Traveling around Greece, you often find yourself thinking: “This looks like we’re somewhere else.” It soon becomes obvious that having any expectations at all when it comes to Greek landscapes is setting yourself up to be surprised. Maritina Laskaridou and Konstantinos Pappas’ photographs should come with a spoiler alert for some of those surprises.
The breathtaking sceneries almost look like movie sets. Or, as in the case of a shot of their camp site next to a winding creek in a deep green mountain landscape, like an illustration for a children’s fable. You half-imagine a friendly fox and a wise rabbit to scurry through the scene. Dragons would be more fitting, however, as the photo was shot at the Verliga Dragon Lake on Mount Lakmos.
The dragon lakes of Greece (once home to warring dragons, according to local legend) are favorite destinations of Maritina and Konstantinos, who have traveled near and far, both in Greece and internationally, always with cameras in hand. Why do they love the dragon lakes? Partly because of their mythical history and the demanding trekking trails you need to follow to get to them, but mainly, they say, because they “don’t resemble anything else in Greece.”
Another unique image: The sun sets behind a chapel at the monastery of Panagia Kalamiotissa, at the highest point of Anafi island, as friends hunker down to watch. In the next image, the sky is a spectacle of stars.
Maritina and Konstantinos first met seven years ago, working as designers for the same advertising agency. Their shared love of nature and travel led to a partnership, their own creative studio, and eventually, a year and a half ago, to their shared Instagram page Farawayfarers.
Despite their @, and the many photography adventures they’ve been on to places like Namibia and Iceland, Maritina and Konstantinos agree that distance from home is not what makes a trip substantial: “We strongly believe that there is no need to travel far away or pay a lot of money to find amazing places and live unique experiences,” they explain in an email. “Every time we travel abroad for a long time, we really appreciate things we missed from our homeland and we can’t find anywhere else. Greece is a diamond of landscapes. It has wonderful hidden gems, epic trekking trails, crystal clear waters, paradise beaches and awesome mountains.”
Moreover, being stranded in Greece this last year due to the pandemic was an eye-opener for the pair. When domestic travel was allowed, they took the chance to discover new places in Greece, and in lockdown, even Athens delivered the nature experiences and incredible photo opportunities they crave: “We visited the mountains of Athens so many times, discovering hidden paths. We snowboarded in Parnitha and made a camping spot just 30 minutes from the centre of Athens.”
On February 16th, Athens woke up to a snow storm, the likes of which few had ever seen. Maritina and Konstantinos headed to the Acropolis: “When we arrived, the view was out of our imagination. It was the first and probably the last time we would ever see something like this. We had to capture it at any cost.”
View this post on Instagram
“The snowstorm was strong but we didn’t hesitate to fly our drone over the landmark. We didn’t immediately realize what would be the result of the flight. When we got back home and edited the video, we found we’d captured an epic moment of Athens’ history. Our drone needed a strong service afterwards but it was worth it – for sure!”