Greece is not only a country of rich history and culture, but it's also full of stunning landscapes and picturesque islands. This makes it a great place for photography, and in this article, I share some of the best photo spots Greece has to offer.
When I planned my six-week visit to Greece last May, I didn't know if I would find enough photo locations to keep me occupied. The photos I had seen were usually from Meteora, Zakynthos, or Santorini. From my history classes, I also knew of the many temples in several parts of the country. But what else was there to photograph?
Located in the Southeast of Europe, the climate in Greece is usually warm and dry. It led me to expect a mostly barren landscape without much color and vegetation. But Greece surprised me with its diversity of landscapes, and in the end, six weeks weren't nearly enough for me to exhaust all the photo opportunities it offered.
Crete is the largest of the Greek islands, and it was the start of my travels through Greece. I first spent one week in the west, an hour from the beautiful town of Chania. After that, I explored the Dikti Mountains close to Heraklion.
The dramatic coastline near Falasarna was my favorite place to photograph, as you can see in the lead video. A beautiful hiking trail to the famous Balos beach starts just one kilometer north of town.
I photographed this rocky coastline for two evenings, one of which I got some beautiful side light on the sharp cliffs characteristic of this part of Crete.
The mentioned Balos beach is another area of interest, as are the hills near Milia Mountain retreat and Elafonisi.
From Crete, I took the ferry to Paros, one of the Cyclades. On the way there, the ferry also stopped in Santorini. Its popularity had me skip it, as I didn't fancy standing in line at one of the various photo spots in Oia.
Paros has also gained much popularity lately, but it's still no comparison to Santorini. And although the fishing village Naousa doesn't sit on a cliff like Oia, it still offers beautiful views during sunrise and sunset.
The photo above shows Naousa's little harbor during the blue hour in the evening. It's a wonderful place for photography. Afterward, you can head into town for a delicious dinner — there are many options.
Other places I enjoyed on the island were Lefkes and Paros Park.
A rough ride on a windy afternoon with yet another ferry brought me to Milos. This island stood out to me for its moonlike landscapes and colorful rocks.
The most famous place on Milos is Sarakiniko Beach. I usually try to avoid such hyped locations, but with Sarakiniko, the hype is justified. And if you come early or stay long enough after sunset, you can have this place nearly for yourself. The rocks, sculpted by the wind and the sea, give it an otherworldly atmosphere.
If you have time, don't stop at Sarakiniko. Milos has more to offer, including hidden gems that haven't been photographed much.
Corfu is another Greek island I visited during my travels. It was very different from the Cyclades and Crete. Cypress trees, olive groves, cliffs, and coves with turquoise water allowed me to add a new color palette to my Greece portfolio.
I stayed in Liapades and found the coves and cliffs along the northwestern coast to offer some of the best photography. The photo above shows a little cove close to Rovinia Beach. During the late afternoon, the sun makes the vegetation along the cliffs glow in vibrant colors.
One thing to note if you plan to visit by car from the mainland: the ferry gets very crowded, and you should be comfortable parking your car only centimeters apart from the next one. I share a bit more about this experience on my blog.
Did you know that you can find one of the deepest canyons in the world in northern Greece? With a depth of up to 1,350 meters, the Vikos Gorge is a place you should not miss. Thinking of photogenic landscapes in Greece, Meteora will come to the mind of most photographers. I also stopped there on my way north and took the obligatory photo of the monasteries on top of spectacular rock formations.
But the landscape of the Vikos Gorge spoke much more to me. There, you can find both popular - like the Beloi view above - and lesser-known views. If you like hiking and exploring, you'll enjoy this area more than Meteora.
Lefkada is an island on the west coast of Greece. Its white cliffs, spectacular views, and uniquely situated lighthouse made it a must-visit location for me. But as often during my travels, the weather only offered clear skies for my photography. Thankfully, I found that in June, the Milky Way Center makes a transit exactly above the Lefkada lighthouse. It allowed me to practice some night photography and come away with a decent photo.
This place can be easily visited from the mainland of Greece by car. There's a bridge leading toward the island. After the crossing, it's another 90 minutes to the lighthouse. I'd recommend finding a place to stay in Vasiliki if you want to photograph it.
I'm sure many of you have seen photos of the Zakynthos shipwreck at Navagio Beach. But it's just one of many wrecks along the Greek coastline. During the final days of my travels, I decided to visit Peloponnese for a few days with a stop at the Dimitrios shipwreck near Gythio.
This shipwreck is very photogenic, but only from its sea-facing side. The other side is covered in graffiti. To get the best view, wade out into the water. About 30 meters from the shore, you'll find some rocks providing foreground interest. If the sea is too rough for this spot, you can also use a long lens and position yourself farther away from the shipwreck. It will give you a similar view.
As I wrote in the beginning, six weeks were too short to explore all of what Greece has to offer. That's why this list of photo spots is nowhere near complete. But it still shows some of Greece's diversity.
I should also mention that the weather conditions in late May and June, the months of my visit, were not ideal for photography. It was already getting too hot, and the amount of clouds I saw during my travels was far from what I'd needed to create a more dramatic portfolio.
If you plan a visit, and you're flexible with the dates, try to visit earlier or later in the year and avoid the summer months. This gives you a far better chance for dramatic weather.