TBEX Cancun FAM Trips Now Open for Application

Cancun beach

Extend your time in Cancun and the Riviera Maya by applying for one of the TBEX Cancun FAM Trips.

The trips are all offered September 14-16, include pick up from your hotel and return to the airport (depending on your flight time), 2 nights hotel accommodations, meals, and a variety of activities that should allow you to create editorial content for your blog.

There are four FAM trips offered and selection is by application only. These are for bloggers only, no industry attendees or plus-ones will be accommodated.

Here are a few tips that will help you make the best selection and help position your application for consideration:

  • Read the itinerary of each FAM trip to determine which one(s) interests you. You will be able to select and first, second, and third choice.
  • Fill out the application form in its entirety, including relevant social media information.
  • Explain the angle of the editorial content you are most interested in on the trip. Explain how the activities or destination is relevant to your audience.
  • Please indicate if you have any physical limitations or dietary restrictions so these can be planned and accommodated in advance.

Take a look at what’s in store for you on these FAM trips.

Isla Holbox

Guests looking for off-the-beaten path experiences will love exploring the island of Holbox. Located 40 miles North West of Cancun, Holbox is a small fishing village that is separated from the mainland by a shallow lagoon, which gives sanctuary to thousands of flamingos, pelicans, and other exotic birds and creatures. Holbox is key to the Yum Balam ecological reserve, which is protected by international regulations and its topography combines rainforest, virgin beaches, lagoons, cenotes, and rivers.

Isla Mujeres

One of Cancun’s most popular day-trip destinations, Isla Mujeres is an enchanting island just a short ferry ride away from Cancun’s mainland. Visitors will spend two days exploring the island of women, named after Ixchel, the Mayan goddess of fertility, medicine, and the moon. A trip to this beautiful island would not be complete without a visit to Garrafon Park, Punta Sur and a snorkeling trip to the Underwater Museum, home to hundreds of underwater sculptures that double as a complete coral reef system.

Puerto Morelos

This action-packed trip will feature a variety of adventure activities like zip lining through the Mayan jungle and swimming in the crystal waters of cenotes. Because Puerto Morelos is the largest and most important sea port in the state of Quintana Roo and it is in close proximity to the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef – the second largest in the world – this trip will also include a fishing expedition in the waters of Cancun.

Mayan Experience

Because of Cancun’s proximity to some of the world’s most renowned ruins, this trip will focus on the region’s Mayan culture. This exciting trip will feature some of the most famous and breathtaking Mayan sites in the region, including Tulum, the only Mayan site situated oceanfront. We will also visit the Cancun Maya Museum and Coba, home to Nohoch Mul, the tallest Mayan pyramid in the Yucatan.

Click through to read longer descriptions and a full itinerary of each of these FAM trips.

Important Dates

Deadline to apply for these TBEX Cancun FAM Trips is August 21st, midnight Pacific Time. Invitations will be sent to selected applicants on August 25th.

Are you Distributing your Blog Correctly?

If you have taken the time to sit down and read this blog post then chances are you are a blogger yourself. It is also likely that blogging is more than a hobby for you – it may even pay your bills. If this is the case then one could assume that you spend a large amount of time devising blog post ideas, writing said blog posts and then optimising them for SEO – these are the most important steps in blogging, right? Wrong.

michael-collinsOf course it is important that your blog is well written and has a hook to catch the attention of the reader – this goes without saying. Aside from these two very important elements there is one essential step which can make the difference between having one reader and having 100 readers. This step is distribution.

At TravelMedia.ie we write weekly for our own blog, sometimes bi-weekly. We also contribute to a number of blogs on behalf of clients. Considering we spend so much time writing we want to know that the blogs we write are reaching their respective target audiences. To ensure that they are, we spend a sufficient amount of time on the distribution of our blog posts.

There are a number of things to keep in mind when distributing your blog – all of which I plan to tell you about during my speaker session at TBEX Athens.

For now, I would like to share some things that we have learned along the way:

1.  Once is never enough

Post, tweet, share, repeat.

You have taken the time to write a good blog post, so take the time to make sure your social audiences see it. When distributing on social media, posting once is never enough – especially when posting on Twitter.  The Twitter timeline is not user friendly – Twitter is aware of this and have tried, and are still trying, to develop it. With so much content, which moves so fast, you need to make sure your followers see your tweet. You are also gaining new followers all the time who have not seen previous content that you have distributed. This is why re-tweeting is essential.

2. How are your hashtags?

The now infamous hashtag was first brought to Twitter in August 2007. Nowadays it is common place to see hashtags in tweets. However, using too many can diminish your chances of engagement. Using the wrong hashtags can also result in your tweet being wasted on an audience that you did not want to reach.

3. The impact of influencers

Want to make sure that the influencers in your arena see and read your blog?

You can make sure they know that your blog exists – how? By telling them! Find out their twitter handle and send them a direct tweet to with a link to your blog. If they like it they will share it, if they don’t, they won’t – simple.

4. Engage with other bloggers

How often do you share other people blog posts and content from your social platforms? Mention other bloggers work and use their handles. People are more likely to share your blog if you have done the same for them. Asking people to guest blog for you is also a great way to open up your blog to a whole new audience.

5.  Back to basics

We all know that social media is great. But what about those contacts and colleagues that are not social media savvy? Send a monthly update to all of your email contacts informing them of your recent blog posts.

Just because it’s been six months since that tourist board sent you on a trip doesn’t mean to say you shouldn’t get touch. Maybe they are looking for a writer for an upcoming trip? Use your blogs as a way of making sure they keep you in mind.

Also, make sure you have a subscribe button on your blog, so those that want to be kept informed of new posts can do so.

6.  Infographics

When was the last time you did a blog post which was based around an infographic?

With so many free online tools available nowadays it is easy for someone with no photo shop skills to design an eye-catching infographic. When distributing the blog on social media you can then embed the infographic, making your post stand out on the newsfeed.

7.  Use every platform available

While Twitter and Facebook are the obvious distribution choice for most people, it is important to remember all of the other social platforms that offer you different types of audiences. LinkedIn is a perfect example of a social network that offers many different audiences within the one site. Post your blog link on your own profile and then post in any travel related groups that you are a member of – make the most of what LinkedIn offers.

Google+ is also a must when distributing your blog posts because your posts will show up in Google search results.

These tips are of course just a teaser to what I will be speaking about during TBEX Athens. During my session I will delve deeper into the items listed above and will also discuss some other things that you can do to ensure that your blog is being read, and being read by the right audience.

Come along on the day and you will be guaranteed to leave with a new secret weapon – the art of distribution.

Author bio:  Michael loves to travel. He is based between Dublin and Paris. Michael has worked in the Irish travel and media industry for 14 years. During this time he has worked as a travel journalist, editor and publisher, editing and publishing the magazines Backpacker Europe, Abroad and Irish Business Traveller. He has also worked in television and radio as a presenter and travel expert. Today Michael runs TravelMedia.ie, representing international tourist boards, hotels, airlines and tour operators in the Irish market and further afield. Today social media is now the majority his client work.

 

Responsible Travel Expert Dr. Martha Honey to Keynote at TBEX Cancun

Dr. Martha Honey, a preeminent expert on responsible/sustainable travel and eco-tourism, will be the opening Keynote Speaker at TBEX Cancun.

mhheadshot11110.bestDr. Honey is the co-founder and Director of the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST), and heads up the Washington, D.C. office. She has written and lectured widely on ecotourism, Travelers’ Philanthropy, cruise/resort tourism, and certification issues. She is currently writing her third book, looking at coastal and cruise tourism (Selling Sunshine, Island Press, 2015).

Before founding CREST, Dr. Honey spent 20 years as a journalist in East Africa and Central America. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. She was Executive Director of The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) from 2003-2006, and named one of world’s top 10 eco/sustainable-travel “watchdogs” (CondeNast Traveler, 2008).

We’re looking forward to kicking off TBEX Cancun with a discussion about the issues of responsible/sustainable tourism with Dr Honey, who is not only an expert in the field, but as someone who brings the journalist’s eye to the issues.

The keynote format will feature a presentation by Dr. Honey, followed by an interview conducted by Bret Love of Green Global Travel, who specializes in eco-tourism related issues. There will be time for audience questions and answers.

We hope you’ll join us for this informative keynote as we discuss the issues of the day in responsible/sustainable tourism and the role of the tourism industry, travel consumers, and the media.

TBEX Cancun Keynote to Feature Paula Froelich, Sherry Ott, Lee Abbamonte

Paula Lee Sherry photos

The Friday keynote at TBEX Cancun will feature three speakers new to the TBEX stage:  Paula Froelich, Sherry Ott, and Lee Abbamonte, for a hard hitting discussion about travel blogging, the travel industry, where we’ve been and where we’re going.

In this interview-style keynote, we’ll tackle some of the thornier issues in travel blogging. From ethics and disclosure, to building a personal brand and business, to other hot topics of the day, nothing is off the table. We expect a lively discussion of opinions, ideas, and viewpoints as we delve into what makes travel bloggers tick. We’ll be sure to leave time for questions from the audience.

You’re not going to want to miss this one! (go register here)

Speaker Bios:

Lee Abbamonte:  Lee Abbamonte is the youngest American to visit every country in the world. Lee is a multimedia travel personality, brand ambassador, travel expert and global adventurer. Arthur Frommer calls Lee “The Marco Polo of the 21st Century.” Lee appears frequently on several National TV programs, radio shows and has been featured in countless news outlets and magazines. Lee is a successful entrepreneur who previously worked on Wall Street and sold two businesses by 21 years old. Lee graduated from the University of Maryland and earned his MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Paula Froelich:  Paula Froelich is the editor in chief of Yahoo Travel. She is also the New York Times best-selling author of the novel, “Mercury In Retrograde” and was the deputy editor of the New York Post’s gossip column, Page Six, for ten years. In January 2012 she won a Gold Medal award from the North American Travel Journalists Association for her piece in Playboy on Iraq, “Down And Out In Baghdad.” Paula is originally from Ohio and Kentucky and loves to travel to places where the USD still means something.

Sherry Ott:  Sherry Ott is a long term traveler, blogger, and photographer with one goal in mind – to make you wish you were somewhere else. She seeks out unique travel experiences while writing about her nomadic life on Ottsworld.com since 2006. She primarily travels solo, but you can also find her with her nieces is tow as an alternative family travel blogger. In addition, Sherry is the co-founder of Meet, Plan, Go!, a website and travel event teaching people how they can take a traveling career break or sabbatical that benefits their career.

Announcing TBEX Cancun Photography & Writing Workshops

We’re excited to announce that we’ve extended our new small group workshops to TBEX Cancun. If you’re interested in some extended time to hone your craft, these workshops, led by award winning instructors, are a value-priced add on to your TBEX Cancun registration.

Both workshops are offered on September 9-1oth, 10 am-4 pm (time approximate), at the Moon Palace Conference Center.

Travel Photography Workshop

Gary Arndt Cancun headshotTravel Photographer of the Year and professional travel blogger Gary Arndt will give hands on instruction to those who are looking to improve their photography and then integrate their photography into their websites and social media.

Topics covered will include:  learning how to get more out of your equipment, composition, travel considerations for your gear, post-processing, and more.

The second day of the workshop will include a photo shoot, giving participants the opportunity to put all the skills together in the field. Participants will select their best work from the photo shoot to create a short photo essay.

This small group session is limited to a maximum of 10 participants, and is open to registered TBEX Cancun attendees only. Add on workshop fee is $200.

Get more information about the specifics of the Travel Photography Workshop at TBEX Cancun and register here.

Travel Writing Workshop

Don George headshotDon George wrote the book on travel writing. Literally. And as the co-founder and chairman of the acclaimed Book Passage Travel Writers and Photographers Conference, he knows a thing or to about teaching travel writing.

In this travel writing workshop, Don will focus on the art and craft of travel writing: how to find, shape and build a successful travel story. What will make your travel story stand out from the crowd?  He’ll cover some of the practicalities of being a travel writer in the field – what to do when you land in a place, how to move through , how do to process, and what are you looking for.

The workshop will be a mix of lectures and in-the-field writing exercises and discussion.

Don’s goal – and ours – is for you to come away from this workshop with a clear sense of your options for travel publishing, how to construct a compelling travel story, what it takes to break into different media and how to move from one level to the next, and how to apprehend and evoke a place most effectively as a travel writer.

This small group session is limited to a maximum of 10 participants, and is open to registered TBEX Cancun attendees only. Add on workshop fee is $200.

Get more information about the specifics of the Travel Writing Workshop at TBEX Cancun  and register here.

 

TBEX Cancun Speaker Update

Cancun beach

We’ve got a few more speakers to announce for TBEX Cancun. Some new faces, some returning face, and all enthusiastic abour sharing some great knowledge with all of our attendees.

Please join me in welcoming:

Dave & Deb

Dave and Deb, of the PlanetD are passionate storytellers and award winning bloggers and photographers. They inspire adventure in everyone, while showcasing their real-time journey through travel writing, photography, video and engaging social media. As spokespersons and brand ambassadors, for the likes of American Express and Expedia.com, Dave and Deb have had the opportunity to work with some of the world’s top companies and brands– while discovering more than 80 countries on all 7 continents.

Dave and Deb will be leading an advanced session on monetization. If you’re already making money from your blogging activities, and are looking for ways to enhance what you’re already doing, you’l want to participate in this lively discussion.

Don George

Don George is the author of Lonely Planet’s Guide to Travel Writing, the best-selling travel writing guide in the world. Don is Editor at Large for National Geographic Traveler and editor of BBC Travel’s Wanderlust and Words column. He’s been Travel Editor at the San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle, founder and editor of Salon.com’s Wanderlust travel site, and Global Travel Editor for Lonely Planet. Don is co-founder and chairman of the Book Passage Travel Writers & Photographers Conference. He has visited 90 countries, published more than 1,000 articles and edited nine award-winning literary travel anthologies.

Don will be leading a writing the 2-day Cancun writing workshop, look for registration for the workshop later this week, and also speaking about writing in the main program.

Gary Arndt

Gary Arndt is an awarding winning blogger and travel photographer who has been traveling around the world since 2007. His travels have taken him to over 160 countries and territories. He has also visited over 275 UNESCO World Heritage sites and every US state. He is one of the most awarded travel photographers of this decade. He was named the 2014 SATW Photographer of the Year as well as the 2013 NATJA Travel Photographer of the Year. He is a 3x Lowell Thomas Award winner and a 2x Northern Lights Award winner.

Gary will be leading our 2-day photograph workshop, which will include a field trip, and also speaking in the main program. Look for workshop registrations later this week.

Ian Cleary

Ian Cleary is an entrepreneur, speaker and technology expert who specialises in sharing unbiased information about social media tools and technology through one of the worlds leading social media sites – RazorSocial. A well-respected thought leader in his field, Ian has spoken at conferences such as NMX and Social Media Marketing World and his writing credits include high-profile industry websites like Social Media Examiner, VentureBeat and Marketing Profs.

Ian always packs the room with his exuberant sessions, and he’ll be leading a session in the TBEX Business industry track.

Lee Abbamonte

Lee Abbamonte is the youngest American to visit every country in the world. Lee is a multimedia travel personality, brand ambassador, travel expert and global adventurer. Arthur Frommer calls Lee “The Marco Polo of the 21st Century”. Lee appears frequently on several National TV programs, radio shows and has been featured in countless news outlets and magazines. Lee is a successful entrepreneur who previously worked on Wall Street and sold two businesses by 21 years old. Lee graduated from the University of Maryland and earned his MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Stay tuned for more information about Lee’s appearance at TBEX Cancun

Leslie McLellan

Leslie has been a destination marketer for over 20 years and loves to share her knowledge. She is currently building a multicultural destination marketing organization for the San Jacinto Valley region in Southern California. Her niche is working with communities that have small marketing budgets to help them creatively stretch their marketing dollars. She is also a partner in Tourism Currents, a destination marketing training company, which helps destinations attract their perfect visitor via in-person, online and hybrid programs.

Leslie will be sharing how smaller destinations and bloggers can build long-term relationships (hint… they can start at TBEX!).

Sherry Ott

Sherry Ott is a long term traveler, blogger, and photographer with one goal in mind – to make you wish you were somewhere else. She seeks out unique travel experiences and adventures while writing about her nomadic life on Ottsworld.com since 2006. She primarily travels solo but you can also find her with her nieces in tow as an alternative family travel blogger. In addition, Sherry is the co-founder of Meet, Plan, Go!, a website and travel event teaching people how they can take a traveling career break or sabbatical that benefits their career.

Stay tuned for more information about Sherry’s appearance at TBEX Cancun

Look for more exciting announcements coming up, including the opening of registration for our small, 2-day writing workshop, photography workshop, keynote speaker announcements, and a welcome to more speakers to this stellar line. You’re not going to want to miss out on all the fun, so head over and register for TBEX Cancun right now.

TBEX Athens Opening Night Party to be held at Technopolis

TBEX Athens attendees are in for a real treat at the Opening Night Party at Technopolis. You won’t want to miss it, but you must be registered to attend.

Athens opening night party

The City of Athens will welcome all TBEX attendees at one of the biggest post-industrial venues in Europe – Technopolis, the Athens’ Natural Gazi museum – for an evening full of music, art and Mediterranean flavors.

Technopolis, situated in the former gasworks, is located in the hipster Kerameikos-Gazi area, surrounded by bars, clubs, and live concert stages. This multifaceted party, especially prepared for you, will incorporate various exciting elements such as a Greek Village, live concert and dance stages, and performing arts.

In the Greek Village you will have the opportunity to explore products from all over Greece, from food to art and jewelry. Taste unique traditional and local Greek food, taste wine, beer and other Greek beverages, observe handmade jewelry creations, folk art, and much more. Admire live performing arts from Greek artists and dance away to the sounds of modern popular Greek bands and live DJ sets. A wonderful trail leads through the grounds, giving attendees a chance to explore Greek beauty projected against the museum’s interior.

The Details

  • Date:  Thursday, October 23rd
  • Time:  7:30pm – midnight
  • Closest Metro Station:  Kerameikos (Exit- Technopolis)

A very big Thank You to the City of Athens, ACVB for sponsoring this opening night party. It’s going to be a fabulous evening of entertainment and fun.  Remember, the opening night party is a badged event, you must be registered to attend.

 

TBEX Athens: Come Early and Stay Late

ath_antiquity0158©dkoilalous2008

Coming to Athens for TBEX? You will find a plethora of things to do in the city, so we hope you’ll be adding on several days in order to fully enjoy what the city has to offer. Athens is famous for many things and you will have the opportunity to experience these by signing up for one of the many day tours available.

What do you want to experience? Here’s a local’s take on the options available.

Gastronomy

Do you love food? Athens offers a wide variety of food options, from simple street food to higher-end gastronomy. Join one of the many food tours offered and you will get to visit various specialty food shops, colorful and alluring delicatessens and grocery stores, aromatic bakeries and confectionaries, and the meat, fish, and spice markets. You will get to sample authentic Greek Yogurt, freshly ground coffee, tangerine scented marzipan, olive oil and Greek olives, honey, savory pies, cheeses and charcuteries, mouth-watering sweet and syrupy “loukoumades”, traditional “bougatsa”, and the savoury “pastourma”. All this while learning more about Athens’ history, architecture and culture.

Would you rather be indoors? Then join a cooking lesson and enjoy a home-cooked meal in an authentic Greek home, or a multi-course gourmet meal while while viewing a historical exhibition.

Winetasting

Wine lovers will find some wondering offerings in the day tours and experiences. According to mythology, Dionysus, the god of wine, spread the art of wine-making to the Greeks.

Visit some of the best wineries of Attica and beyond, and enjoy the landscape of our beautiful vineyards. You will get to sample some of the most famous and award-winning Greek wines, accompanied with cheeses and cold cuts, amongst a pristine environment, and you will get to learn about its history and cultivation.

Shopping

Are you into shopping? Athens’ shopping scene is huge!

You will be able to enjoy the best that Athens has to offer in terms of handicrafts, clothes, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics, artifacts, souvenirs, wine and more. Each store has a story to tell and you will discover not only wonderful products, but also a lot more about Greek culture. Interested in Greek jewelry and sandal-making? Walk around the city center, from Syntagma to Plaka and beyond, and explore the myriad of artist-owned shops selling and creating all sorts of handmade, unique jewelry and sandals. You will be able to visit the Athens flea market, and discover all sorts of antiques. If you are interested in mainstream shopping, you will have the chance to visit a designer outlet in the outskirts of the city.

ath_antiquity0447©dkoilalous2008

Athens’ Historic Centre

If this is your first time in Athens, then you surely should not miss some of the classic sights that all visitors should see: the Acropolis, the Acropolis Museum, the National Archaeological Museum, the National Gardens, Zappeion, Hadrian’s Arch and the Olympian Temple of Zeus, the House of the Greek Parliament, Mount Lycabettus, Panathenaic Stadium, the Agora, the Academy, the University and the National Library, the Numismatic Museum, the Museum of the City of Athens and the historic neighborhoods of the Plaka, Monastiraki, Psyrri, Thiseio.

Arts and Culture

For arts and culture enthusiasts, take some time to walk around the city and discover some of Athens’ most well-known art galleries and artists’ studios. View first hand the work of contemporary artists and explore neighborhoods where artists have converted old industrial buildings into living spaces and workshops. Discover the emerging neighborhood where the new National Museum of Contemporary Art will be housed, the Onassis Cultural Centre and the Stavros Niarchos Cultural Center, which will house the new buildings of the National Library and Opera.

Athens is also rich in terms of street art – learn about graffiti in neighborhoods containing artistic, social and political elements.

Film, Theater, Dance

Are you a fan of film, theater, or dance? Then attend one of the special workshops designed especially for TBEX attendees.

You can shoot a short film while discovering Athens as a local, and you can become part of a film crew and leave your mark by taking over the camera and with a cinematographer’s guidance you will develop your directive skills! You can also participate in an interactive theatre workshop based on ancient Greek Tragedy, and take part in a mask workshop as well, while getting introduced to Greek history and tradition. Learn about Greek Folk dance and folk culture and expose yourself to dances from a variety of Greek regions, executed in their true style.

ath-sealeisure_0035©dkoilalous2008

Nature and Sports

For nature and sports enthusiasts, Athens has much to offer. You can learn how some of the secrets of golf with experienced coaches and hae a chance to practice basic golfing skills. Experience the beauty of the Athenian Southwest coastline through sea kayaking. If you are into trekking, you be able to visit Mount Parnitha, situated north of Athens.  You can visit Lake Vouliagmeni, famous for its therapeutic wonders, or choose the Attica Zoological Park which hosts more than 2000 animals from 350 different species.

Nearby Excursions

Lastly, Athens may be chock-full of things to do in the city, but there is plenty to do in its surrounding areas as well.

Visit the Temple of Poseidon at Sounio, overlooking the sea. Take a daily excursion to the Oracle of Delphi, and then visit the picturesque mountain village of Arachova. Go to Lake Marathon, and Ancient Corinth and Nemea, or take a cruise to the nearby islands of Aigina, Poros, and Hydra, all containing a rich history.

Find more information on the TBEX Athens Day Tours & Experiences here.

 

Digital Nomad Robert Reid to Keynote at TBEX Athens

img_9074We’re excited to announce that Digital Nomad Robert Reid has been confirmed as a keynote speaker for TBEX Athens.

Robert Reid is the Offbeat Observer and the current Digital Nomad for National Geographic Traveler. His writings have also appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Lonely Planet, CNN.com and ESPN.com. He often picks unusual subjects for trips — counting moustaches in Siberia, using Billy Joel lyrics as a guidebook to New York’s Long Island — and keeps up a decidedly home-made 76-Second Travel Show on his site, Reidontravel.com.

We’re happy to be able to tempt Robert back to the TBEX stage. His keynote presentation will touch on how travel bloggers can become reputable sources and, perhaps even more importantly, the responsibilities of becoming an “expert” in an era of burgeoning user generated content.  In his own inimitable style, Robert will provide information and recommendations, with plenty of funny stories woven in. Don’t miss it!

We hope you’ll join us for TBEX Athens on October 23-25th, 2014. See you there!

Wanders in Athens

I had the pleasure recently of visiting Athens with some of the TBEX team on a pre-conference recce. I was particularly excited for two reasons – one, I’ve never been to Athens before, and two, I knew I was going to be coming back here later on in the year to teach some photography.

Athens cloud and temple I got plenty of opportunity to get out on the streets and roam the sights on my visit, as well as ponder photography subjects and start to plan for my return. Here were some of my highlights :

The Acropolis

acropolis

You can’t visit Athens without at least noticing the Acropolis, given how this hill sits in the centre of the city and jumps into the corner of your eye at every occasion. I popped up here on a tour which gave me enough of an impression to realise I needed to come back under my own steam at a quieter time of day, if such thing exists, and take pictures at a slightly more leisurely pace. That, or find a hotel room with a spectacular view…

acropolis side on

Sailing the seas

Athens old port from the sea

Greece has had its fair share of water based history, and any trip to the country should involve some time on the water, ideally exploring some of the many islands. I just had a brief day trip out on the sea here, enough to get the wind in my hair, and appreciate the views of Athens, including this shot of the old harbour of Athens.

The markets

athens spice market

Like any major city, Athens has some impressive markets. Whilst the meat market was not for the squeamish, the nearby markets selling spices and herbs were more stomach friendly. I loved the colours of these assorted spices.

The old stuff

Philosopher and statue

Athens is where pretty much all the stuff we take for granted – democracy, philosophy, triangles  – got itself going. It’s been around for a good long while, and has plenty of old stuff to admire, both stuffed into the museums, and, well, everywhere else too. These statues were outside the library, with a god looking rather threateningly at a philosopher.

The newer stuff

street art in athens

There might be a lot of old stuff, but Athens doesn’t feel stuck in the past. There’s street art and modern art, plus of course a lively cafe scene and splendid opportunities for eating, drinking and making merry.

Stamped metal names_

The beaches and coastline

Yacht at sea Athens

Finally, Athens is much more than the city. To the south of the city you’ll find the Athens Rivieria, home to large yachts, stunning beaches (some private, some not), and rather handy sunset spots, such as this one I found below. If you have a chance, I can recommend getting out of the city and exploring the coastline a bit!

sunset athens coast

All in all, Athens is a fine place for a visit, and an even better place to wander with a camera – there’s so much variety on offer in terms of things to shoot, from temples to street scenes, sunsets to cityscapes. Something for everyone – I hope to see you there!

Author Bio:  A photographer, writer and traveller, Laurence has spent much of the last five years on the road, documenting his journeys and adventures at his popular travel and photography blog: Finding the Universe, which he runs with his partner Vera. He is also a founding member of Lightmoves Creative, a photography firm which offers bespoke photography and learning opportunities to brands and individuals.

Laurence will be leading a 2-day photo workshop at TBEX Athens, along with Daniel Nahabedian, as well as speaking about monetizing your photography.