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Topography of Nafpaktos

Nafpaktos is a city by the sea situated about 10 klms east of Antirrio, at the opening of the Corinthian Gulf. The modern town, built over older older building phases, stretches on the foot of a hill, whereas its small but extremely well fortified bay has been an excellent port throughout its history. Administratively it belongs to the prefecture of Aetoloakarnania and its population is 31.594 inhabitants, according to the 2011 census. The foundation of Nafpaktos is intrinsically linked to its strategic position, since it lies on a nodal point for the communication between the Peloponnese and Mainland Greece, controlling at the same time the west entrance to the Corinthian Gulf. The broader region of Naupaktia is confined between the precipitous mountains Varassova and Taphiassos (Paliovouna) in the west and the mountains of Naupaktia, also known as Kravara, to the east.
The rivers Evinos (west) and Mornos (east) form natural entrances to the inland of Mainland Greece (Sterea Ellada). Ancient paths which crossed the mountains and the valleys of the rivers connected the city of Nafpaktos with the rest of Aetolia, Acarnania, Thessaly and Phokis. Most important, though, was its relation to the sea, which connected it to the Peloponnese, as well as to the islands of the Ionian Sea and from there to Italy and the Western Meditarranean. After all, the etymology of its name from the ancient words Naus (=ship) and pēgnymi (=construct) referring to the first appearence of Dorian tribes in the 12th century B.C. and their effort to cross over to the Peloponnese, attests to its utmost naval character.