Greece photography has always intrigued me. Something about the bright colors, mountains, beaches, and street scenes call to me as an artist. Few places in all of my travels warmed themselves to me as quickly as Greece did. After all, this is the birthplace of theatre, democracy, science, and the arts. Coming here was somewhat of an artist pilgrimage. It would take a lifetime to explore all Greece has to offer. Here are 30 must-see places for any photographer looking to dive deep into Greece photography.
Athens has all of the elements of a world-class city with a unique advantage. This advantage is that it has always been one of the greatest cities on earth. Long before many countries even existed, Athens was and is a celebration of what humanity can be. In its center is one of the most famous buildings on earth, the Parthenon. Every narrow street snaking its way out from the city center is packed with great opportunities for street photography. From temples to cafes to museums, Athens has wonderfully unique architecture woven into the fabric of its ancient footprint.
2. Athens Streets
A labyrinth of winding, narrow, busy streets, Athens has a unique charm. Appropriately dysfunctional in all the best ways. I mean that as a compliment. Cities are not supposed to be organized. They are best filled with chaos. A mix of mouthwatering smells followed by nauseating whiffs of rotting trash. Hustlers on every corner. Locals tucked into favorite watering holes while tourist spend their hard-earned money on…things. Charming cafes filled with stylish modern Greeks, some plugged into their devices while others waving their arms, sharing the latest gossip.
3. The Parthenon
The Parthenon is located in the center of Athens. It stands high atop the tallest point and can be seen from almost anywhere in the city. Book tickets in advance, and I highly recommend hiring a local guide. My guide added so much value to my experience. He knew all the answers to all my curious questions even before I asked them. Bring water. They do not sell water on the grounds, so make sure you have enough for the climb. During peak season (June-August), Athens is also hot. Go early to beat the crowds and heat.
The Parthenon was finished in 432 BC. The ancient ruins are what is known to be dedication to the goddess Athena.
Best way to photograph the Parthenon – Because the entire Acropolis is so prominent from all around Athens, panoramic images and landscape shots are best from any of the surrounding hills. Depending on where you are staying, many of the hotels in the city have rooftops that give an excellent view of the Acropolis. Ask the staff if you can set up your tripod for a sunrise or two. I would be surprised if anyone told you no. I asked, and although my sunrise was a bit of a dud, I had the entire roof to myself for an hour with a great view over Athens. A long lens is helpful to bring out the most in the details.
4. Temple of Poseidon
There are several Temples of Poseidon across Greece but only one is as famous as the one located South of Athens. Built in the 5th century BC on Cape Sounion, the ancient remains of the temple still stand today. It is believed a majority of the temple was destroyed during sieges by the Persians. The location, like many Greek temples, was chosen as an offering to the gods. Poseidon, god of the sea, was perfectly honored here with its breathtaking views over the surrounding sea. Sunset tours can be arranged and provide the best opportunities for memorable fine art photographs.
One of the most inspiringly sacred places I have ever visited. A dedicated UNESCO World Heritage Site, Delphi was the center of the ancient Greek civilization. Not so much geographically but in significance. The surrounding mountains provide breathtaking views of the undeveloped area outside of the ancient sites. On-site is the Temple of Apollo, an amphitheater, an ancient sports stadium, and countless priceless artifacts inside the museum. Home to the Delphic oracle, many offerings to this location were sent in hopes of receiving good favor. The rich history of this sacred place has a way of touching the soul without needing to fully understand its significance. You can just feel it standing on the same earth so many of the great rulers had.
6. The Town of Delphi
Small but charming, this hillside town is home to one of the best restaurants in all of Greece. To Patriko Mas sits overlooking the Gulf of Corinth and its surrounding olive groves. The view alone is worth the visit, but the dolmadakia and country lamb were some of the best dishes I have ever tasted. Walk the narrow streets to find hidden iconic Greece photos.
Crete is huge and should probably be explored as an entire trip on its own, but this place is loaded with beauty. Home to over 600,000 people, Crete is Grece’s largest island. That being said, there is still plenty of natural beauty on the island, including Europe’s only palm forest at Via Beach. Chania sits on the island’s west side and hosts a stunning beach with more shades of blue to count. As the tide pulls out, it leaves wandering streams to play in while searching for unique compositions. Knossos and Phaestos palaces are must-visits for anyone interested in ancient civilizations. Constructed around 2000 BC, these ruins provide marvelous insights into a world long, long ago.
Famous for its Eastern Orthodox monasteries built high atop steep rock formations, Meteora is one of my favorite locations for landscape photography in Greece. Any Greece photography trip must include a trip to this region. Dedicated a UNESCO world heritage site in 1988, only six of the original twenty-four monasteries remain. On the positive side, the six remaining are truly spectacular. The best view and best photography locations are found higher up the winding road leading to the monasteries. Here, crowds of local people and tourists gather on cliffside boulders to take in the sunset.
Best way to photograph Meteora – As with any famous place, arriving early is a good idea. Thankfully, the area is large enough that it shouldn’t be a problem getting a great composition, even if the most desired spots are already taken. When I showed up for the sunset in the late afternoon, only one other serious photographer was on site. I kindly asked people if I could set up near them. They had no problem with me setting up and actually grew very curious about my final shots as we all took in the scene together.
9. Island of Paros
Known for its beautiful beaches and traditional fishing villages, Paros is a beautiful Greek island. Parikia, the island’s capital city and main port city, is located where the ancient city used to reside. A short walk from the port will get you deep inside the working town, where some great island photography can be captured. The white walls and colorful doors make for great compositions. Be sure to explore the labyrinth of narrow streets and walkways in this city. Tons of hidden gems are waiting.
10. Olive Groves
All along the drive into the mountains and throughout most of Greece, olive trees decorate the landscape. Olive oil is the country’s national product. There are an estimated 160,000,000 olive trees in Greece. When traveling, it is important to tell the story of a place. Capture the beauty in a way locals would be proud. Only capturing images of popular tourist destinations may sell prints, but you will be missing a lot of the most beautiful places a destination has to offer.
11. Corfu Town, Corfu Island
Corfu is the capital of the island and the island’s main port city. The island has a much more Eastern European feel to it than the rest of the Greek Isles due to its proximity to Eastern Europe and Romania. English, French, and Venetian influences can be seen in the unique architecture. A favorite site to photograph is the Old Fortress, which is found on the eastern side of town. Arrive at sunrise to see the rocky peninsula light up in the soft morning light.
If a trip into the mountains wasn’t on your list of things to do, I would seriously reconsider. Metsovo is one of the most charming villages in Europe. With a Bavarian feel, Metsovo sits at 3,800 feet. Summers are pleasant, and the town center buzzes with people. Wine here changes from the popular white wine of the south to luxurious red in the mountain climate. Katogi Averoff Winery combines a unique combination of art, hospitality, and delicious wine. Try the local food. Because of its geographical location, Metsovo has a different take on traditional Greek favorites, and they are delicious.
13. Little Venice
One of the most popular destinations in all of the Greek Islands is Little Venice. Located on the western side of Mykonos island, this location has the best sunsets for photography. Its seaside bars and restaurants make for the perfect backdrop set over the sea. The island’s famous windmills are located just across the bay. This area has been captured by many famous artists who fell in love with its charm. A perfectly located beach to its south makes for a great place to set the tripod up and watch the light shift across the old, colorful seaside buildings.
14. Aegean Sea
Home to countless picturesque islands, the turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea are some of the most beautiful in the world. Our cameras have difficulty capturing the glowing turquoise water, but it doesn’t stop us from trying. Many of the beautiful islands have hidden coves where sailboats and yachts anchor to spend the day swimming. Find a tour operator to take you out for the day. Your memory card full of beautiful beach photos will thank you.
15. Naoussa Town
While it is becoming a popular tourist destination, Naoussa on Paros island still holds much of its charm. This place is popular for a good reason: it is beautiful. Harborside restaurants line the water while whitewashed houses and shops decorate the surrounding hills. The mixture of colorful doors and windows, painted boats, and blue waters make this a photographer’s playground. Walk the stone-paved streets or wander to one of the many nearby golden beaches. Naoussa has something for everyone.
16. Santorini Island
Santorini is a must-visit for anyone who is visiting Greece for the first time. The postcard-like villages along the caldera make for one breathtaking view after another. Hotels, restaurants, shops, and spas, one after another. Blue domes famously stand out against the whitewashed villages. Santorini is a small, crowded island, but the photography opportunities are endless, so much so I feel they each need their own section.
17. Blue Domes of Santorini
They are magnificent. It is as picturesque as it gets when it comes to the Greek Islands. Thousands of postcards, if not hundreds of thousands are sold a year with them in them. They are beautiful in every light, making them a popular tourist destination. Every Instagram star and honeymooning couple wants their picture taken with the blue domes in the background. I do not blame them whatsoever, but it does make it a headache to photograph or even get near. My recommendation is to visit them in the morning during sunrise before the cruise ships arrive.
18. Oia Village
The most visited section of Santorini, Oia Village is a great place to watch the sunset. Arrive early if you plan on using your tripod or even getting a decent composition. My personal recommendation is to arrive 3 hours before sunset during peak season. I’m not kidding. It is that popular. Getting to Oia village can be a bit of an adventure. Taxis are very expensive from the rest of the island, and buses are less than convenient. If you plan on taking an ATV, parking is a challenge, but it is much easier than finding spots for a car. Drinking and driving is dangerous period, but it is a severe crime in Greece, so don’t do it. Pay the taxi or bus if you must drink.
19. Oia Castle
Found at the very end of Oia Village, Oia Castle is a popular place to take in the sunset. The view back toward Oia, looking over the ocean, is one of the best spots on the island for Santorini photographs. The white buildings glow orange during golden hour as the city lights slowly come on. When blue hour hits, the same buildings take on a pink or purple color. It is quite beautiful to see.
Like Oia, Fira is stunningly beautiful. The steep cliffs are decorated with white buildings and towering beautiful churches. A gondola splits Fira in half, bringing tourists up from the cruise ships below. Walking through Fira is easier than Oia because the paths are a little wider. Light dances across the buildings in a way I have never seen before. A good friend of mine, Robert Kelly, says a photographer can fill an entire portfolio in just one week in Santorini. He is right.
21. Dodecanese Islands
Made up of 15 large and over 100 small islands, the Dodecanese are closer to Turkey than Greece. Because of this, many of the island’s architecture, food, colors, music, and customers are mixed with Turkish traditions. Rhodes, the largest of the group, has seen many rulers over the years, each leaving signs of their domain behind. The combination of modern resorts, ancient archeological ruins, and medical monuments makes Rhodes a wonderful place to photograph. Ferries can bring you around to the rest of the islands, but bring plenty of memory cards. They are all so beautiful in their own way.
22. Milos Island
A much quieter, peaceful island from Santorini or Mykonos, Milos is a favorite vacation destination for Greeks. Home to some of the best beaches in all of the Mediterranean, professional photographers flock to Milos’s unique beaches to photograph their vibrant colors. This small island has one main town in its center and only one other small town on the north side. This is one of the best islands in all of Greece to kick back, relax, explore, and take great photos.
23. Fyriplaka Beach
Located on the south side of Milos, Fyriplaka is one of the most colorful beaches in the world. The cliffs surrounding the beach are decorated in multicolored minerals flows from the islands’ formation long ago. Accessible by ATV, rental car, and bus, Fyriplaka is one of the island’s most popular beaches.
Used by pirates long ago, Kleftiko’s inlets and caves make for a unique swimming and photography experience. Tall, sheer white cliffs surround the bay, leading down to soft white sand beneath the ocean surface. In the middle of the day, when the sun is overhead, the water turns an incredible turquoise blue. Kleftiko is only accessible by boat but many of the island tours come through here.
25. Sarakiniko Beach
One of the most bizarre ocean landscapes I have ever seen, Sarakiniko earns itself the nickname “moon beach” due to its undulating white rock surfaces. Popular by Instagrammers, get here early for sunrise to find the best locations to take photos without lost influencers wandering through your images. On calm days Sarakiniko’s cliffs make for excellent diving into the clear waters of the Aegean Sea.
A picturesque fishing village on the northwest side of the island. Colorful doors and windows painted in bright colors make this location a must-see for photographers. Most of the year, this is an excellent place to catch the sunset. Because the oceans are rising, be careful with high tide. It can make for a tricky situation when the ocean wall is underwater. I highly recommend making a reservation at one of the oceanside restaurants the evening you plan on catching the sunset. Needless to say, it is a beautiful place to dine after the sun goes down.
27. Statue of Venus de Milo
Well, the actual Venus de Milo sits in the great halls of the Louvre in Pairs. However, a replica now sits in the location where the ancient sculpture was found. This area is rich in archaeological sites hosting ancient catacombs, a theatre, and several other ruins. The surrounding landscape is beyond beautiful and can easily be lumped in with the aforementioned Klima for an evening excursion.
28. Navagio Beach
Popular for tourists, Navagio Beach or Shipwreck Beach, is located on Zakynthos Island and is only accessible by boat. Actually, you can skydive or rappel in if you so choose. However, it will be a good idea to have an exit strategy because the beach is surrounded on all sides by magnificent white cliffs, giving Navagio Beach its desired atmosphere. Unless you are a drone photographer, photos of Navagio Beach are limited in how you can approach it. Shots from above show the brilliant blue waters people flock to see. (check and see if it’s closed do to possible landslide closures)
29. Hydra Island
Part of the Saronic Island group, Hydra is perfect for a short trip from Athens. The orange roofs clashing with the white walls of the buildings and the blue sea make for wonderfully colorful compositions. Unlike many of the other islands, most of Hydra’s beaches are pebble stone. This gives the surrounding water a greenish glow instead of the typical turquoise found on the other islands. No cars are allowed on Hydra, so be prepared to walk or hike to any of the island’s features. The island is not that big and has little to do, so visitors who come here are looking to relax. Unplug and enjoy.
The most popular island of the Sporades Islands group, Skiathos is a party town. The intense nightlife draws in thousands of tourists each year. This island is very developed for tourism but it still has loads of natural beauty. Unless you are here only to party, don’t let the over 60 beaches escape you. Sunsets and sunrises are spectacular on Skiathos and the hilltops are perfect for photography hikes.
Greece Photography For Interior Design
I had so much fun exploring Greece searching for beautiful compositions. Beauty can be found around every corner. From the charming narrow streets of the islands to the mighty mountains to the North, Greece is a wonderful place to capture fine art photographs. There is something about adding Greece photography into your design. The bright colors add a cheery sophistication to any look. For more information about other beautiful locations to travel or to take stunning photographs dive deeper into our other articles. After 20 plus years of traveling the world, I must say Greece is one of the most beautiful places I have traveled to.
Hello! I'm Derek.
DEREK NIELSEN PHOTOGRAPHY RAISES AWARENESS ABOUT THE GLOBAL NEED FOR CONSERVATION THROUGH PHOTOGRAPHY AND DONATES UP TO 15% OF ALL SALES BACK TO ENVIRONMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS AROUND THE WORLD.