Are you looking for the best sunset Santorini spots? Then you are not alone!
Santorini is not only famous for its white house cities with blue dome churches but also for the magnificent sunsets.
Sadly, watching the sunset in Santorini’s most famous town Oía and its iconic blue domed churches has become somewhat of a tourist attraction. It can be quite hard to find a quaint spot to enjoy the sunset in peace.
I have been to Santorini many times, and I have found the most amazing sunset spots on the island, like on top of the mountain Mount Profitis Ilias.
To make sure you can also enjoy your Santorini sunset in peace, I have created this ultimate list with all the good sunset spots for you in this post.
Keep on reading this Santorini travel guide to find the best Santorini sunset spots!
Table of Contents
- What You Need to Know About Santorini Sunsets
- Best Santorini Sunset Spots
- 1. Mount Profitis Ilias – Best Sunset Spot in Santorini
- 2. Santo Wines Winery
- 3. Old Castle of Oía
- 4. From a Santorini Sunset Cruise
- 5. From Imerovigli – Skaros Rock
- 6. From Azanti Suites in Megalochori – Best Private Santorini Sunset Spot
- 7. Akrotiri Lighthouse
- 8. From Horseback
- 9. Pyrgos
- 10. From Fira (Thira)
- Conclusion: 10 Best Sunset Santorini Spots
- About the Author
What You Need to Know About Santorini Sunsets
Santorini sunsets are renowned worldwide for their spectacular beauty. The rugged volcanic landscape combined with the deep blue Aegean Sea create a stunning backdrop for Santorini sunsets. The sunsets have become one of the island’s most iconic attractions.
There are still quite a few things you need to know about the sunsets in Santorini before heading there. Otherwise your experience might be less than ideal.
The most popular spots to witness Santorini sunsets are in the village of Oia and along the caldera cliff-side in Fira. These vantage points offer stunning panoramic views over the Aegean Sea. Sadly, they are also the most crowded spots to watch the sunset – and the setting is less than special.
Timing is key: Check the local sunset time and plan to arrive early to secure a good viewing spot, especially during the peak tourist season. Many visitors gather well in advance to secure the best views. Alternatively, avoid the crowded spots and head over to one of my secret Santorini sunset spots instead.
Plan for dinner or drinks: Combine your sunset experience with a dinner reservation or a wine tasting experience at a cliff-side restaurant. This allows you to see the enchanting sunset experience while savoring the island’s cuisine and beverages.
Remember to check the weather forecast. Cloudy conditions can affect the visibility and colors of the sunset.
Best Santorini Sunset Spots
1. Mount Profitis Ilias – Best Sunset Spot in Santorini
Mount Profitis Ilias is, with an elevation of 567 m the highest mountain peak on the island of Santorini.
You can easily reach the top of the mountain by car or ATV. You can put it in your GPS and simply follow the route from Pyrgos up the mountain. From there you will have a stunning and unobstructed view over the entire island.
Not only the sunset is magical to watch from the top of the hill, but after the sun has set you will see the beautiful lights of the magical island of Santorini glistering in the evening sky.
It is also possible to hike up to the Mount Profitis Ilias. Here are some tips in case you prefer hiking:
Mount Profitis Ilias is located near the village of Pyrgos, so that is a great starting point for the hike. The most common route starts from Pyrgos and follows a well-marked path that gradually ascends the mountain. You can follow the signs until you reach the summit.
The trail is relatively well-maintained, but wear appropriate footwear and bring water and snacks. At the top of Mount Profitis Ilias, you’ll also find the Monastery of Profitis Ilias. It is a small but historically significant religious site that you can explore as well.
2. Santo Wines Winery
Santo Wines is one of the most famous wineries in Santorini. They produce amazing Santorini wine – and their wine tasting experiences are extra special.
Santo Wines is situated on the Caldera cliffs near the village of Pyrgos. The location provides a stunning vantage point overlooking the Aegean Sea and the Caldera. Its elevated position offers breathtaking panoramic views, especially during sunset.
Santo Wines has a dedicated Sunset Terrace. From there you have amazing unobstructed views of the sunset. You can book a wine tasting experience on the sunset terrace, and enjoy a magical sunset with glasses of wine and tapas.
The combination of the panoramic views, the warm glow of the setting sun, and the relaxed atmosphere of Santo Wines makes for one of the best Santorini sunset spots.
3. Old Castle of Oía
The Old Castle of Oia, also known as the Byzantine Castle, is a historic landmark located in the village of Oia- and it is a great Santorini sunset spot.
The castle dates back to the Byzantine period and was built as a fortress to protect the village against pirate attacks. It was later converted into a residential area for the Venetian nobility.
The castle offers panoramic views of the village, the Aegean Sea, and the iconic Santorini sunset. The Castle of Oia is easily accessible on foot from the main village square. Just wander along the pathways and you will reach it easily.
While the Castle of Oia is a great sunset spot – I have found an even better solution. This also makes for a great Instagram photo spot.
Right below the famous castle of Oía you can find the ruins of the old castle of Oía. While the actual castle on top of this spot is a very crowded space during sunset times, the hidden ruins below are the perfect spot to watch the sunset in Santorini.
Make sure to get there early though, since there are only a couple of openings in the ruins from where you can see the sun set. Some people do know about this secret spot – so you might not be alone there.
4. From a Santorini Sunset Cruise
Another amazing spot to see the sunset in Santorini is from a boat. I have absolutely loved our Santorini sunset cruise experience, it was such a memorable moment.
You can book an evening catamaran trip with a small group and sail around the island of Santorini. Booking a small-group or private catamaran trip is key to avoiding a stressy atmosphere.
On the sunset cruise, you will see the Caldera and even the famous Red Beach. Many cruises stop in Nea Kameni, where you can take a swim in the hot springs.
Right before the sun starts to set, you will sail back to Oía and see the sunset from below. What a marvelous experience.
Usually, these excursions offer a BBQ as well as a selection of wines. You will have everything you need to enjoy the sunset to the fullest.
Check out the coolest sunset cruises here.
5. From Imerovigli – Skaros Rock
Imerovigli is a cute little village located on the northwest coast of Santorini, Greece. It is approximately 2 kilometers north of Fira, the capital of Santorini.
Imerovigli is often referred to as the “balcony to the Aegean” due to its nicely elevated position. From Imerovigli you will have magnificent panoramic views of the caldera, the Aegean Sea, and the neighboring islands.
Imerovigli sadly does not have as many sunset-facing vantage points as Oia. But it still provides beautiful sunset views.
I enjoyed watching the sunset from the terraces of restaurants or the village’s central square. The caldera backdrop combined with the stunning colors of the sunset creates a magical experience.
And the impressive Skaros Rock in the background makes it even more special. You could also hike up Skaros Rock for an even better view.
If you prefer a quieter and more serene setting compared to the bustling crowds of Oia, Imerovigli is indeed a good spot to appreciate the beauty of Santorini’s sunset.
6. From Azanti Suites in Megalochori – Best Private Santorini Sunset Spot
If you are looking for a private spot to see the sunset, I can absolutely recommend booking your hotel room with the Azanti Suites in Megalochori.
The luxury boutique hotel has beautiful suites with infinity pools and hot tubs that have an unobstructed view over the Caldera and the sunset.
In my opinion, I had the best sunset experience in this hotel on the terrace of our room. We also got married right there on the terrace of the honeymoon suite and had an incredible sunset.
For more luxurious hotel options in Santorini head over to this post.
7. Akrotiri Lighthouse
The Akrotiri Lighthouse is located at the southwestern tip of Santorini and it is a great secluded sunset spot.
The Akrotiri Lighthouse offers a picturesque sunset experience away from the crowds. It’s a bit remote but worth the visit. You can easily drive over to the Akrotiri Lighthouse with a car or an ATV.
While the drive there takes a while, you will pass by lots of stunning viewpoints over the Caldera and the Aegean Sea. It is one of my favorite spots to see the Santorini sunset.
Do you need travel insurance in Santorini? Yes, travel insurance in Santorini is highly recommended. Unsafe roads, water sports accidents, and food poisoning are only a few examples of when travel insurance could come in handy. EKTA offers worldwide travel insurance with 24/7 service and no hidden fees or restrictions.
8. From Horseback
Horseback riding for sunset in Santorini offers a unique and fun way to experience the island’s natural beauty. It might sound a bit daunting, but even my husband who has never sat on a horse before could manage.
Several equestrian stables in Santorini offer guided horseback rides along scenic routes. From there you have an amazing view over island’s stunning landscapes.
You can expect to ride through vineyards, countryside paths, and coastal trails, all while enjoying the picturesque views.
Some equestrian centers organize dedicated sunset tours, allowing you to witness the magical sunset while on horseback. These tours are usually carefully timed to ensure that you will reach a good vantage point to enjoy the sunset at its most captivating moment.
Our horseback riding tour had magnificent views for sure. And it was a whole lot of fun!
Pyrgos is a village in Santorini that offers a serene and less crowded alternative for witnessing the sunset. It is one of my favorite alternatives for watching the sunset in Santorini.
Pyrgos is situated on a hilltop so you have great elevated views of the surrounding landscape, including the caldera, the Aegean Sea, and the neighboring villages.
Pyrgos has a traditional and authentic ambiance, with its narrow winding streets, traditional Cycladic architecture, and whitewashed houses. It offers a quieter and more relaxed setting compared to bustling tourist hotspots like Oia. Watching the sunset in Pyrgos or its many restaurants is a more intimate and authentic experience.
The best spots to watch the sunset in Pyrgos are:
- Pyrgos Castle
- Franco’s Cafe
- Pyrgos Restaurant
- Penelope’s View
10. From Fira (Thira)
Thira (also known as Fira) is a fantastic spot to watch the sunset in Santorini. It is a popular choice, but still not as crowded as Oia.
Thira is located on the western side of Santorini, on the caldera cliffs. Its elevated position offers stunning panoramic views of the Aegean Sea and the volcanic caldera.
There are many stunning viewpoints along the cliff-side, from where you can witness the sunset casting its warm glow over the sea and the neighboring islands.
Whether you’re strolling along the cliff-side promenade, relaxing at a cafe or restaurant with a view – you’ll have plenty of opportunities to find a spot that suits your preferences.
My favorite restaurant to watch the sunset in Fira is Nektar Lounge. Not only do they have a great view of the Caldera, but they also serve cute little wine-tasting arrangements with cheese.
Conclusion: 10 Best Sunset Santorini Spots
These were my 10 favorite Sunset Santorini Spots, and I hope you love them as much as I do.
There is one thing to keep in mind when looking for a great Santorini sunset spot: do not be lured in by restaurants offering a great caldera view. They are usually overpriced and the view is mediocre.
I hope that you like these 10 alternative sunset spots in Santorini, that are free of crowds and provide you with a more meaningful experience.
If you need more help planning your vacation in Santorini, make sure to read about all the things you need to know before going to Santorini.
Oia, located on the northwestern tip of Santorini, is widely regarded as the best place to witness the breathtaking sunset. Its iconic blue-domed churches and white-washed buildings create a picturesque backdrop for the sun’s descent over the Aegean Sea. The village’s elevated position offers unobstructed views, making it a popular spot for visitors to capture the magical beauty of Santorini’s sunset.
The months of May to September generally offer the best sunsets in Santorini. During this period, the weather is warm, and the skies are typically clear, enhancing the vibrant colors of the sunset. However, many visitors consider the month of June as particularly stunning, as the summer solstice occurs, providing longer daylight hours and an extended golden hour for capturing the beauty of the Santorini sunset.
The sun sets on the western side of Santorini. The island’s western coastline, particularly the villages of Oia and Fira, offers spectacular views of the sunset. These locations are strategically positioned to witness the sun sinking below the horizon, casting a mesmerizing glow across the Aegean Sea. Visitors flock to these western-facing spots to experience the enchanting beauty of the Santorini sunset.
Santorini’s stunning sunsets are a result of a combination of factors. The island’s unique topography, with its volcanic cliffs and elevated vantage points, allows for unobstructed views of the horizon. The clear skies and warm weather create ideal conditions for vibrant colors to paint the sky during sunset. The picturesque white-washed buildings and blue-domed churches add to the charm, making Santorini a paradise for witnessing breathtakingly beautiful sunsets.
The best place to watch the sunset in Santorini is without a doubt Mount Profitis Ilias. From the highest point of the island, you have a stunning view over the caldera, the sunset, and the Aegean sea. It is also less crowded than other popular Sunset Santorini Spots.
About the Author
Sabrina is a passionate travel blogger and content creator, based in New Mexico. She spends about half of the year traveling to various destinations together with her husband.
She provides slow-paced itineraries that focus on quality over quantity. Sabrina wants to help her readers to get more out of their travel experiences – while doing less. Read more.