Greece,  Santorini

the lowdown on santorini sunsets: where to watch them

i think a typical santorini itinerary for a day is a wedding shoot by day and sunset by night (somewhat joking) but the question we asked ourselves everyday was, where do we watch it from?  after spending a week on the island and exploring most of the areas, these are my personal recommendations for locations to catch the picture perfect views in the evening.  from my searches, the majority of suggestions wavered between the two towns of fira & oia but there’s plenty of other worthwhile options, many of them being better than those two especially if you prefer to get away from the maddening crowds.

fira – very easy access along the main promenade and the cliffside restaurants.  you can get an ok view from here with some of the best ones being by the bars/restaurants/walkway towards the church on the southern tip of the town.  not much of a view of the north side of the island though so you can’t see the orange rays bouncing off the white of the buildings.

an easy, unobstructed view from the main promenade

pyrgos – we wish we saw a sunset from here.  pyrgos sits higher than the other towns and the vantage is quite different as you can see the sun setting upon the whole landscape of the island.  water, building, fields, cliffsides as well as the caldera.  you’re further from the ‘action’ so to speak but there are many rooftop patios to catch this from

the view from pyrgos in the daytime. we caught a little bit of golden hour on a bus ride that passed through town and i really regret not spending an evening watching from here

imerovigli – nestled about halfway in the arc of the island between oia and fira is the town imerovigli.  i read that this was a very intimate way to spend a sunset and we can attest that it is definitely that.  we arrived early to walk around town and saw skaros rock (that housed the most important of the fortresses to defend the island in the olden days) calling to us to check it out and it turned out to be the perfect place to catch the sunrise.  we got a better vantage than fira and because of the way the rock juts out from the coastline of the island, you can see all the way up and down the island from the tip of oia to the southwestern part.  the only portion that remains hidden is about half of fira.  the best part of all is that we spent the whole sunset by ourselves.  i’m actually slightly confused as to how a gem like imerovigli can be left off most peoples’ itineraries but if i ever make it back to the island, my first sunset will definitely be here.

you can hike all the way to the top of skaros rock (on the left here) or watch it from the base like we did. really amazing vantage here
long clouds hanging over oia in the distance

oia – opted to skip this one because of the crowds.  maybe we’re more antisocial than we thought but the idea of needing to secure a spot to watch the infamous sunset 1-2 hours in advance and wading through people as you leave town seems ludicrous to me.  i couldn’t even talk myself into doing it just to say i have which i know is half the fun of it.  we had planned to catch the sunset here on our last full day however we fell asleep for longer than expected at perissa beach and missed out.  oh well, no biggie

lots of balconies to watch from in oia but be warned, get there early to grab a spot

sunset cruise – highly recommended by a friend that did this, if you have a few euros to shell out, a cruise to the island of ios and a sunset on the water will run you roughly 60 euros.  best seat in the house and had we had more time and a bigger budget, we probably would have done this as well

best seat in the house

another option is to rent a car/atv and drive out to one of the many stops along the cliffside to catch the sunset there.  santorini has so many options, check them all out!

Leave a Reply