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Best places to watch the sunset in Santorini

May 27, 2014

Santorini sunsets are legendary and for good reason. No sunset is the same two days in a row, yet they are all magical and transport you to a place far away. We spent four days in Santorini and the sunset was different every day. The conditions for a perfect sunset are hard to predict and plan for, but Santorini showed us that no matter what the weather, sunsets on the island are bound to be unforgettable.

Whether you stand agape with hundreds of other tourists at the westernmost point of Oia (pronounced “Eea”) or sail on a boat with pirate sails listening to the saxophone play in the background or relax on the private balcony of your room overlooking the caldera, Santorini sunsets are sure to be among the best you’ve seen. Don’t believe me? See for yourself!

Santorini Sunset from private balcony of room in OiaDay 1 – Sunset from our private balcony overlooking the caldera

Day 1 – We decided to watch the sunset from the private balcony of our room at Atlantida Villas in Oia. The skies lit up with bright shades of fiery gold, orange and yellow as the Aegean sea turned from cobalt blue to steel grey. The typical rounded semi-cylindrical roofs of Santorini’s houses added to the drama with their unique silhouettes.

Santorini sunset from OiaDay 2 – Sunset from the fortress ruins in Oia

Day 2 – We hiked to the westernmost point of Oia near the ruins of a long forgotten fort, which has since been rediscovered for its unobstructed views of Santorini’s famous whitewashed houses set against the cerulean Aegean sea. You might recognize this photo as one of the most popular and lasting images of Santorini, especially during sunset. If you don’t mind the crowds, this is a great spot for panoramic views. The day we went, it was cloudy, so we got to see a sliver of orange before the sun dipped below the horizon. But watching the play of light on the impossibly white sugar-cube-shaped houses and having the view almost all to ourselves (there wasn’t as much of a crowd) was a memorable experience.

Santorini sunset from cruising sailboat ThalassaDay 3 – Sunset from our cruising sailboat Thalassa

Day 3 – When in Santorini, one has to do the sunset cruise! Why? Because they are well worth it! We sailed on a beautiful ship with pirate-style sails named Thalassa and had a wonderful time on the cruise. We also got to see a gorgeous sunset, away from the crowds. Even clouds could not hide the sun which shone like a blinding fireball and unveiled a spectacular sunset.

Spectacular Santorini sunset in OiaDay 4 – Sunset from the fortress ruins in Oia

Day 4 – We thought we had already seen some of the best sunsets on the island, but we were proved wrong on our last evening in Santorini with the most picturesque sunset we had ever set eyes on. We hiked again to Oia’s fortress ruins on the westernmost point and braved the crowds that were out in much larger numbers. It was all very well worth it because a hint of clouds and clear skies meant the weather conditions would likely be perfect for a spectacular sunset. It turned out to be one of the best sunsets we’ve ever seen!

Best places to watch the sunset in Santorini:

  1. Oia is the westernmost town on the island and has some of the most picturesque views. The fort ruins (right above Amoudi Bay) off of the pedestrian walkway are a popular spot for panoramic views of the sunset. Be prepared to deal with throngs of tourists when the skies are clear.
  2. Amoudi Bay is supposed to be a great place to watch the sunset too. Combine this with a freshly-caught-fish dinner at one of the quaint tavernas.
  3. On a sunset cruise (like the Thalassa) is one of the best ways to experience a sunset in Santorini. The boats are big enough that it feels like a private cruise and you can enjoy the sunset in peace. A saxophone playing in the background adds to the magic.
  4. There are many viewpoints along the hiking footpath from Fira to Oia that are great for catching the sunset without having to deal with the crowds.
  5. The town of Imerovigli is at the highest point on the island and offers breathtaking views of both the caldera and the sunset.
  6. If you are staying at a hotel (in Oia or Imerovigli) with good views of the caldera and sunset, there’s nothing better than relaxing on your balcony (most hotels offer private patios) and watching the skies burst into rainbow colors as the sun dips beneath the horizon.

If you could be anywhere in the world to watch the sunset right now, where would you want to be?

~ Trupti

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From → Greece

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  1. Urban hiking in Greece: Hiking Fira to Oia in Santorini

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