Santorini is with no doubt the best place in the world to meet sunsets.
This tiny Aegon sea island, which is less than a half marathon at its maximum length, offers to its fortunate visitors a plethora of activities and places to see. Marvelous beaches, beautiful vineyards with delicious wines, spectacular rocky hiking trails, ancient history, deadly dangerous volcano, iconic Blue & White architecture to see.. But ultimately everything you’ll do at Santorini will aim just to time pass till the night, because the main and the only reason you are here – The Sunsets. Gorgeous, Stunning, Spectacular sunsets over the Aegon caldera…
So, what to do whilst waiting for the sunset?
- Meet sunrise and then relax at black sanded Camari beach. It’s protected from wind by rocks on its south, the waves are easy and pleasant. It’s a rocky beach, so get swimming shoes to be able to walk in the sea, especially if you are not a confident swimmer. Camari is a very happening & vibrant village with a beach strip full of cute bars and tavernas.
- Afternoon drive to the western side of the island. Stop over at monastery of Prophet Elias in Pyrgos village – the ancient capital of Santorini. Centrally located it is the highest point of the island. Enjoy sunning panoramic views over the island and the sea.
- Enjoy Vlychada beach in the Southeast of the island. Just 20 minutes away from Kamari. It’s a spectacular beach with dark sands and white rocky walls behind. What a gorgeous contrast.
- Go further South of island – walk through ancient streets of prehistoric town of Akrotiri. Imagine life there 5000 years ago!
- Drive down to the Lighthouse – the most southern point of Santorini. This elegant will make a sunning set for epic shots of sunset sky. From Akrotiri you can enjoy spectacular sunsets giving golden shades to the panoramic views over the whole island.
- Make a drive through a serpentine road from Kamari beach to parking spot for an Ancient Thira. Enjoy rocky hiking with stunning sapphire sea views from cliffs and grand stones. Explore ancient history of the Aegon region – visit ruins of the Ancient Thira.
- Go towards Ormos Athinios port in the center of West coast of Santorini. Walk through Santorini vineyards. Strong winds and harsh dryness in summer are reasons for the unique format of these vineyards: They have a basket shape and they grow at ground level to protect the grapes.
- Choose your winery to sit down and to admire sunsets from the center of Santorini coastline. We were sitting at Santo Wines winery. We enjoyed wine tasting menu and the stunning views over Santorini calderaJ
- Get thrilled when visiting Nea Kameni island containing one the most dangerous volcanos of the world (you saw results of its eruption when walking in Akrotiri).
- Calm down soaking in sulfur waters of volcanic hot springs at Palea Kameni island.
- Enjoy panoramic view of the whole Santorini island from its little brother – Thirasia
- When the tour boat will bring you back to Oia port, stay there for evening. Have a fresh fish dinner at Ammoudi bay – a tiny charming harbor with crystal clear emerald water surrounded by gorgeous red cliffs.
- Roam around iconic narrow white streets and tiny cute crafts shops, explore the OiaThe picturesque village of Oia is the most northern part of Santorini. It’s the most popular place for taking pictures of Santorini sunsets. Let’s say it’s a must visit place. But it is tremendously crowded. When the nature’ show starts, people are literally hanging from the walls and windows. It might happen that you’ll not be able to take nice shots and truly admire the views, as you’ll be constantly pushed from different sides. Yet, it’s a place to have in your list.
- Take a stroll through streets of Kasteli (Castle city) in Emporio village which is located in the heart of Santorini. Admire scenic views and tall steeples of churches. Give a visit to a lovely wooden church of Panagia Mesiani – the second most important church of the island.
- Take a breathtaking cable car ride down to port in Fira – the capital of Santorini. Get the thrills when soaring off the edge of volcano and then floating down 300 meters, passing spectacular “frozen” lava flows and rock formations. It’s one of the wildest and spine chilling rides in Europe.
- Visit Firostefani village, just1 km away from Fira. It’s the highest point of view over the caldera.
- Continue your way through Imerovigli – probably the most luxury area of the island, full of fancy hotels and exquisite restaurants.
- Choose your place to watch the iconic Santorini sunset framed into blue & white hotel cliffs of Firestefani and Imerovigli.
If visiting Santorini in August check the Ephesteia Festival in Fira. It lasts couple of days in mid August and shows local customs and Santorinian wedding, gives concerts, traditional dancing and fireworks symbolizing volcanic eruption.
Food for thoughts and for inspirations:
Best time for visit: Late May – June to September, with temperatures ranging from 21C/ 70F to 29C/84F, with almost no rains.
Where to stay:
- Choose Kamari if you like meeting sunrise at the beach. Stay in Fira if you don’t want to miss vibrant night life after sunset.
- Have an exclusive experience of staying in a cave house. It is a peculiarity of Santorinian architecture. Interesting, that Yposkafo (cave house) use to be a type of house of poor people in Santorini, just to get protected from the gusty winds. But nowadays after luxury touch and ultra modern renovations they became super fancy and exquisite holiday resorts.
How to get around:
- Public transport is very poor in Santorini, so, it’s better not to count on it.
- The best way to explore Santorini is to hire a scooter. It’s fast enough & easy to ride specifically in this type of terrain with hilly, crooked, narrow roads. No problems with parking (especially in Oia, Fira, Kamari where the parking space is limited). Cheap in renting, cheap in feeding. It’s the best transport solution for Santorini. Some people rent quad bikes, which gives advantage of a spacious boot. But then the quad bikes require more parking space, have less power which is specifically required on these hilly roads, to an extent that there is a risk of reverse go and even overturning.
- You can rent a car or quad bikes at the airport or the port where you arrived with ferry. Scooters are better to be searched at your destination area.
- There is a public bus connecting some major towns and villages of the island with airport and with the ferry port, but the schedule is not completely clear or totally reliable. We have taken taxi though it’s quite overpriced for these distances (15-20 euros between Airport and Kamari).
- Keep in mind that Santorini roads have no lighting system and they are very slippery at nights (with the night dew condensed on the roads surface). Try to avoid driving at night.
How to reach Santorini:
- There is a ferry connecting Santorini with other fabulous Aegon islands and finally with Athens. It’s a good option for those who go for islands hop-on hop-off holidays. The ferry between Athens and Santorini will take around 8-9 hours. When planned in advance direct tickets from Athens to Santorini can costs just around 40 euros for economy class at slower Blue Star ferry and around 60 euros at Highspeed ferry.
- If Santorini is your primary destination, then it’s better to pay more for a flight but reach it just in 40 minutes from Athens.
Enjoy life-time experience of the best and most epic sunsets in the world!
Get more inspirations for great Summer holidays:
- Summer on the Walk: The best walking & hiking travel destinations of Summer. Flower Fields, Mountains, Arctic, Special trails and walking events
- Unique, fun, weird, bizarre and epic festivals of Summer
- Best music festivals of Summer
- Wine festivals and destinations in Summer
- “Where to” ideas for Summer travels