Greece: A Love Story

First captivated by Greece more than three decades ago, photographer William Abranowicz has been documenting the enduring beauty of this ever-changing ancient land.

Naxos, Greece


The story behind the shot: "Naxos is a big hangout for windsurfers," says photographer William Abranowicz. "I took this photo because, well, who doesn't love a VW van? This couple was living in it on the beach. It's one of those 'you are there' photographs—looking at the picture makes you feel like you're actually standing in the place."

Hydra, Greece

Off the Coast of Hydra

The story behind the shot: "Hydra, a small island near Athens, is a favorite of wealthy Athenians," William says. "I took this picture from the water taxi. The island used to be on the old hippie trail—Leonard Cohen, Brice Marden, and Joni Mitchell are owned homes here at one time."

Mykonos, Greece

Agios Sostis Beach, Mykonos

The story behind the shot: "Mykonos is known as a jet-setting party island, but it's managed very well," says William. "When we first went, we drove a motorcycle there. Now you can drive a car, although off the beaten track there are still places that are undeveloped. When I saw this couple making out, I asked if they wouldn't mind continuing. They were happy to do it."

Ammoudi, Santorini, Greece

Ammoudi, Santorini

The story behind the shot: "Greece has these amazing sensual qualities," says William. "This fish taverna, Katina's, is the best, with really good, basic Greek cooking and those simple string lights—there's nothing fancy. The fishermen in Ammoudi still spend hours cleaning and mending nets. It's just one of those things that time hasn't changed."

Macedonia, Greece

Mount Athos, Macedonia

The story behind the shot: Nestled into a cliffside in northern Greece, the Mount Athos monastery is "owned by the church, and only men can go there," says William. "I went there on assignment. My assistant and I slept in a monk's cell for a few nights and ate dinner in a long hall in silence."

Oia, Santorini, Greece

Oia, Santorini

The story behind the shot: "Oia is one of those beautiful Greek villages," William says. "It was hard to winnow down the images of churches and religious icons for my book—churches hold a magical, mystical place in Greece and in Greek culture."

Karpathos, Greece

Above Apella Beach, Karpathos

The story behind the shot: "Karpathos is relatively untouristy," William says. "I love this remote side of the island. It has qualities of Northern California—big, craggy rocks and mountains and pristine white-sand beaches—not to mention the motorcycles!"

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