This is the BEST Sunset in Santorini View (Surprise It’s Not Oia!)

Best Sunset in Santorini

Santorini is the most famous Greek island and known worldwide for its colorful architecture on the cliffs. For many travelers, their most memorable moment will be seeing the best sunset in Santorini! We absolutely love Santorini and recommend visiting outside of peak season with less tourists. While the Oia sunset is very popular, it may not be the once in a lifetime experience you’re expecting! Here’s everything to know about the Santorini sunset time, and our favorite place to watch it outside of Oia.

Famous Oia Sunset in Santorini

Let’s get right into it! If you have multiple nights on the island and are set on seeing sunset in Oia village, then totally go for it! In our opinion, it’s a little overhyped… Yet, know that’s actually nothing to do with the cliffside town of Oia.

Oia is without a doubt one of the most beautiful villages in all of Greece. The iconic blue domes and colorful houses molded into the cliff edge will truly leave you speechless. The real reason why we avoid it at night is the swarm of tourists that descend on Oia for the Santorini sunset.

On top of that, know that travelers staying overnight aren’t the only ones who will be here. The countless cruise ships (up to 7 at a time in peak summer) which fill the harbor also run specific Oia Santorini sunset tours. 

If you’ve never been to Oia then know that the streets are very small and compact. It can get extremely crowded and hard to move around for the Santorini sunset time. The hundreds of people with their cell phones getting sunset photos can take away from the magic as well. 

We’re not trying to say that the Oia sunset isn’t amazing! We just think it has been portrayed a little differently on social media than in actual reality. Really, it’s the hordes of tourists that take away from the special nightly moment. 

Oia Santorini Sunset

Is the Sunset in Oia Worth It?

Yes and no! It really all depends on your own travel style and itinerary. If you have a few days on the island and are near Oia for the Santorini sunset then why not? However, for us it’s not the best sunset in Santorini and there is a much better spot which we will get to soon!

When you do get to the picturesque village of Oia know that you can’t see sunset from everywhere in town. In fact, a large section of the small village overlooks the other side of the island and faces away from the Santorini sunset!

Don’t get us wrong, it is still very beautiful. Just be aware you need to go to an exact point to get the best view.

Head towards the Venetian Castle of Agios Nikolaos which is also known as the Oia Castle. The popular spot at the top of a cliff is the most ideal sunset location. The only problem is you will need to be in a good position to get a view!

Most likely, other travelers will already crowding this area. If so, we recommend strolling through the winding streets to find your own place to take in the Oia sunset from.

There are also several cafes and restaurants (Vitrin is our favorite) that look out over the town. If you get there early enough you may be able to grab a seat to watch the sun go down. Read this article for a complete guide to Oia and everything to know before you go.

Oia Sunset Santorini

Where is the Best Sunset in Santorini?

Now that we’ve been over the Oia sunset, you should know about more of our favorite spots! In our opinion, the best sunset in Santorini is actually quite far away on a different part of the island. 

It’s close to the main town of Fira Santorini, but not actually in it. Fira is much larger and another very popular place to watch the Santorini sunset from. Yet, just like Oia, it can get very crowded for this nightly view.

We’re not saying our best Santorini sunset spot won’t have anyone else there. However, from our experience, it’s way less crowded than the others you may have read about. 

Just past Volkan on the Rocks is a walkway that overlooks the caldera view and Santorini sunset. We actually went to this restaurant and brewery on a fun food tour which we highly recommend.

The stretch is part of a nice walking path that holds some amazing views of the island. It connects Fira to the village of Imerovigli and runs along the cliffs. Continuing along this route is the beginning of the famous Fira to Oia hike ​that connects the two towns.

Our Favorite Santorini Sunset Spot

When looking at Google maps this is the exact area we would head to. Look for the Three Bells of Fira if you need another landmark.

The best part is that it’s a large area so you can find your own section of the path. You can even walk down the stairs in certain places and grab a seat. That way you won’t have anyone blocking your view of the Santorini sunset!

Here you’ll find a breathtaking view overlooking the Aegean Sea and the entire island of Santorini. You can even see Oia village and other beautiful Greek islands off in the distance. 

Obviously, there are endless places on the island to watch the stunning sunsets from. This is our go-to location we’ve found after many visits to Santorini.

We also like to do this walk into the morning after grabbing a takeaway pastry and coffee from a local bakery. Be sure to check out our article on the best things to do in Santorini before your trip.

Sunset in Santorini

Sunset Santorini Greece

Santorini Sunset Tips 

Santorini Sunset Time: Always do a quick search to find out what time the sunset is going down during your visit. The Santorini sunset time changes throughout the year and you’ll want to plan your day accordingly so you don’t miss it. 

Arrive Early: No matter where you watch the best sunset in Santorini from plan to go a little early. This is especially important if you’re heading to the Oia sunset viewpoint. If you have multiple days you can even do a different Santorini sunset spot every night! 

Book in Advance: Some restaurants allow you to make a reservation for the Santorini sunset time. Book as far in advance as possible and ask for a front row seat. It would be such a bummer if you’re spending the extra money and are seated in the back of the bar or restaurant. 

Santorini Sunset Hotels: Watching the sunset in Santorini from your balcony in Oia could be an excellent option. Still, we recommend checking out the best hotels in Imerovigli as well. 

This is easily one of our favorite parts of the island to stay in for amazing sunset views. It can also come at a fraction of the cost as towns like Fira and Oia. Read our complete guide for the best areas to stay in Santorini here.

Use the Bus: The Santorini bus system is by far the cheapest way to get around the island. Unsurprisingly, taxis can be very expensive when going between the towns in peak season.

It’s also very fast and efficient and you won’t have to worry about parking a rental car. Here’s our full guide to visiting Santorini on a budget!

With that said, the worst time to take the bus is definitely right after the Oia sunset. This is when you’ll likely have to wait in a long line to get back to Fira and other parts of Santorini.

Sunset in Santorini Guide

Sunset in Santorini Greece

More of the Best Sunset in Santorini Views 

1. Akrotiri Lighthouse: You will need to rent a car in Santorini (here’s what to know beforehandif you want to make it to this unique view of the Santorini sunset. It’s the furthest point possible from Oia, and overlooks the entire island. We also recommend making the drive here during the day if you have time.

2. Ammoudi Bay: Want to be sea level for the sunset in Santorini? Ammoudi Bay is the perfect location to sit and enjoy a glass of wine, fresh Greek salad, and dinner on the water. You will need to make a reservation at one of the restaurants in advance, and know they come at a steep price.

However, you can enjoy the view here without ordering a meal! Walk to the left past the restaurant along the dirt path that hugs the cliffside. Here you’ll have a glorious view of the bay and Santorini sunset. You can even take a swim around Saint Nicholas Island for the golden hour. 

3. Skaros Rock: This is another ones of the best places to watch the sunset of Santorini. The famous rock extends from the village of Imerovigli and has outstanding views of both Oia and Fira. There is a small path heading down from town that is easy to miss if you’re not paying attention.

Be extra careful walking here and attempting to climb up on the rock. It can get crowded during the Santorini sunset time in the summer months and we wouldn’t recommend it for families with younger kids.

4. Santo Winery: This is our favorite winery on the island and somewhere we love to go for a local tasting. Santo is also the place to be for the best sunset in Santorini! 

Book your table as far out as possible if you’re planning to go around the end of day. If they’re all filled up for sunset then it’s still worth visiting for a glass of wine in the late afternoon.

Santo is located near Pyrgos Village which is another great addition to your Santorini itinerary. You can get here by taxi or easily jump on the local bus from Fira and be there in just a few minutes!

5. Santorini Sunset Cruise: There are many sailing companies that offer Santorini sunset watching tours around the island. Not only will you see spectacular sunsets, but it’s such a unique and great vantage point to see it from the water.

Some of the most popular companies offer everything from ocean kayaking to a luxury cruise with dinner, and even swimming in the hot springs!

Best Sunset in Santorini Greece

Where to Stay in Santorini Greece

Here are our hotel recommendations as well as inspiration for different areas of the island. As you can see, there is something for every type of traveler on Santorini!

Oia: Canaves Oia EpitomeKastro Oia HousesAllure Breeze Suites – The most iconic village in Santorini Greece with beautiful white-washed buildings & famous island and sunset views.

Fira: Atlantis HotelPantelia SuitesEste Luxury Suites – The capital of Santorini is a great hub with lots of nightlife and shopping. 

Imerovigli: MerovigliossoKasimatis by La PerlaWhitedeck Santorini – Traditional village with a laid-back feel. Yet still, with plenty of high-end hotels and restaurants.

Kamari: Makris Beach Hotel La Bellezza Eco Boutique Hotel Kalya Suites – Fun black sand beach town with lively bars and restaurants that run along the promenade. Great options for travelers on a budget. 
 
Akrotiri:Kalestesia Suites  – Potnia Theron Suites  – Kokkinos Villas – Mountain village set on the far side of the caldera near Red Beach and the Minoan ruins. 

Pyrgos: Apikia SantoriniPyrgos 1870, A restored WineryFlora’s House & Cave Winery  – The ancient capital of Santorini and its highest sitting town. Great views and also home to the island’s best vineyards.

Hotels in Santorini Greece

Have any questions about this article or want to share your opinion on the best sunset in Santorini? Leave us a comment below! 

Safe Travels, 
Brigitte & Jake

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Santorini

Greece Travel Planning 

Information: Explore all our articles on Greece and the many different islands we cover such as Rhodes, Karpathos, Crete & Milos!

For island hopping use FerriesinGreece to compare different routes, prices, and companies. The fast ferries like Sea Jets will cost more but often takes half the time of slower ferries like Blue Star.

 Flights: We always check Skyscannerand Kayakto search for cheap flights. That’s how we got from Athens to Santorini for under $50 USD!

 Accommodation: Always compare multiple sites to get the best deal. We search both Booking.comand Agoda!Also,  Hostelworld should be your go-to source if you’re traveling on a budget. 

 Rental Car: You can book a rental car for as little as $20 a day in Greece! We use Discover Cars to explore the larger islands with a vehicle.

 Tours: Go to Get Your Guide for hundreds of activities in Santorini. You can find everything from group sailing tours to private catamaran cruises. Go wine tastingaround the island, horseback riding down the beach, or even jump on an ATV tour!

 Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without insurance. We’ve been using SafetyWingfor the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.

 Packing Lists: Find all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists. Including electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials!

Santorini

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2 Comments

  1. Kimmy
    February 4, 2024 / 10:09 am

    Wow, what an amazing guide to the Santorini sunset! I’ve been dreaming of going for years and thanks to your tips, I feel so much more prepared to avoid the crowds and find the perfect spot for me. I especially loved the tip about the walkway near Volkan on the Rocks – that sounds like my kind of sunset experience! I’m also intrigued by the suggestion to explore Santorini outside of peak season – any recommendations for the best time to visit?

    • Brigitte & Jake
      Author
      February 4, 2024 / 2:08 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it! Our favorite time to go to Santorini is in May or October. The weather is still great and you won’t have the crowds of the peak summer season. Hope that helps!

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