If Greece is the cake, then Santorini is definitely the cherry on top. From the caldera to the beaches, it’s arguably the most picture-perfect island in the country.
You can no doubt imagine the white, blue-domed buildings towering high above the turquoise sea, even if you’ve never been before. But, you need to see these magical views with your own eyes to really appreciate their beauty.
So, where should you go for the very best views in Santorini?
The prettiest sunset views
The Santorini sunset is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. The best and most romantic place to experience it is in Oia. However, due to its popularity, the streets in this small village can become overcrowded. So, where should you go for the best view?
The hillside: Make your way up the dirt road north of the town for wonderful views high above the crowds in the streets below. Pack a few Greek treats and a blanket to make this moment extra special.
From the sea: Join a sunset cruise and sail around the caldera as you admire the towns of Fira, Oia and Imerovigli. Finally, you’ll end up in the perfect spot to watch the colours change as the sun starts to set. Many cruises also offer dinner and drinks as well as live music.
Santo Winery: Sample Santorini wines on the terraces while the sun sets in the background. Bliss!
Stairs to Skala: Head to this path, which is often used for donkey rides and settle down on the steps to watch the setting sun.
Ammoudi Bay: This port is connected to Oia by narrow steps. Avoid the tourists trying to capture their own photos and head here for uninterrupted views.
You can also stop by the windmill or the Old Castle but make sure you get there early to get the best view.
Hotels with a beautiful backdrop
- Avaton Resort & Spa: Situated on a clifftop on the outskirts of Imerovigli, the rooms in this stylish hotel enjoy views of the sea, sunset, caldera, Oia village and Thirassia Island.
- Carpe Diem Santorini: You’ll find this elegant hotel in Pyrgos. The rooms boast private plunge pools and terraces that look out across the Aegean Sea.
- Cosmopolitan Suites: This luxurious hotel can be found in Fira, where you can see the sea from its balconies. Jump in the infinity pool or relax on the terrace while admiring the caldera and volcano.
See the volcano from the ideal angle
The west side of the island which includes the capital Fira, Firostefani, Oia and Imerovigli is where blue-domed, white buildings are perched on the caldera, high above the deep blue ocean with views of the volcano.
Imerovigli is the highest and most central part of the caldera which is why it is known as the ‘Balcony to the Aegean.’ Make your way here and hike to the top of Skaros Rock for incredible uninterrupted views of Santorini.
Incredible views of the unique beaches
One of the many interesting things about Santorini is that you won’t actually find beaches on the west side of the island. The touristy coastlines are along the east, while down in the south you’ll see some of the most spectacular shores.
The east side is where you’ll find the black sand beaches including Perissa and Kamari, which boast a beautiful backdrop of Mesa Vouno Mountain.
Make your way up Mesa Vouno to see the ruins of Ancient Thera and look out over the sparkling ocean and down the coastline.
Perhaps even more impressive than the black sand stretches is Red Beach. This shoreline, which is red from the pebble sand to the towering cliffs that surround it, is one of the world’s most unique. You’ll find this beach near Akrotiri village – it can be reached by a downhill path or via a boat.
Restaurants with breathtaking views:
- Sphinx, Fira: You can take a seat here, high above the caldera in a restored mansion and enjoy good food and fine wine while you take in the view.
- Skaros, Imerovigli: This fish restaurant boasts wonderful views. It is the most romantic setting come sunset.
- Feredini, Oia: Mediterranean dishes are created using local produce which can be enjoyed alongside breathtaking views.
Where to take the perfect photo
You definitely don’t want to forget your camera when you visit Santorini. There are Instagram-worthy photo opportunities around every corner that are bound to make you the envy of your followers.
- The famous sunset from Oia Castle: Take a seat on the castle’s wall, facing Amoudi Bay and you’ll capture the impressive architecture and bay as well as the setting sun. Once the sun has gone down, Oia is lit up, which is another wonderful photo, especially with the windmill in the background.
- The caldera from Amoudi Bay: The best photos are taken at dusk when you’ll capture the iconic caldera views bathed in the most magnificent colours.
- The caldera from an infinity pool: If your hotel has an infinity pool you’ll capture wonderful images of the caldera in the background.
- The Blue Dome Churches: Head to Ekklisia Panagia Platsani, a Greek Orthodox Church in the main square. With this behind you, turn right and head down the street. You’ll pass a church with three bells on your left. Just before the Bulgari store take the path on your left. You’ll reach a brown door. Head down the path on the right and follow it until you are in the perfect position to snap the iconic Santorini view.
- Perissa Beach from Tranquilo Bar: This colourful bar looks even brighter against the black volcanic sand.
- Red Beach from the sea: Board a boat so you can capture the unusual colour of this part of the coastline from the sea.
- The three bells in Fira: Climb the stairs up to the top of the cliff behind Mama Thira and you’ll be able to snap the blue dome and three bells with the ocean in the background.
So, pack your bags and prepare to be amazed by what awaits you when you land on this romantic island.