Santorini sunset
Santorini sunset

As the sun descends over the Aegean Sea, casting its warm hues across the caldera, Santorini unveils an unparalleled spectacle: its splendid sunset! 

Viewing the sunset in Santorini is a spellbinding moment transcending the ordinary. Keep reading to discover the sunset times, best vantage points and photography tips for capturing its charm.


Why is the Santorini sunset famous?

The Santorini sunset has achieved iconic status, making it one of the most sought-after experiences worldwide. 

But why?

Well, the interplay of light and shadow on the island’s white-washed buildings, accentuated by the deep blues of the sea, creates a visual masterpiece unlike no other. 

With the sky “dressing” in gold-pink shades and the high volcanic cliffs as a backdrop, it’s a unique sight of high aesthetic appeal and ethereal beauty.


Sunset in Vychada beach, Santorini


What time is the sunset in Santorini?

Being informed about when the sun descends is crucial so you don’t miss witnessing this one-of-a-kind spectacle. Below, you can find the sunset times for each month:

  • March: From 6.15 to 7.40 pm
  • April: From 7.30 to 8.00 pm
  • May: From 8.00 to 8.30 pm
  • June: From 8.30 to 8.40 pm
  • July: Around 8.40 pm
  • August: From 8.00 to 8.30 pm
  • September: From 7.00 to 8.00 pm
  • October: From 5.30 to 7.00 pm
  • November: From 5.00 to 5.30 pm
  • December: From 5.00 to 5.30 pm
  • January: From 5.30 to 6.00 pm
  • February: From 6.00 to 6.30 pm


Where to watch the sunset in Santorini?

Santorini offers a plethora of mesmerizing places to witness its striking sunset. Let’s go through the most important ones, divided by their location for your convenience.


The best places to watch the sunset in Oia

Perched on the caldera cliffs, Oia is the undisputed champion when it comes to sunset views.


Oia Castle

The Venetian Castle of Oia offers a front-row seat to the sun’s descent, making it the most famous spot to admire the fading light embracing the azure waters. 

What you should know, though, is that it’s packed with tourist crowds, especially during the high season. So, you’d better skip visiting it if you seek a more romantic and serene experience.


Sunset in Oia, Santorini


Blue-domed churches

Santorini blue domes stand as timeless symbols of the island’s architectural grace. As the sun sets, these iconic churches become the perfect frame against the vibrant canvas of the evening sky.

Positioned within Oia’s heart, they offer a unique ambiance to gaze toward the horizon as the landscape gradually transforms from charming to breathtaking. However, those, too, tend to get very crowded. So, make sure you arrive early to find a spot!


Hillside behind Oia

Ascending the meandering paths that wind through the picturesque alleys, you can discover hidden vantage points on the hillside. Here, away from the bustling crowds, the transition to the night unfolds with a sense of quiet majesty.

The elevated terrain provides unobstructed views of the caldera, allowing you to appreciate the vastness of the Aegean Sea. This less-explored area radiates tranquility, creating an intimate setting for you and your loved one. 


Ammoudi Bay

Just a stone’s throw away from Oia, Amoudi Bay complements the experience with its lovely fishing village atmosphere. 

There, seafood tavernas serve delectable dishes, providing a sensory feast as the sun dips below the horizon.


Sunset spots in Fira

While Oia claims the spotlight, Fira, Santorini’s bustling capital, unveils its own sunset sanctuaries. 


Sunset in Fira, Santorini


Fira to Oia trail

Commencing in Fira, this scenic trail unravels along the caldera, offering uninterrupted vistas of the sparkling waters below.

Advancing along the path, the ever-changing hues of the sunset sky create a mesmerizing backdrop, offering ample opportunities to pause, reflect, and capture the 360° views.


3 Bells of Fira

Located atop a hill that’s a 15-minute walk from the center of Fira, this emblematic church is a harmonious blend of spiritual significance and panoramic allure. As the sun begins its descent, the landmark transforms into an ethereal sight.

All the above make it a fantastic photography spot! Yet, be prepared to wait for your posing turn, as it usually gets crowded during the high season.


Best sunset spot in Imerovigli

Perched on the highest point of the caldera, Imerovigli provides uninterrupted views, creating an atmosphere of pure tranquility.


Skaros Rock


Sunset in Skaros Rock, Santorini


Away from the bustling crowds, Skaros Rock offers a unique setting for witnessing the sun disappearing on the horizon. Its rugged terrain and remnants of a medieval castle against the evening sky create an ethereal atmosphere that will stay in your memories forever. 

Santorini Experts tip: Bring a flashlight to ensure a smooth return via the hiking trail, as there is no street light.


More peaceful spots scattered across the island

The following are lesser-known locations, serving as equally beautiful vantage points. Away from the buzz of the popular spots, you can immerse yourself in the present moment as you watch the sun’s last rays paint the sky in a mesmerizing palette.



Pyrgos, with its medieval charm, provides a serene alternative. This picturesque village boasts traditional Cycladic architecture and a slower pace of life that add to its allure.

Ascend the historic Kasteli Castle for an unparalleled panoramic view. As the sun sets, Pyrgos’s white-washed buildings and blue-domed churches create a captivating contrast against the twilight hues. 


Sunset in Pyrgos, Santorini


Profitis Ilias 

Sitting 567 meters above sea level, Profitis Ilias mountain is the highest point on the whole island. Home to a homonymous orthodox monastery, it combines rich history with astonishing views!

Reach it just before golden hour to admire the monastery’s intriguing museum. Then, sit comfortably to marvel at the amazing sunset unbothered, as there are usually only a few people around.



Located at the island’s southern tip, Akrotiri invites you to explore its peaceful area. From magnificent landscapes to the homonymous archaeological site, it’s home to plenty of wonders to marvel at!

Furthermore, its captivating Akrotiri Lighthouse stands tall against the sunset, offering both a historical narrative and a breathtaking backdrop. One thing to note, though, is that this landmark tends to get very crowded, too.


Relish the Santorini sunset from a different angle

For an unrivaled experience, set sail on the azure waters surrounding the island. Taking a Santorini sunset cruise allows you to witness this unique spectacle from the heart of the Aegean Sea. 

As the boat gracefully glides along the caldera, the changing colors of the sky reflect on the water, creating a mesmerizing sight. Furthermore, the gentle rocking of the yacht and the sea breeze add to the enchantment, creating a sense of tranquility. 

And as if all the above weren’t enough, you get to explore some of the most astonishing places in Santorini, like the volcanic Red and White Beach, and even enjoy a tasty meal on board!


Sunset in Imerovigli, Santorini


Photography tips for capturing its alluring beauty

If you seek to immortalize this enchanting moment in the best possible way, worry not! Keep reading to discover our expert tips for snapping great photos.

  1. Golden hour: Plan your arrival well before sunset during the golden hour when the soft, warm hues illuminate the landscape. This period offers ideal lighting conditions for stunning photographs.
  2. Iconic silhouettes: Utilize the magnificent elements of Santorini, such as blue-domed churches, windmills and whitewashed buildings, to create captivating contours against the backdrop of the sun.
  3. Varied perspectives: Explore different viewpoints to diversify your shots. Whether from a hillside, a boat or the narrow streets of the villages, each one offers a unique angle on the sun’s descent.
  4. Long exposure: Experiment with long exposure settings, especially when capturing the movement of the sea or the lights of the town. This technique can add a touch of magic to your photographs.
  5. Equipment essentials: Bring a tripod to ensure stability, especially during longer exposures. Consider using a wide-angle lens to capture more of the panoramic beauty that unfolds during the sunset.


Where to stay in Santorini for sunset?

Choosing the right accommodation in Santorini can uplift your sunset experience from exceptional to extraordinary. 

  • Oia and Imerovigli are premier locations, with luxurious cliffside hotels offering front-row seats to the nightly spectacle. Imagine admiring the magical sunset from the privacy of your own terrace or infinity pool overlooking the caldera.
  • Additionally, Fira is a great alternative to consider. Envision being surrounded by vibrant nightlife and a myriad of dining options, all with the mesmerizing sunset as the backdrop.
  • If you seek a more laid-back ambiance, Pyrgos, Megalochori and Akrotiri are equally enticing and have nothing to be jealous of in terms of beauty!


Indulge in one of the best things to do in Santorini

Santorini’s sunset isn’t merely a spectacle. It’s a poetic dance that invites you to embrace the magic of twilight.

As the sun dips below the horizon, casting its golden farewell, it leaves an indelible impression. So, choose your preferred spot and prepare to create precious memories that will be engraved in your heart forever!

Expert tip: Opt for a tailor-made Santorini private tour to craft your own sightseeing itinerary before watching the sunset on the best vantage point your guide will recommend based on your unique preferences. 

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