Panoramic view of Nafplio town and the Argolic gulf around sunset. Image credit Heracles Kritikos via Shutterstock.

Argolic Gulf

The Argolic Gulf is part of the Aegean Sea and lies off the east coast of the Peloponnese peninsula in Greece. This gulf is a picturesque location where fishermen aim for the biggest catch while yachters enjoy the spectacular sunsets over the harbor. Argolis and Arcadia surround the Argolic Gulf, with its main port and entrance overlooked by both Nafplio and Spetses.

Where Is The Argolic Gulf?

Boat in the Argolic Gulf.
Boat anchored in the Argolic Gulf. Image credit zebra0209 via Shutterstock. 
The Argolic Gulf peninsula stretches over 31 miles (50 kilometers) in the southern part of Greece and lies in the shadow of the mountains that shield it from strong winds during summer. Included in this long stretch are the islands of Platia and Psili, as well as the mouth of the famous Inakhos River. The gulf’s claim to fame is Argos, a city on the north side towards the head. Argos has had occupants since the beginning of the Early Bronze Age.

History Of The Argolic Gulf

Statue of Hercules.
16th-century statue of Hercules. Image credit Climber 1959 via Shutterstock.  
The gulf is also known as the Gulf of Argolis, and it is a place where reality and myth intersect. The land surrounding the gulf has had inhabitants since the eighth millennium BCE and included the likes of Romans, Turks, Venetians, Byzantines, and Franks live here.
The gulf played an important role during the 1821 Greek revolution, during which the water and land was free from their inhabitants. Thus, Argolida became the original capital of a new state. It is also in the Gulf of Argolis that Hercules defeated the Nemean Lion and where the Mycenaean fleet departed en route to Troy!

Islands Of The Argolic Gulf

View from the Palmidi Fortress down to the old area of the city of Nafplion/Nauplia and the Argolic Gulf with the fortress island Bourtzi.
Fortress island Bourtzi on the Argolic gulf. Image credit Gubin Yuri via Shutterstock. 

There are three main islands within the gulf:

1. Psili Island

Beautiful Psili Island view.
View of Psili Island from the gulf. Image credit Lemonakis Antonis via Shutterstock. 

Psili Island is uninhabited and contains the highest peak in the entire gulf at 768 feet. The island falls under the Nafplio municipality and can only be reached by boat.

2. Plateia Island

View of houses and sea on Greek Islands.
City-view from sea on Greek Island. Image credit kostasgr via Shutterstock.

Plateia Island forms part of the Diapontian Islands. Its name Plateia means “town square” in Greek, referring to meeting and traveling points.

3. Bourtzi Island

Castle of Bourtzi at sunset.
Bourtzi Fortress at sunset. Image credit ollirg via Shutterstock. 

Bourtzi Island is a small outcropping on which the Bourtzi Fortress was erected in 1473. It also serves as the entrance to the harbor in Nafplio and is a highly popular tourist attraction.

Argolic Gulf Marine Life

Fisherman holding fresh fish from the sea.
Display of fresh fish caught by Greek fisherman. Image credit Georgios Tsichlis via Shutterstock. 

The Argolic Gulf is home to a variety of sea creatures, including sardines, dolphins, squids, octopi, and sharks. The waters here are also home to seahorses, monk seals, and sea turtles. Furthermore, the wetlands that surround the gulf support several bird species. These species include those that migrate between seasons.

Those who visit the gulf are not only able to enjoy these lovely animals but also bask in its temperate Mediterranean climate; rainy and mild during the winter and hot during the summer.

Towns Surrounding The Argolic Gulf

View of Nafplio city in the Peloponnese in Greece that has expanded up the hillsides near the north end of the Argolic Gulf
View of Nafplio city. Image credit Ververidis Vasilis via Shutterstock. 

Several stunning towns dot the landscape around the Argolic Gulf, including:


Coastal town of Tyros.
Coastal town of Tyros. Image credit IOANNIS ALEXANDER via Shutterstock. 

This seaside town was once a naval base and lies between the Myrtoan Sea and the Parnon mountain range. Tyros is well known for upholding a longstanding Easter tradition. This tradition sees the burning of an effigy of Judas, while small hot air balloons are released into the sky in memory of all the fishermen and sailors who lost their lives.


Buildings of Spetses Island on Sargonic Gulf.
Buildings of Spetses Island on Sargonic Gulf side. Image credit Stratos Giannikos via Shutterstock. 

Spetses is an upmarket island that was once known as Pityussa. It was first occupied at the beginning of the Mesolithic Age during which the island was connected to the mainland. There are no private cars allowed in the town in modern times – the only accepted modes of transport included bicycles, carriages, and motorcycles.


Nafplio village and street.
Nafplio village and eateries. Image credit streetflash via Shutterstock.

Nafplio is in the Peloponnese and was once an unmissable seaport during the Middle Ages. The town overlooks the gulf and has been inhabited for thousands of years. Today, visitors can still see the marks of history all through the town, in the form of castles, statues, and ancient buildings.


3 windmills by the sea in Myloi.
Three windmills by the sea in Myloi. Image credit okan celik via Shutterstock. 

Myloi is well known for the Bronze Age settlement, Lerna, where inhabitants survived up until the Mycenaean age. It is also the location of the Castle of Kaveri ruins; the original structure was built during the 14th century CE.


Sailing yacht entering Porto Kheli (Greece, Argolic Gulf) backed by a golden sunset and mountains in the distance.
Yacht sailing in the Argolic Gulf. Image credit Danny Fielding via Shutterstock.

The Argolic Gulf is a popular sailing destination because the water is protected from the strong summer wind. Even when the winds do pick up, the gulf stays calm enough for sailors to enjoy a day out on the sea. In addition, several beaches to enjoy around the gulf and within Argolida, include: Irion Beach, Nea Kios Beach, Archaia Asini Beach, Mylon Beach, and Kantia Beach.

The Argolic Gulf is a time capsule of historic artifacts. Just a few years ago, a stone settlement dating back 4,500 years was accidentally discovered in the sea! The settlement stretches over twelve acres and includes valuable pottery, as well as paved roads and, remarkably, its own defense system.


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