Chasing sunsets in Santorini

Sunset in Oia Santorini

Sunset in Oia, viewed from terrace of Sunsets Bar & Restaurant

One of the must-do things I read about while researching Santorini, was sunset viewing. There seemed to be an obsession with them, with discussions on several forums about the villages with the best views as well as the best viewing spots therein.

Having witnessed them in person, I can almost understand the craze… It was a lovely sight (as it can be, in any part of the world). My two cents on the issue:

  • The sunset viewed from Fira (while enjoying a fantastic dinner at Archipelagos) was just as lovely as the views from Oia (from the terrace of Sunsets bar & restaurant – average meal but much better than having to jostle with the crowds on the street or at the old castle). I read some discussions saying that Oia won hands down, but I didn’t feel that… except for the interesting foreground that the town of Oia made for my photographs.
  • My favorite spot to view the sunset was actually from the sea itself. It’s a great perspective, with the added benefit of seeing the charming village of Oia bathed in the evening glow. There are several companies running sunset cruises, which will take you out from around 3:30 pm to just after sunset. Most include dinner and drinks, and take you around for swimming, snorkeling, hot springs, volcano viewing, etc. Tours start from €30 per person for big boats with lots of people, to €100+ pp for those with 10-30 people. If you can afford it, charter a yacht for a private excursion. Captain Lambros II speedboat is a fantastic option (€ 140 per hour)… We were able to design the agenda as we wanted, and swim, snorkel and dip in the hot springs in secluded spots. Add to that a lovely freshly prepared dinner of Greek salad and shrimp pasta, accompanied by good wine and our choice of music… A truly memorable experience!
  • Go off the beaten path and try and wake up early to enjoy the sunrise. It isn’t a crowd favorite. In Oia (which doesn’t have much by way of nightlife), the streets were deserted and there was this feeling of calmness, as we watched the orange orb emerge from the sea and ascend in the sky. Just magical.

P.S. We were told that Pyrgos, the highest point in the island is a great place to view the sunrise. We weren’t able to check it out, but considering the lovely views of Santorini island from the castle in Pyrgos, it is probably true.