Look for tags of Santorini on Instagram and you’ll see that some of the most popular photos are of magnificent sunsets. Word has it that Santorini sunsets are the most beautiful in the world. And thanks to social media, we know Oia is one of the best places to see it. But we also know that braving the crowd is not for everyone. Don’t worry, here’s a list of some of the best places to catch the Santorini sunset. Some of them are a bit out of the way, but we promise it will be worth it!
The village of Oia is undoubtedly the most popular spot to watch the Santorini sunset. Photographers and selfie-takers go to great lengths to capture the moment, and some even arrive early to claim the best spots in the street or on a wall. One of the prime spots is near the Oia Castle to the west, or by the famous windmills in the north. Keep in mind that there will be a lot of people. For a more manageable crowd, head down and away from the castle instead of up. At the Byzantine Castle Ruins you will still be able to see the sunset. Or, head up to the hillside behind Oia that’s located off a dirt road north of the town. From these places you will only have to share the sunset views with a handful of other people!
Pyrgos is the highest village on Santorini, so understandably, it has prime sunset views. This quiet village is also specially protected by the local authorities to prevent it from being spoiled by mass tourism, so it retains a great local vibe. Although it has 360-degree island views, the best spot to catch the sunset in Pyrgos is at Franco’s Cafe. Located near the ruins of Pyrgos Castle and St George’s Church, enjoy a cocktail or a glass of wine to go with your Santorini sunset.
3. Profitis Ilias
A short distance away from Pyrgos, Profitis Ilias built on the highest point of the island. The sunset is especially captivating here with all-encompassing views over Santorini. But getting here will need some effort, as you’ll either need a car, or be willing to do a two-hour uphill hike from Pyrgos. The monastery closes at 4pm and by sunset it’s usually quiet. So if you want to enjoy a Santorini sunset far away from the crowd, you should definitely consider Profitis Ilias.
4. Akrotiri Lighthouse
For a different sunset view, head over to the southwest corner of Santorini. Akrotiri Lighthouse and the rocks surrounding it is a beautiful spot to catch the sunset. The lighthouse is at the end of a narrow and fairly rough road, and there’s only a tiny car park right by the building. Many people park their cars along the road close to the lighthouse, but you should still come early to get a good spot and avoid a stressful drive. Apart from catching the sunset at the lighthouse, there is also a hill behind the lighthouse where you can climb up. Wherever you situate yourself, you’re sure to have a beautiful view.
Fira is the capital city of Santorini. It is not particularly known for its sunsets, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a good view here! The best way to do so is to book a table at one of its rooftop bars or restaurants. If you’re doing Santorini on a budget, the downside is that these establishments tend to charge a higher price, which comes with the prime views! Among the best sunset spots is the upscale PK Cocktail Bar just off Theotokopoulou Square. Argo Restaurant is more casual with a great view too, as well as some awesome Greek seafood on the menu!
6. Sunset cruise
Last but not least, one of the best ways to catch a Santorini sunset is from the ocean. There are many sunset cruises in Santorini which usually begin in the afternoon and include a few stops along the coast. Some also stop for a dip at the hot springs, and end with a vantage point view by the volcanic islets. Many of them also come with evening dining and champagne! If you’re in Santorini with your special someone, a sunset cruise is probably the most romantic way to see the sunset – without any of the crowd.