Santorini and Milos, Greece
June 10th to June 16th, 2023
€3,500 per person, single room accommodation
The Cyclades are the quintessential Greek islands: white-washed, cubic houses, blue-domed churches, a sea the color of wine and the most amazing sunsets. Add to that some of the most friendly people you will ever meet, gorgeous climate, and fantastic cuisine. What’s not to like?
If you’ve ever wanted to visit Santorini and Milos and come back home with the best photographs you have ever taken, look no more, this workshop is for you!
I have organized an upscale vacation and photo workshop for a small, selected group of enthusiast photographers in the Spring of 2021. I will host you in the best hotels on the islands, lead you on location at the best times of day to shoot expansive vistas, seascapes, architecture, monasteries, and narrow village streets.
In the evening, I will give you hands-on training on how to best process your images and do review and critique sessions to help you come home with images that are ready to be printed or put online.
Together, we will visit some of the best restaurants on the islands to let you appreciate the typical Greek island cuisine, with its varied flavors, genuine products and wines.
Even if it’s crowded during the peak season, Santorini (Thira) is an island that cannot be missed. Approaching or leaving the island with one of the ferries that ply the route of the Cyclades island (which we’ll do on our way to Milos) you’ll be dazzled by the multihued layered cliffs that form the remains of the caldera.
The black, brown and grey colors form a stark contrast with the white cubed houses clinging precipitously on the side of the cliffs forming the stunning villages of Fira, Firostefani and Imerovigli.
Exploring those amazing villages via the scenic, two-hour long footpath linking them will let you discover some of the most alluring views and it will be one of the highlights of the workshop.
The small village of Oia on the north coast of the island is a real gem of cycladic architecture with houses hewn into volcanic rock and it is where everybody gathers for one of the most memorable sunset to experience in your whole life. Catching the last light of the day here with a drink in your hand is a truly magical moment.
But we will not limit ourselves to the Santorini that is well-known to tourists. Instead, we will visit some of the villages inland, like Pyrgos and the vineyards that surround it and produce some of the best whites of all Greece, thanks to the volcanic soil. Some very fine organic vegetables, most notably tomatoes and capers (which originate from nearby Folegandros and then spread to all of the Mediterranean) are grown there.
We will also visit the lighthouse at Cape Akrotiri, where the views of the caldera are even better than in Oia and far less crowded.
If you are planning to travel and love photography at any level Ugo can plan a personal tour to fit in with your itinerary! He has a wealth of knowledge to share with you on any subject of photography. Apart from photography (my passion) Ugo provides a total travel experience looking at Italy through the eyes of a local. A life changing trip leaving me totally hooked to book another! Thank you Ugo and yes I will be returning my dilemma is choosing a destination.
If you are looking for an unspoilt island as weird as Santorini, from a geological viewpoint, Milos definitely fits the bill. The volcanic past that Milos shared with Santorini has left the island with some unique and, some say, bizarre rock formations, from the dazzlingly white tuff formations at Sarakiniko (see photo) to the brightly coloured cliffs at Firiplaka, ending with the stunning coastal scenery at Kleftiko, geology buffs will not be disappointed.
The quarrying of rare minerals with the huge benefit generated to the community has meant that the residents of Milos bothered little with tourism. This is slowly changing, but outside of the peak tourist season from mid July to late August, you will end up with having the island almost for yourself.
Apart from geology, Milos has also plenty to offer: the lively port of Adamas, even if not photogenic by Cycladic standards, is full of buzz and really Greek, with plenty of tavernas to sample local food and enjoying “ouzo therapy”, with a view of the huge caldera of Milos Bay.
The prettiest coastal village is Kilma, with the most stunning example of syrmata: traditional fishermen’s dwellings where at ground floor (10 inches or so above sea level) there’s a boat storage with a brightly painted door and, at the upper level, there’s space for family life. Note that most of these dwellings are hewn into the stone and still used today. There are also other very nice examples of syrmata at Fyripotamos and Mandhrakia on the north coast.
Also along the north coast you’ll find the amazing Sarakiniko, or “White Place”, a snow-white inlet with a sandy bottom and countless chalk-like pillars sculpted by erosion. Add to this the fact that a now rusty vessel has been brought ashore by the turbulent Aegean and you’ll end up with a truly otherworldly place to capture with your camera. Further along you will find Papafragas, another scenic coastal scenery where the sea flows under a nice rock arch.
After two photo tours with Ugo in Italy, I cannot recommend the experience highly enough – the local knowledge of Italy, partnered with photographic expertise and guidance made for an extremely rewarding photo tour! Ugo guides and mentors you according to your skills, regardless of whether you are a beginner or experienced enthusiast. I have come away with greater understanding of the craft and confidence to build my skill set. I am inspired to continue my learning journey to create beautiful images. Thank you Ugo!!!
Visit Cappadocia Too?
Wouldn't it be great to visit two of the most fabulous countries in the Mediterranean on one trip? We are running a tour of Cappadocia, Turkey, right before this one and we have a special discount for you, in case you want to attend both tours.
Notice: this program is preliminary and subject to change, depending on atmospheric conditions and ferry-boat schedules.
The tour starts on the afternoon of the first day in Fira, on Santorini Island, and ends on the morning of the 7th day in Adamas, on Milos Island. These two locations were chosen because of the availability of several direct flights from and to Athens, even during the off season.
Day 1 – Santorini
Arrival in Santorini, transfer on your own to the hotel. The group will gather after lunch with a meet and greet moment We spend the afternoon strolling on the rim of the caldera enjoying the views of the villages, the sea below and the islets of Nea Kameni and Thirassia. We are not in a hurry, so we will pause for some drinks or snacks.
Sunset will be at around 7PM so we will have opportunities for shooting classic panoramas and there are plenty of very scenic shots that can be framed within a few hundred metres or so from our location. After the sunset session is closed, we reach the taverna to have lunch, chat and share your first impressions of the island. Overnight at your hotel.
Day 2 – Santorini
This is an intensive workshop day. After breakfast, we board our private minibus and head to the southern part of Santorini, stopping for photos anytime something presents itself, or whenever your instructors can find some good locations. This happens frequently as we approach the wineries around Pyrgos and the church ofPanayia Episkopi in Pyrgos itself.
Proceeding further south we stop at the ancient site of Akrotiri before reaching the surrealpumice stone cliffs that dominate the lunar coast of Cape Exomytis and the beach at Kokkini Ammos.
From ancient Akrotiri there’s a one hour path to the lighthouse at Cape Akrotiri, with fantastic views out to the caldera. After lunch, our goal is to reach the most spectacular of all Santorini’s villages, Oia. Here we seize the opportunity to photograph one of the most beautiful villages of all the Cyclades, with a really amazing architecture.
Below Oia there’s a nice harbour, Armeni, where all the fishermen’s boats are moored. We wait for sunset at around 7PM, possibly together with some crowd, but you will be rewarded with one of the most beautiful sunset the world has to offer.
We will be shuttled back to Fira to have lunch and then have a review and critique session of your shots with your tutors.
Day 3 – Santorini
An early morning start will bring us on a two-hour footpath along the edge of the caldera visiting the three villages: Fira, Firostefani and Imerovigli to sample the countless dramatic view of Santorini.
After this, we will be shuttled to either Skala Fira or Ammoudhi to take an excursion boat to the three islands of the inner archipelago: Palea Kameni, Nea Kameni and Thirassia. We hope to pass some time in the latter, so that we can take different, but always terrific, views of Santorini from a different point of view.
Depending on the time of departure of the last boat from Thirassia back to Santorini we either experience sunset here or in Fira where we can finally rest in a taverna with a glass of ouzo as starter, after a long but rewarding day.
Day 4 - Milos
In the early morning, we will board the ferry from Santorini to Milos. Departing the port of Skala Fira is an opportunity in itself to take some shots of Santorini from the sea.
Upon our arrival at Milos, we reach our hotel to check in. We can now have some time to yourself, that you can spend to rest or to sample local foods and drinks.
Later, we take our minibus up to the charming hilltop village of Plaka, where we can have one of the best views in the whole Aegean, particularly at sunset and without the crowds that, at least during peak season, spoil Santorini’s one. Hurry up to Kinigos taverna to taste their varied menu with its famed moussaka, or Navagio with their tasty cuttlefish risotto. Overnight at your hotel in Adamas.
Day 5 – Milos
We board our private bus in the morning and head straight to the pleasant fishing syrmata village of Klima, with boathouses hewn into the rock. From here, after a short stroll we reach the well-preserved roman amphitheatre and the early Christian catacombs. After having visited Klima, we head to the north coast to visit the very photogenic syrmata villages of Fyripotamos and Mandhrakia.
Our next destination is one of the most alluring coastal landscape of whole Europe: Sarakiniko, also known as “The White Place”. This is a bewitching landscape of white tuff, sculpted by erosion into bizarre pillars, boulders and arches, all around a wonderful emerald-green inlet whose sandy bottom is perfect for a refreshing dip.
Papafragas, also on the north coast is a narrow fjord-like wonder with deep, dark caves and crystal-clear waters that change color according to the weather and light, undeniably another scenic coastal landscape.
Pollonia, the end of the road on the north coast, is the perfect place, with its tamarisk-shaded beach, to enjoy the lunch in one of its fine tavernas, like Yialos and Armenaki. The afternoon is open for doing some photography in the area of Adama, Trypiti and Plaka or you can hone your birding technique in the salty lagoon at Hivadolimni, where in september it is possible to spot some migrating birdlife. Dinner in Adamas and overnight stay at your hotel.
Day 6 – Milos
A morning departure brings us to the Adamas pier for a three-hour boat excursion to the towering and inaccessible cliffs of Kleftiko, on the southwest tip of Milos.
We then return to Adamas for a quick lunch, after which our bus will take us to the south coast, stopping at Zefyria for a visit to the magnificent 17th-century church.
We then reach the Paleohori beach, which is backed by extraordinarily coloured cliffs and whose waters are warmed by underground volcanism. Further east on the south coast we arrive at the little cove of Tzigradho, with its steep sandy slope leading to one of the most stunning beach of all the Cyclades.
Once the sun start setting, we could stop at some of the mines in the southeastern corner of the island, like the Paliorema sulfur processing plant. With its rusty machinery and eerie landscape, this could easily be a must stop for photos in Milos. Catching the sun's last rays from the church above Plaka is one of the best ways to say goodbye Milos. Dinner in Adamas or Plaka
Day 7 – Departure
After breakfast, we say goodbye and let everyone free to reach the port or the airport on their way home.
To travel and work with Ugo is a delight. He is resourceful and knows his destination, so no matter what weather awaits you, Ugo will always suggest a way to make the most of the day. He is energetic, non-stop, productive. A travel/work experience with Ugo motivates you to become a better photographer. Must mention that he is very fun company, and loves good food!
The price for taking part in this exclusive workshop is €3,500.
A deposit of €700 is required to secure your seat at the time of booking.
After submitting your booking, use one the buttons below to pay via credit card or PayPal. Contact me if you’d prefer to pay by direct bank transfer.
What is included
The price of the workshop includes:
What is NOT included
The price of the workshop does NOT include:
This is how we roll in Santorini!
Terms and Conditions
Basis of Rates: All prices are based on a single person occupying a room. All prices are quoted in Euros. In case you are traveling as a couple and would like a double room, please contact me. The rates are based on current exchange rates and are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances.
Eligibility: Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian for the entire journey.
Group Size and Booking Considerations
The tour will be confirmed only if a minimum number of 6 participants is reached. In order to keep the group size small and the experience enjoyable for everyone, the maximum number of participants I accept is 12.
The payment for this trip is split into 2 installments, due as follows:
- €700 deposit is due at the time of booking.
- Your balance payment is due by April 30th, 2023.
The booking deposit will be refunded if participant numbers are not reached.
After your group has been confirmed, the deposits are non-refundable.
If you cancel after April 30th, 2023, you will forfeit 100% of the tour cost. Where the full cost of the tour has not yet been paid, it will be immediately payable on cancellation.*
* Note that if you cancel after April 30th, 2023 and I are able to backfill your place, I may refund recoverable costs at my discretion.
To book your place, click on the “Pay With Card” button above or on the PayPal link. Contact me if you’d prefer to pay by direct bank transfer.
Special Covid-19 Provisions
Participants of the tour will be required to exhibit proof of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination of of a negative PCR test executed no earlier than 48 hours prior the start of the tour. Antigenic and self-administered tests will not be accepted.
All the staff of Ugo Cei Photography Tours are fully vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2.
In case you are unable to travel to the tour location, the amount paid will be reimbursed fully, provided that either:
- The Government of Greece has forbidden entry to residents of your country of origin, or
- The Government of your country of residence has forbidden it residents to travel to Greece.
We expect you to take out a travel insurance that covers cancellation due to being infected with SARS-Cov-2 or quarantined because tested positive or a close contact of a person who tested positive. In case you are unable to travel due to this reason, refund of the amount paid will be discretionary.
It is advisable to take out your travel insurance at the time of booking your trip as cover will commence for pre-departure cancellation from the policy issue date. This will therefore provide cover should you have to cancel your trip for an insured reason such as illness or serious accident.
I require that you and all members of your party are adequately insured, providing financial protection against unforeseen circumstances. Cover should include medical expenses, as well as repatriation, in the event of accident or illness. In addition, I strongly recommend that you have cover for personal belongings, delay at your outward or homeward point of departure, personal liability, overseas legal expenses and cancellation. If you are undertaking any sports or adventurous activities on your trip, including trekking, you should also make sure that your policy covers these. Please also ensure you read the policy conditions and exclusions.
Ugo Cei will provide education enrichment during photo tours. The other providers are solely responsible and liable for providing their respective services. Ugo Cei and its designated tour leaders shall not be held responsible for (A) any damage to, or loss of, property or injury to, or death of, persons occasioned directly or indirectly by an act or omission of any other provider, and (B) any loss or damage due to delay, cancellation, or disruption in any manner caused by the laws, regulations, acts or failures to act, demands, orders, or interpositions of any government, or by acts of nature, strikes, fire, flood, war, terrorism, sickness, theft, or any other cause(s) beyond their control. The participant waives any claim against Ugo Cei and its designated tour leaders for any such loss, damage, injury, or death. Ugo Cei reserves the right in their sole discretion to accept, decline to accept, or remove any participant on any photo workshop. Ugo Cei reserves the right, without penalty, to make changes in the itinerary whenever, in their judgement, conditions warrants, or if they deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of participants.
You have assumed the responsibility to select an activity appropriate to your physical abilities and interests. You are personally responsible for being in sufficiently good health to undertake the activity.