern Peloponnese, we can’t recommend it enough.

As for the hotel itself, it comes with a small but tasty poolside restaurant, an airy lobby bar with table football and comfy sofas, a superb breakfast buffet (including homemade jams and pastries), great eco credentials and super-friendly staff. Its 12 bedrooms – spacious, comfortable, perhaps not the height of chic – are spread over two levels, with a choice of direct garden access or better views. There’s also a separate two-bedroom apartment, perfect for families wanting extra independence for a few days. A really great find.
Covid-19 update: some services and facilities may be changed as a result of Coronavirus measures.

Highs

  • The big, sunny pool deck is a wonderful place to laze and graze, or to refresh after sweaty sightseeing
  • Kids will love it here: not just the pool, but also the generous staff and flexible menus; most rooms can fit an extra bed
  • It’s family-run, and it shows: owner Vangelis and his staff greet returning guests like old friends
  • We loved having a secluded hilltop bolthole to escape to, after the (relative) crowds of Nafplio and Mycenae
  • Great value, too

Lows

  • It’s perched at the top of some steep narrow lanes, well signed but fiddly (you might think twice before dining out)
  • We found the corridors rather echoey
  • The bedrooms and bathrooms are on the functional side

Best time to go

April-May or September-October are perfect if you can travel then: nicely warm, with cheap flights to Athens, and near-empty beaches and sites. In spring there are wonderful wild flowers, in autumn the sea is much warmer - take your pick. July-August is busier of course, but nothing like the islands; and up here in your hilltop hideaway you couldn't feel further from the crowds.

Our top tips

When in Nafplio, make time to walk around the headland on the paved path - ideally at sunset - for some very Greek (and instagrammable) sea views. You can swim off the rocks or small pebbly beach on the south side, too.

Great for...

Beach
Eco
Family
Great Outdoors
  • Boutique hotel
  • 12
  • Restaurant
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: Nov - mid March
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Bicycles Available
  • Table football
Room:

Rooms

The 12 bedrooms are all spacious, comfy and well kitted out. We think the end-of-corridor Superior room is worth nabbing for its double aspect balconies, with loungers for secluded sunbathing. There's also a wheelchair-adapted triple with huge shower room. Otherwise, the rest are near identical. You get king or twin beds (with room for a foldout third), plenty of desk and wardrobe space, pale green or dusty pink walls (enlivened by Vangelis’ sister's vibrant artworks), and generally a tub with overhead shower in the bathroom. Toiletries, bottled water and a tea-coffee tray are supplied.

You can request ground floor, whose patios have direct access to the gardens and pool; or upper floor, whose balconies offer long views over olive- and citrus-covered hills to the sea. We'd pick the latter.

We also liked the two-bedroom apartment, tucked away in the corner of the citrus groves; you can pick fresh oranges from your window. It comes with a spacious sitting room (including a sofabed), a tiny kitchenette, two bedrooms (one twin, one double), sliding windows to private patios, and simple neutral styling.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Fireplace
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Mosquito net
  • Phone
  • Pool towels
  • Safe box
  • Satellite TV
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries

Eating

The impressive breakfast buffet includes some unusual items, such as traditional trahanas (light pearl barley and tomato soup), cubes of delicious spinach or cheese pie, or hearty baked omelette with pulled pork when we stayed. We also loved their home-baked citrus cake and the strained Greek yoghurt with dollops of their preserved quince and almonds. Take it all out poolside, with fresh OJ from their orchards, and there's no better start to the day.

For lunch - and possibly dinner - you'll be out and about in Nafplio (no end of streetside restaurants) or one of the ancient sites (the hotel can supply a picnic). But if not, or if you just don't fancy navigating the country lanes, the hotel's own restaurant whips up a very respectable array of tasty Greek dishes at fair prices. Think grilled mountain cheese, tomato fritters or stuffed vine leaves to start; then succulent pork stew, thyme-dusted lamb chops or falafel burgers (for our vegetarian son), all served with proper chunky chips and Greek salad. Yum.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Visit the stunning open-air theatre of ancient Epidavros (Epidaurus), with its amazing acoustic and enchanting pine-shaded setting; there are ruined temples and healing buildings too
  • Or hilltop Mycenae - even older and more steeped in gruesome myth - with its cavernous beehive tombs and legendary Lion Gate
  • Cool off with a swim at sheltered Karathonas beach, or long and sandy Iria; there are plenty of secluded coves nearby too
  • Don't forget to visit the handsome town of Nafplio (Nauplion), modern Greece's first capital in the 19thC, with its elegant Italianate piazza, shop-tastic pedestrian lanes and endless fish restaurants vying for your custom
  • There's also the daunting castle of Palamidi, reached via a vertiginous stepped path (or a hairpin road if you prefer), where Greek folk hero Kolokotronis was imprisoned
  • If you can stay beyond 3-4 days, ask about the lovely hike to Avgou ('Egg') monastery, local rock climbs, sea-kayaking or off-road cycle tours: all are easily arranged

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cooking classes
  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse riding
  • Kitesurfing
  • Mountain biking
  • Museums / galleries
  • Pottery classes
  • Sailing
  • Scuba diving
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Wine tasting

Kids

Hotel Perivoli is well set up for families, with a triple / quadruple room and a two-bedroom apartment, and a lovely big pool. Staff couldn't be more welcoming, offering special dishes at dinner, films for a quiet evening in, and liberal hair-ruffling at every passing.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

All rooms can take a simple fold-out bed for one child (preferably not a fully grown teenager). The two-bedroom apartment can sleep 4-5 with a double bedroom, a twin, plus a sofabed in the living room if needed.

Baby equipment:

  • High chair

    Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

    Kids Activities on site:

  • Table football
  • Toys & games
  • Sony Playstation

    Kids Activities nearby:

  • Guided hikes and bike rides
  • Pottery and ceramic making
  • Family-friendly tours of ancient sites

  • Distances:

    • Shops: 15 min / 8km (Nafplio)
    • Hospital: 15 min / 8km (Nafplio)
    • Beach: 20 min / 12km (Karathonas / Tolo)
    Kid Friendly:

    Location

    Perivoli Country Hotel & Retreat is located above the small village of Pirgiotika (or Pyrgiotika), 8km inland from the harbour town of Nafplio, in the Peloponnese.

    By Air
    Athens airport (170km, 2 hours' drive) has the widest range of flights. Kalamata (150km, 1 hour 50 mins) is a little closer, but has fewer flights (mostly seasonal charters).

    From the Airport
    It's an easy drive from either airport, most of it on motorway. You will need a car as the hotel is 1km from the nearest village, Pirgiotika. See our car rental suggestions.

    Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.

    Airports:

    • Athens 170.0 km ATH
    • Kalamata 150.0 km KLX

    Other:

    • Beach 12.0 km
    • Shops 5.0 km
    • Restaurant 1.1 km

    Our guests' ratings...

    Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests

    10/10
    Room
    10/10
    Food
    10/10
    Service
    10/10
    Value
    10/10
    Overall

    We stopped here en route from the south Peloponnese to Athens, and had a great (but too short) stay. I would love to come back for longer. The pool terrace is a stunning spot to relax, with views over the citrus and olive groves to the sea in the distance. It's a short drive into Nafplio, and a similar distance the other way to the ancient theatre of Epidavros, which is a must see. We had dinner at the hotel, which was delicious and not at all expensive. Their new covid-safe breakfast arrangements were also good, a choice of 3 menus - trad Greek, energy/health, and 'Perivoli' (loved the Greek yoghurt with syrupy fruits). Staff were friendly and respectful and knowledgeable, and all of them wore masks at all times. Rooms are very comfy, spacious, don't expect lots of extras (they have temporarily removed some amenities like tea & coffee). All rooms have a lovely balcony or terrace. Good value too. I would definitely return.

    10/10,

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