With quaint villages, sun-kissed beaches and history at every turn, Greece is a great destination for a photography, and on our Greek Adventure Photography Holiday we visit two amazing Greek Islands.
Crete: The Lonely Planet says Crete is the “most fascinating and diverse” of the Greek islands, and we wouldn’t argue with that! Renowned for its natural beauty and diverse landscape the island boasts spectacular mountain ranges, vast plateaus and lush plains.
Santorini: Famous for it’s spectacular sunsets and picturesque architecture, Santorini is a photographer’s dream. At every turn their are beautiful views or wonderful scenes for you to capture.
Combining oriental influences of the Turkish period with Venetian architecture, Rethymnon is one of the best-preserved towns of the Renaissance era. A quaint medieval harbour and a labyrinth of ancient backstreets offer some great photo opportunities, and the nearby beaches and coastline are also well worth checking out.
You’ll meet your photography leader and the rest of the group this evening for a brief chat about your tour.
This morning we leave early to catch the sunrise at Agios Nicholaos church in Georgopolis. This pretty white chapel almost seems to be floating; a narrow rocky promontory is its only link to the coast. We’ll then head inland for breakfast in Argyroupolis, an attractive village with old village houses and a small waterfall. There are also remains nearby of the ancient Roman City of Lappa. Heading for Chania, we stop off at Aptera, where we’ll discover ancient Greek and Roman ruins and a well-preserved Turkish castle. The ruins, which date from as far back as the 8th century BC, are set against a stunning backdrop of the White Mountains on one side and the impressive Souda Bay on the other.
In the afternoon we explore the evocative city of Chania. Famed for its pretty Venetian quarter and magnificent harbour, the city is somehow charming, relaxed and vibrant all at the same time. There’ll be a multitude of photo opportunities amongst its narrow lanes and twisting alleyways and we’ll end the day at the Venetian harbour, a chance to capture a wonderfully atmospheric scene just after dark and enjoy a well-earned meal.
We leave Chania and head back towards Rethymnon, this time driving through the foothills of the White Mountains. Dotted with small villages whose inhabitants still make a living from the land, we’ll get a sense that time has stood still as we follow winding country lanes through beautiful landscape, making regular stops to capture the scenery. One port of call is at the village of Vamos, which has made a deliberate effort to maintain its heritage and includes several buildings and roads made of traditional stone. Here we’ll try out some architectural and local life photography with a visit to Karidi Monastery, the ruins of the old oil mill, and a traditional kafenion, where we will capture the older generation playing backgammon and drinking Greek coffee. For sunset we head for the coast at Gerapatamos. We’ll shoot the crashing waves and interesting rock formations before returning to Rethymnon to enjoy the atmosphere of this delightful town after dark.
Santorini is famously photogenic. With whitewashed houses lining the cliff tops and indigo sunsets over an azure ocean, it’s a visually stunning place and a photographer’s dream. We arrive on the island just before lunch and check in to our hotel. In the late afternoon we’ll start exploring the beautiful blue and white capital of Thira. Perched on a clip top with narrow, winding streets, it provides the chance to shoot all sorts of postcard-like scenes. Later we’ll catch that famous sunset over the Caldera, the large volcanic crater that rises from the sea and forms Santorini’s famous cliffs.
This morning we head to the village of Pyrgos, the highest village on the island with wonderful panoramic views in every direction. The focal point is the Venetian castle, which is surrounded by small streets, narrow lanes and some 33 churches. In the afternoon we move on to Oia, probably the most famously photogenic village on the island. We’ll explore its streets photographing blue domes, white houses and winding steps before finding a spot for another famous Santorini sunset. We’ll be sure to stay on to capture the twinkling lights of the village in the ‘blue hour’.
Most of today is left free before the late afternoon ferry back to Crete. It provides an opportunity to relax, revisit some of your favourite photography spots, or explore more of the island. Santorini is small and getting around is relatively easy. You may like to visit Akrotiri, sometimes referred to as ‘Greece’s Pompei’. Destroyed by a volcanic eruption around 1500 BC, and believed by many to be the site of fabled Atlantis, you can see how the ancient Minoan culture lived and thrived long before the ancient Greeks and Romans. Other options include the famous black and red volcanic beaches and more quaint villages.
Nine hundred metres above sea level and ringed by the Dikiti Mountains, the Lasithi Plateau is rural Crete at its most beautiful. The area is dotted with old windmills and, in spring, wild flowers. Eagles or vultures can sometimes be spotted soaring high overhead. After our morning photographing Lasithi, we’ll head back down to the coast and Aghios Nicholaos where we’ll capture the famous ‘bottomless lake’ just after dark where the lights of the restaurants reflect in the lake and form a delightfully photogenic scene.
Our tour ends in Aghios Nicholaos after breakfast.
Our photography holidays and tours are designed to maximise the chances of getting great images by visiting photogenic sites at times that are good for photographing them. This generally means trying to avoid crowds and being out when the light is best, just after sunrise, and again in the late afternoon. Occasionally we’ll stay out after sunset or make use of clear night skies. The middle of the day is often reserved for lunch, free time, travelling, downloading images and relaxing. We try to make the most of each area we visit so there may a lot of distance covered and sometimes days can be long. Please read the itineraries carefully to get an idea of driving times and any particularly demanding days.
Our holidays are planned for dates when the weather is expected to be suitable for photography; however, with an ever more unpredictable climate there is always the possibility that we’ll experience poor conditions. In this case we’ll give what advice we can to help you get good results from your photography, and we may make changes to the tour to try to make the best of the situation.
The joining time is 18:00 on day 1 at the hotel reception, your photography leader will meet you there.
We can arrange transfers for you at the beginning and end of your tour at a cost of £49 each way.
It is condition of booking that you are covered by adequate travel insurance. If you are bringing expensive photography equipment we recommend that this is insured too.
The following photography equipment is recommended:
• DSLR or mirrorless camera
• Wide angle lens
• Mid range zoom
• ND filters
• Remote shutter release
• Sufficient memory cards and storage devices
You’ll need light casual clothes and comfortable shoes. Early mornings can be chilly so a sweater is recommended. A sun hat and some long sleeved items are a good idea to help protect your skin against the sun.
Rooming is based on a twin share basis. If 2 people book together, they will automatically be roomed together. Those travelling alone will be sharing with another single traveller of the same sex unless a single room has been booked. If you desire privacy, are a light sleeper or a loud snorer then we’d recommend you book a single room.
All accommodation is on bed and breakfast basis. You’ll need money to cover lunch, dinner and your drinks. As a rough guide we’d recommend that you allow around £15 – £25 per day.