Chasing Santorini Sunsets
They say Santorini’s sunsets are the best in the world, and I’m not sure I can say otherwise yet 🙂
I’m not sure if it was the time of the year that I visited Santorini, or simply its location on earth relative to the sun, but Santorini seemed to have some freakishly awesome long sunsets. Either way, they’re spectacular enough that every time you start researching things to do in Santorini, “catching the sunset” almost always pops up as one of the top suggestions.
So it was with great excitement that I awaited my first Santorini sunset on my first day there. Alas, it was not meant to be, because this was the best that it got – you can see the hint of what looked like it could be a spectacular sunset beneath a massive lining of stormy grey clouds.
I dunno why I was surprised, really; a few hours earlier, I’d excitedly rented my ATV and set off to visit Oia, only to be foiled by the dastardly springtime showers, heavy enough to make me legitly soaked and freezing from the already-cold winds. I had to make a hasty U-turn back to Firostefani, where I spent the next hour drying off my clothes with the hairdryer in my room… so glamourous kan, life in Santorini? 😛
Anyway, that was that, but I went to sleep fervently praying that the weather the next day would be more cooperative.
It almost looked like I’d go back disappointed again, because there were clouds hovering over the island the whole day, but around 5.30 pm the next day I was pleasantly surprised to catch these rays piercing through the cloud lining, just in time for sunset!
5.30 pm is where you start seeing the ‘golden glow’ of sunsets on all the buildings!
If you do a search for the best places to catch a sunset in Santorini, you’ll find a lot of people naming Oia as the place to do so, that’s not necessarily the case. And you’ll probably also see/hear about a ton of restaurants advertising ‘sunset views’, but that’s not necessarily the only way you can see sunset as well. Truth is, as long as you’re anywhere on the west side of the island (which means all the villages like Fira, Firostefani, Oia, and Imerovigli), you’ll be guaranteed a pretty awesome sunset 🙂
This is the sunset view from along the path from Firostefani to Fira – absolutely free, and equally as beautiful!
I don’t know how much time I spent there gazing out to the sea – a million fiery hues later, I’d tuned out all the gawking tourists nearby to watch the sun finally sink below the horizon at about 8.30 pm. That’s a solid 3 hours worth of sunset shots you can take!
While I was happy to finally witness a Santorini sunset for myself, I was curious to see why people loved going to Oia for sunsets so much, so I decided to go there the next day to see for myself.
Oia is said to be particularly crowded during sunsets, and you’d probably have to come really early to save yourself a nice vantage point if you’re dead set on seeing the sunset there. But thankfully because of the sparse crowds there in April, Oia’s most popular sunset spot was crowd-free enough that I could do pirouettes without hurting anyone, and also position myself nicely for this view:
Look at those rays! But it’s not that different from the view you can get from Fira, isn’t it? 😉
That being said, Oia is still worth a visit during sunset if you can make it, especially if you’re keen on photography like I am. Because sunset is the best time to get this shot of Oia 🙂
Although the skies were still terribly overcast, it was worth all the regular yet fleeting moments of sunlight breaking through to illuminate the village. I can imagine how much more gorgeous it would be with good weather!
So with that, I ticked off the last thing I wanted to do on Santorini. I hope someday you get to see a Santorini sunset for yourself too, because it’s one of those things that pictures don’t really do justice to!
Up next – updates about one of my favourite cities in the world 🙂