9-Day photography vacation in the Peloponnese, Greece.
Nature photography tour with field trips to the high rising Taygetos Mountains, the ancient cities of Sparta and Messini, the unique Diros caves and the Gialova Lagoon, mainland Europe’s southernmost wetland and an important station for thousands of birds migrating to and from Africa in autumn and spring.
Upon request throughout the year except for the months of July and August. When you schedule a trip out off the bird season, we will propose an alternative for the bird photography part of this tour.
During this photo tour we pay attention to technique, composition, nature and landscape photography. There is ample time for photography on every location we visit. Fun and challenging photo assignments are based on your experience and photo skills. In the afternoon we view and discuss the results together.
Day 1: Arrival. Arrival in Xirokambi Sparta. We meet the tour facilitators at the beautiful hotel Taleton and go for dinner on the nearby village square. Stay in Xirokambi.
Day 2: Koumousta & Taygetos Mountains. Old bridge on the walking route from Koumousta to GolasToday we drive 6 km up into the mountains to the Byzantine village of Koumousta, our starting point for a beautiful walk through the pine and chestnut forests of the Taygetos Mountains. The mountain range is the highest of the Peloponnese (2407 m) and an acknowledged nature area. Landscape photography and playing with light in the shady forest are our main topics. After our afternoon viewing session we go looking for the Little Owl (Athena Noctua), which are often heard and seen around the stone houses of Xirokambi. Stay in Xirokambi.
Day 3: Ancient Sparta & Xirokambi. In the morning we take the local bus to visit nearby Sparta. The remains of this famous city are hidden between ancient olive trees with the Taygetos Mountains as impressive backdrop. In the afternoon we go to the nearby ancient bridge of Xirokambi – the oldest walkable stone arch bridge in Europe – and the impressive Anakolou gorge. Stay in Xirokambi.
Day 4: Xirokambi - Diros Caves - Kardamili. Today we leave Xirokambi and travel by mini-bus via the Diros Caves and the Messinian Mani to Kardamili. The famous Diros caves are situated south of Areopolis on the Mani peninsula, and are part of an underground river delta. Small boats take us through the caves and between beautiful stalactites and stalagmites, coloured over time. In the caves we use flash and different white balance settings. After our visit to the caves we continue our trip to the picturesque harbour town of Kardamili. Stay in Kardamili, Hotel Kastro.
Day 5: Kardamili. We set off in the morning for a walk in the Viros-Gorge. This impressive ravine runs from the edge of the Taygetos Mountains to the bay of Kardamili. We explore the lower part of the gorge, in which monasteries and old churches are hidden. On our way back we pass ancient Kardamili, a perfect place to practice panorama photography as it provides a wide view over the bay. Stay in Kardamili.
Day 6: Kardamili - Ancient Messini - Gialova. Today we travel by mini-bus to the archeological site of Ancient Messini, an impressive site dating back to the 4th century BC, and on to Gialova on the west coast of the Peloponnese. In the afternoon we visit the educational center of the bird society for an interesting tour in the Gialova wetlands and to photograph the birds that pass the lagoon on their way from Europe to Africa or vice verse. Stay in Gialova, Hotel Zoe.
Day 7: Gialova. Free program. The Gialova area offers plenty of opportunities to spend your day. You can return to the lagoon for bird photography, go to the town of Pylos and the famous Bay of Navarino, visit nearby waterfalls or opt for a day on the beach. In the afternoon we offer you the opportunity to discuss your photos one-on-one with photographer Anton Harfst. Before dinner, we get together to view and discuss the bird photos. Stay in Gialova.
Day 8: Gialova - Hora - Athens. In the morning we visit the Palace of Nestor and its museum. Both places clearly show the importance of nature in Greek antiquity: from the use of natural colours to the choice of strategic (and photogenic) locations. Before the departure to Athens we enjoy a nice lunch, and reflect on the past week. On the road to Athens we make a stopover at the Corinth Canal for a snack and photos. Stay in Athens.
Day 9 - Departure
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