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Abandoned and decaying Urbex

Urban exploring in Greece

Urbex photography in Greece

Since 2018, Photothema has been guiding special urban exploring (urbex) photo tours in the Peloponnese, Greece. Photographers Anton and Laurien take you to abandoned houses, empty monasteries, train stations where no train ever stops and olive oil presses that have been dry for decades. This specialized urbex trip is suitable for both novice and experienced urbexers.

The group trip – with a maximum of 6 participants – is organized 1-2 times a year. In addition, it is possible to book an individual urbex photography workshop on request or to include urbex locations in our flydrive in the Peloponnese.

Agenda Photo Tours Urban Exploring

Click on the trip for the itinerary and the booking form.

Urban photography workshops in and around Sparta

Are you a lover of urbex photography, but the planning of our trips is not convenient for you? Or are you absolutely not a fan of group travel? We also have a number of workshops from a few hours to a full day. You can choose between three different programs or request a tailor-made workshop.

Urbex workshop Sparta
Request Individual Urban Exploring Workshop

Let us know your interest in urbex photography and we will send you a message as soon as a trip comes on guaranteed departure or when we plan a new trip. The trips are also in our monthly newsletter.

Yes, Keep Me Informed About Your Urban Photo Tours

For who

For the urban exploring photo tour, it is useful if you are familiar with setting aperture, shutter speed and iso. Experience working on a tripod is recommended. Both novice and experienced urban photographers are welcome to participate in this photo tour. If you are unsure whether this trip is right for you, call or email us.

Using the Available Light & Editing

During this trip you will have ample time to taste and photograph the atmosphere at locations. You will learn how to photograph the abandoned places in an atmospheric way, and how to make optimal use of the -often sparse- available light. We pay attention to safety during urbexing and to the different ways in which you can edit urbex photos. The group is small so that everyone has enough time to photograph. And you can always contact one of the two supervisors for questions and advice. We look at the results during the daily photo discussion.

Urbex photography Greece - urbex with tripod
You really need a tripod if you are involved in urban photography.

Legal Urbexing During Our Photo Tours

Urban exploring is the term for photography in abandoned buildings, where it is the rule that photographers photograph the location as they find it. In Greece we mainly work with rural exploring, because almost all locations are located in the countryside. We have the key to the locations. Some places are publicly accessible. Avid photographers may miss the kick of illegal urbexing, but you will discover that it is wonderful to be able to photograph undisturbed!

Enter at Your Own Risk

Urban exploring is a form of photography that involves risks. By shooting in locations with permission from the owners, or in publicly accessible locations, we minimize the dangers. In addition, we check prior to each trip whether it is safe to take pictures there. Nevertheless, entering the photo locations is always at your own risk and we ask the participants not to endanger themselves and the other participants by following instructions on location and to be alert themselves.

Urban Photography in Greece

Greeks have always been looking for places where economic conditions were better. They did that in ancient times, in the last century during war or crisis and they still do. Houses and farms are family property. You closed the door, asked a cousin to take care of the house, and left. The locations where we will photograph during an urban exploring photo tour reflect the life of that moment. Those left behind are happy to tell you their story.

No Lack of Space

In contrast to the Netherlands, empty houses and business premises in Greece are not immediately demolished as soon as they become vacant. The country is three times larger than the Netherlands and has only 10 million inhabitants. With the exception of Athens, there is plenty of space everywhere. Moreover, until a few years ago, people did not have to pay taxes on vacant houses. That has recently changed, but this has not yet led to massive demolition or reuse of locations. So there are plenty of opportunities for urban exploring!

 

Urbexing on your own is not that easy in Greece

Social Control

Even though fewer people live there, social control is still excellent in Greece. Even in deserted mountain villages. When we are scouting in seemingly deserted places, we are no longer surprised if someone suddenly leans nonchalantly against a tree or wall. Fortunately, we speak the language and can explain what we are doing. And immediately ask if anyone knows a nice place for us! In rural areas, the mainly older population does not speak English. People do not like intruders and are also inclined to take matters into their own hands. After all, the police are always far away.

What Do You Need for the Photo Tour or Workshop?

  • (digital) camera
  • wide-angle lens (minimum 18mm on a crop, 24mm on a full frame)
  • tripod
  • clothes that can take a beating

Reviews

You really need a tripod if you are involved in urban photography, as stated on this website. Well, that's not for me then. I'm not friends with that paw thing. But fellow travelers on other Photothema trips convinced me that urbexing with Anton and Laurien is really a lot of fun. So: off to Xirokambi with tripod in your luggage. The experts had not promised too much: inspiring locations, challenging photo situations, sometimes in civilization, sometimes in the loneliness of the deserted mountain country. With my brand new full-frame system camera I could experiment to my heart's content. Your physical space at the locations is limited. So does everyone come up with the same photos? In the photo reviews nothing could be further from the truth. All 6 evenly matched participants used their own approach. And surprising feedback from Anton with every image. Hope learned! And the fascinating stories of Anton and Laurien about Greek society. As always, everything was perfectly arranged: accommodation, daily schedule, transport, keys to houses, coffee, lunches, food on the square. In short: it was great! And after 7 days I had actually become good at positioning my three extra limbs. Nel (March 2024)

Many thanks for this fantastic week. You are a wonderful host and hostess and have selected great places for us. For me it was a huge gift, I kept unpacking it every day. I'll probably join you on another trip. Esther (March 2024)

With the enthusiasm with which you guided us with photography and provided historical background, you placed Greece in my heart. Martin (March 2024)

Thanks for the fantastic week and the personal tips. Natasja (March 2024)

A big thumbs up. This was my first trip with you and I loved it. You are all strong in guiding the participants. Alfons (May 2019)

What a wonderfully relaxed and inspiring week! And the trip was top notch: transport, accommodations, idyllic lunch and dinner locations, beautiful nature and good urbex locations. Many thanks again for all your good care in every area, Anton and Laurien! Jacobien (May 2022)

John van der Wel, participant in the urbex trip in December 2021, has a beautiful online album made from his photos.

This trip was beyond my expectation. Anton and Laurien connected in a nice way with my possibilities to get the most out of my camera and myself in my opinion.
Just enjoy photos, decay, humour, conviviality, nature and good food together.
Thanks for that. Baukje (September 2022)

You can find more reviews in the travel descriptions.

Photo theme Blog posts about urbex photography

Below is an extensive gallery to get an idea of ​​the variety of locations the photographers have visited in the past. 90 percent of what you see here will no longer exist in 2024. Because as it happens with urbex locations: first the people disappear and eventually all these places disappear.
But every time new and interesting locations take their place.

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