Southern Greece & the Peloponnese Peninsula
November 7 - 16, 2024
Our adventure through the Peloponnese Peninsula has been planned to maximize photo opportunities around significant historical and cultural sites and experiences. Weather and the interests of the group may mean slight changes to the itinerary.
While the emphasis of the trip is on making images and memories, there will be time for informal image review and input.
Day 1, Thursday, November 7th
Welcome to Greece! After pick-up at the airport, our adventure begins in Athens with a mid-afternoon trip to a hill that affords us a panoramic view of the Acropolis in the soft afternoon light. From there, we’ll head back to our hotel for our first delicious Mediterranean dinner together.
Overnight in Athens at Hotel Herodion or similar 4* property.
Day 2, Friday, November 8th
In the morning, we will visit one of the most iconic sights in the world, The Acropolis of Athens. Our visit will be guided by a local so we can understand the history of this iconic place and the origins of democracy.
Since the olive harvest is one of the main reasons for visiting Greece in late fall, we will travel from Athens straight to the heartland of the olive groves and home to the famous Kalamata olives. Greeks generally agree that some of the best olive oil comes from this region. Here, we’ll discover that there are olives for for eating and olives for making olive oil. Terroir, just like with wines, has a very important role in the quality and taste of the oil. We’ll learn all about the harvest, from watching the local growers harvest their crops and making the “liquid gold,” to tasting the different types of oils ourselves. This area also offers wonderful views of rolling hills covered in olive groves, the sea and distant mountains.
Overnight in Kalamata at Pharae Hotel or similar 4* property. Drive time: 3h30.
Day 3, Saturday, November 9th
A favorite activity for Greeks on Saturday morning is to go to the local farmers’ market to buy fresh vegetables, fruits, fish and meat to cook over the weekend. We will start our day with a visit to one of the best of these markets in Greece, the one in Kalamata, mingling with locals and photographing the buzz of the market.
In the afternoon, we’ll head to the ancient site of Olympia, the place where the Olympic games first took place over 2 millennia ago.
Overnight in Kalamata. Drive time 3h30
Day 4, Sunday, November 10th
Today, we travel the rugged coastline of Mani in search of traditional fishing towns and dazzling seascapes. We will make a stop along the way in Kardamyli to enjoy the Agios Spyridon church and Troupakis-Mourtzinos Fortress.
Later in the afternoon, we arrive in Gytheio, a beautiful fishing town by the water that originally served as the port for Sparta. We’ll have an opportunity to photograph the day’s catch drying in the sun, the imposing lighthouse and also find time for a stroll on the promenade between the fishing boats, tavernas and the colorful traditional houses up the hill.
Overnight in Gytheio at Las Hotel or similar 4* property. Drive time 2h30
Day 5, Monday, November 11th
In the morning, we’ll venture out to the port to catch a bit more of the local fishermen, then head off to explore the southern tip of the Mani peninsula. It’s one of the least populated and best-preserved regions in Greece, surrounded by water on two sides. We’ll stop by an almost abandoned town boasting stone towers and a 5th-generation potter. There will be time along the way to stop for anything interesting we happen to see.
Overnight in Gytheio. Drive time 3h.
Day 6, Tuesday, November 12th
We will continue our journey with a stop at a shipwreck stranded on a sandy beach for 40 years now. The story goes that the ship was used to smuggle cigarettes, but was eventually abandoned by its owner.
In the afternoon, we will arrive in Monemvasia, the only town on a small island. This was a fortified town and is well preserved. The houses are built of brown stones and its pedestrian streets are like a labyrinth. We will have a guided walk to understand its complicated history and unveil its stories.
Overnight in Monemvasia at Malvasia Traditional Hotel. Drive time 1h30.
Day 7, Wednesday, November 13th
We will be up early in the morning to capture sunrise from the picturesque town of Monemvasia in the warm morning light. We’ll then make our way towards Nafplio, making a few stops along the way to capture the beautiful landscape.
Our accommodation for the next 2 nights will be in Nafplio, a charming town by the sea and the first capital of modern Greece in the early 19th century. We will have an orientation walk in Nafplio and a visit an organic orange farm, learning about the best oranges in Greece and enjoying a homemade dinner.
Overnight in Nafplio at Hotel Ippoliti. Drive time 3h30.
- Drive time: 3h30
Day 8, Thursday, November 14th
In the morning, we’ll visit Palamidi fortress and enjoy a wide view of the bay, the distant mountains and orange and olive groves. From there, we’ll make our way to the ancient Epidaurus theater, considered the best ancient Greek theatre with regard to acoustics and aesthetics. Even now it can sit 15,000 people. We will be back in Nafplio for a stroll by the sea as the sun sets behind the mountains.
Overnight in Nafplio. Drive time 2h.
Day 9, Friday, November 15th
Today, we make our way back to Athens. Along the way, we’ll visit a beautiful wine region and try some of the best wines in Greece. We’ll have an opportunity to photograph the landscape with vineyards, olive groves, and classic rolling hills and cypress trees. November is the time when vine leaves change colors, so it will be interesting to photograph the vineyards with the autumn foliage.
After arriving back in Athens and checking in to our hotel, we’ll enjoy our last group dinner, sharing our memories of this trip and getting ready for the trip back home the next day.
Overnight in Athens at the Herodion Hotel or similar 4* property. Drive time 4h.