The ancient site of Tiryns is only about three kilometres away from Nafplio and can be easily done by bus. Itís also possible to walk: according to Google Earth itís about an hourís walk from the centre of Nafplio. Admittedly, we havenít actually done this, but a good outing would be to get the bus to Tiryns, explore the site and then walk back, taking in the Tiryns Tholos on the way home.
The Argos bus goes about every half hour, and stops at Tiryns. It takes about 10 minutes, depending on traffic. You get your ticket on the bus Ė tell the driver you want to get off at Tiryns. It cost 1.80 euros one way in December 2014.
From the bus stop the impressive walls of the site are clearly visible. You need to walk along the road in the direction of Argos, to the far end of the site. The entrance is down a road to your right. You have to pay five euros to get in.
Despite being right next to the busy Argos-Nafplio road, once you are in the site you get a real sense of the dramatic position it is in, with a great vista over the Argolid plain, back to Nafplio and the ever dramatic Palamidi and across to the mountains of the Peloponnese. Tiryns is an interesting site, with amazing walled tunnels and huge walls, giving you some sense of the power and wealth of the city that was once here.
The site can be explored quite easily in about an hour, although allow more if you also want to visit the tholos. It is really worth walking the extra distance to do this. This beehive tomb is very impressive, and similar to the tombs at Mycenae.
Itís about a 25 minute walk. When you come out of the main entrance of the site, turn left in the direction of Nafplio. Take the left turn which runs down the side of the site. Continue along this road, which is going to Nea Tirintha, following the brown sign to the Tholos.
This is quite a busy road, and although you are walking alongside pleasant orange groves, you have to keep an eye out for fast traffic.
After 15 minutes or so thereís a junction, where there are more signs. Turn right, and then left down a track. There is a sign at this point. At the end of the track is the Tholos. Thereís a gate, but no attendants and it feels quite hidden away and unvisited.
Behind the tomb there is a steep hill on top of which is the church of Profitias Elias (this is one of three hills in the Nafplio area with churches called Profitias Elias on them, just to confuse matters). There is a foot path leading up the hill, which starts just behind a lay-by, a little before you reach the track to the tomb.
If you are catching the bus back from Tiryns, you can just retrace your steps, or circle back along slightly quieter roads.
To do this, continue on along the road in the direction of Nafplio,
then take the second turning on your right, then a left turn, which will take you back on to the Nafplio-Argos road. Itís about the same distance as the original route.
There is no sign to mark the bus stop back to Nafplio, but it is outside of a cafe and bakery, immediately opposite the bus stop on the other side of the road. There isn't anywhere on site to get refreshments, and this cafť and bakery is the only place to sit if you have some time to kill before the bus arrives.
We only had return times for when the bus left Argos, and we misjudged how long the bus would take to reach Tiryns from there.Traffic gets snarled up in Argos, and it took about 30 minutes, though this was on a market day just before Christmas, so it might be quicker at other times.
The alternative is to walk all the way back to Nafplio. If you have made it to the Tholos then you are already on the route home. Turn left as you come out of the track to the tomb, in the direction of Nafplio. You follow this road through the village of Kapodistrias, then continue straight on past another hill with a Profitias Elias church on it, and into Nafplio. Youíll come out in the new part of town, behind the breakwater on the bay.