Sunsets in Santorini are truly magical. The view is always incredible from the west side of the island and the colors are just out of this world! One of the best things to do in Santorini is definitely sunset watching. That’s why I collected all the best places where you can watch an incredible sunset in Santorini!
If you wanna know more about Santorini including how to get there, when is the best time to go, where to stay and what to do, check out my Santorini Travel Guide! It is jam-packed with useful information about the island and it’s especially helpful if you are a first-timer!
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Best places to watch the sunset in Oia
Oia is the most popular place when it comes to sunset watching in Santorini. If you are looking for that postcard perfect view you definitely need to go there. Unfortunately since it is the most popular place it’s always crowded like crazy. I will share the most famous spot but I will also tell you about my favourite secret viewpoint where you can have an amazing sunset view without all the people, so keep reading!
Sunset spot nr. 1 - Oia Castle
I’ve already told you that Oia is the most popular place for sunset watching and Oia Castle is the most famous sunset spot in town. Based on that I think you can imagine how crowded this place gets around sunset… Now multiply it with three! It is really that crazy!
I would say that you should go early but based on what I saw early won’t help you either. Unless you plan to come like 3-4 hours earlier, go to the castle, secure you spot and not move until the sunset is over. Oh, and expect to share the experience with at least 300 other people. Seriously.
I tried to make my way up there around sunset but is was just impossible to find a spot. Don’t expect a normal castle at this place, unfortunately it was destroyed in an earthquake. Only a part of the old watchtower survived so there is no castle in reality, just the ruins of the castle. I don’t have any sunset pictures from here but you can see the view in the below photos during daytime.
Yes I know, the view is really beautiful but I think it just doesn’t worth it. Especially since I know another spot where the view is the same and you can have it all to yourself! Let’s continue with that.
Sunset spot nr. 2 - My favorite spot, the Byzantine Castle Ruins
Now that you know how crowded Oia Castle gets around sunset, let me show you another way to experience the sunset in a much calmer place. Most people go to the top of the castle where the old watchtower stood once. Instead of going up, start going down!
If you start to walk from the city center in the direction of the castle you will end up at this spot that you can see on the below photo. If you wanna go up to the castle you should continue to the left side but instead of doing that, continue right!
You have to take a few turns on the road and you will pass by this cute orange building called Kastro Oia Houses. (It’s an amazing instagrammable spot, just FYI!)
Soon you will see the old castle walls in the hillside. This is your spot! You can easily climb up there and you will only have to share this place with a handful of people.
We were sitting on that road you can see in the left side of the photo. Since there were almost no other tourists we could take so many amazing photos! If you walk all the way to the door in the end of that road you will find a small cave so you can create a perfect frame for your photos. Let me show you the view you get from this spot!
In my opinion this is definitely the best place to watch the sunset in Santorini! Do you agree with me?
Sunset spot nr. 3 - Go on a sunset cruise
Boat tours are one of the most popular things to do in Santorini as they offer an incredible view of the caldera and the surrounding towns. There are tons of different options to choose from, you can’t go wrong with any of them.
The sunset tours are one of the most expensive tours, they usually start from 100-150€. Since we had only one night in Oia we didn’t go for a cruise but I’ve heard many positive reviews. If you are staying there for more than one night and you have the budget, definitely go for it!
Best places to watch the sunset in Fira
Fira is the capital city of Santorini and it offers a wide selection of hotels. Chances are pretty high that you will stay there at least for a few nights. Fira isn’t known for its sunsets but trust me you can witness some pretty amazing sunsets there too! And it’s less crowded than Oia so that’s definitely a plus point.
Sunset spot nr. 1 - Franco's Bar
We arrived to Fira in the afternoon and I was searching for a place to have a coffee with a nice view. That’s how we ended up in Franco’s Bar. The bar was practically empty and there were no other people around us on the terrace. As the view was just perfect we decided to stay here for a sunset. What a great decision we made!
The only downside of the bar is that it’s quite pricy. Coffees, beers, ciders and wines cost around 6-10€ while cocktails are between 15-20€. I know it’s a lot but I think it’s totally worth watching the sunset from there even with prices that high. This is definitely not the place to get drunk but buying one beer wouldn’t break the bank. And it’s so worth it for the view!
But let the pictures talk instead of me! So this was the view in the afternoon before the sunset.
And when the sun slowly started to set it gave the whole city a warm golden glow. The view was absolutely fantastic! The staff at the bar changed the music to a beautiful classic song which made the experience even more memorable. Half an hour later the whole city was lit up and the sky turned into a soft purple color. What a magical night it was!
The view from the bar during golden hour and blue hour. I still can’t get over how beautiful it was!
Sunset spot nr. 2 - Along the wall
If you wanna experience the same view for totally free – you can do it as well! You can simply stop anywhere along the low walls in Fira (even around Franco’s Bar) and you will get the exact same view.
The downside is that the walls will be crowded so try to be there as early as you can to secure a good spot for yourself! You won’t be able to get good photos of yourself due to the crowds and the lack of space but if your goal is just only sunset watching you will still get a memorable experience from there as well.
Best place to watch the sunset in Akrotiri
Akrotiri lies in the south-west corner of Santorini. Since it is quite far from the main touristy area it’s not so popular amongst visitors and only a handful of people go there. The Akrotiri peninsula is famous for the ruins from the Minoan period so if you’re a fan of archeological sites I can totally recommend checking it out!
What got me really excited is that I accidentally found out that there is a lighthouse in the south-west edge of the island. I don’t know why but I’m obsessed with lighthouses! So I instantly knew I had to go there.
While the view is pretty epic I only recommend going there if you have your own car and you already seen the sunsets in Oia and Fira. It takes like a 50 minute drive from Oia or a 25 minute drive from Fira to get there. You can park your car along the road close to the lighthouse and since it’s not so popular it’s easy to find a parking spot.
Most people who go there walk all the way to the lighthouse but there is a hill behind the lighthouse where you can easily climb up (there are even stairs in the hillside). I think the view from the hill is far more better because this way you can have a view of the lighthouse and the sunset as well! You can find some little caves in the hillside that make a perfect framing for the photos but the smell is really awful inside so I only recommend going there if you are truly passionate about photography!
Oh and one more thing: Santorini was really windy almost all the time while we were there in mid-September but this place was the windiest of all! Since you are practically on top of a hill in the edge of the island it’s only natural. I’m only saying this to be prepared for some serious gust of wind!
Best sunset spots in Santorini - Summary
Since we had only three nights in Santorini we could only watch three sunsets. All of them were really different but they had one thing in common: every one of them was so magical! The sunsets in Santorini are really out of this world.
Hope you guys liked this post about the best places to watch the sunset in Santorini and you will be able to witness some pretty epic sunsets as well while visiting Santorini!
If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email, I always love helping you out! Do you know some other great sunset spots in Santorini? Let me know in the comments!