A Visual Journal of Crete, Greece
Explore the island’s captivating landscapes
White-sand escapism. Diving into cool, salty water. For Berlin-based photographer Dennis Eichmann, summer will always make him feel alive. The trained painter and fashion designer has turned his lens on his surroundings since childhood. Until documenting his holidays on his analogue camera turned into a more serious approach to the medium – and eventually led him to become a professional image taker in 2017. His visual work highlights the allure of everyday things, from human-made objects in desolate landscapes to kaleidoscopic fruits at roadside shacks.
This September, he took us along his third visit to Crete, the largest and most populous Greek island and haven of sun-drenched shores and captivating history. “The island is relatively big and therefore very diverse. It’s perfect for hiking and home to beautiful rocky beaches that are great for snorkelling,” he writes. Having journeyed Crete by car, from Chania in the northwest to Agia Fotia on its southeastern tip, he raves about how warm locals are: “People are incredibly welcoming – away from the tourist sites, you find a plethora of picturesque motifs in the form of quaint taverns, calm beach scenes, and more.”
Dennis' recommendations for Crete
Chania is a beautiful port city in the north of Crete and home to various shops and cafés. I love going to Bohème, which is located in a beautiful, plant-covered backyard – go and sit under the trees and drink Greek frappé. Outside Chania, stop at the Verekinthos Arts and Crafts Village to buy handmade products from various manufacturers. There is a wide range of glass, jewellery, ceramics, and leather goods produced and sold on-site in the workshops.
Gramvousa Island and Balos Lagoon
Take a boat trip from Kissamos to the southern Gramvousa Island to see giant agaves and dive around a shipwreck. Most of the boats continue to Balos island, which has a beautiful lagoon – sadly, it’s often crowded and rather touristy.
Margarites, Plakias, and the surrounding area
In the centre of the island, in the mountains, you will find the tiny village of Margaritas. Go for a stroll and explore its abundance of pottery studios offering hand-made ceramics. Then visit Plakias, its eastern bay, and Akra Kakomouria, a mountain you can hike around. It’s a varied route; think olive groves and steep cliffs. Nearby there is a secluded beach with a small tavern called Rodakino.
I was positively surprised by the southern city of Ierapetra. It’s pleasantly calm and home to many young people and excellent eateries, such as Cup Cafè. Sit on the street and enjoy the vibe. From Ierapetra, take the ferry south to the small island of Chrissi, and marvel at the natural salt basins and the 300-year-old cypress trees.
We spent a week in the bay of Agia Fotia and stayed at Markos Studios. It’s so quiet and relaxed; enjoy breakfast on the balcony and watch the sea in the morning. Then, go snorkelling to spot a wide variety of fish, sea urchins, and turtles.
Hiking in Zakros
If you’re into hiking, head to Dead's Gorge near Zakros. Bring comfortable shoes, a hat, and plenty of water with you, so you don’t get a sunstroke as I did. Another beautiful – but difficult to navigate gorge – is Butterfly Gorge in the south of the island.
Dennis Eichmann is a Berlin-based photographer. Thank you, Dennis, for sharing your trip to Crete with us. As we navigate travel’s comeback, there are so many mesmerising destinations to explore. Discover more guides here, or reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org you’ve got somewhere magical to show, too.