Here are 6 of the best places to see the sunset in Santorini—plus insider tips on how to snag a reservation.
Sunsets on the dazzling Greek island of Santorini are world-famous. As the day slips away, tourists swarm the streets of Oia, the most stunning of Santorini’s whitewashed villages.
Right around sunset, it becomes nearly impossible to traverse the streets, as throngs of tourists crowd every corner of Oia in anticipation of a sunset view. A lucky few will sit out on their own unobscured balconies or rooftops—and, of course, you’ll inevitably see at least one Instagram ~influencer~ getting photos taken in a floral midi dress.
When the sun finally dips below the horizon, onlookers applaud in appreciation of what is absolutely one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world.
A little planning mean the difference between having a quiet, romantic evening with an incredible view—or being crammed into a tiny Oia alleyway with selfie sticks in every shot. Below, I’m sharing the best spots to watch the sunset in Santorini, Greece.
THE 6 BEST PLACES TO SEE THE SUNSET IN SANTORINI
1. Sunsets Restaurant ($$$)
On the rooftop terrace of Sunsets, you’ll get a gorgeous uninterrupted view of the sunset. Be sure to ask to be seated on the front rooftop terrace, not in the main restaurant area below that has a pedestrian walkway in front of it. They do require you to order a bottle of wine for first line tables. The food and service aren’t amazing and for Greece, it’s pricey—e.g. 20-25€ an entree; 50€ bottle of wine. However, we thought it was worth the one-time splurge, since based on the location on the tip of the island, it must have one of the best views in all of Oia. The website doesn’t seem to work, but you can call +30 2286 071641 to make a reservation.
2. Santo Winery ($$$)
This winery has sweeping views and its large, open terrace is a lovely spot for sunset. Since it’s elevated above the cliffs, it can get windy—even in the dead of summer, so bring a layer. Santos offers 6, 10, and 16 wine flights for between 30-50€ per person. It’s possible to get a table here without a reservation, but you can try calling ahead to see if you can get a first-line table: +30 22860 22596.
3. Venetsasanos Winery ($$)
Venetsasanos has similarly gorgeous caldera views to Santo; however, Santo is the more well-known and can get busier with tourist groups. Venetsasanos is therefore a more relaxed and less commercial experience. The sunset booking is 25€, and includes two glasses of white, rose, or red wine (try the Assyrtiko) and an assorted platter of light bites—cheese, cold cuts, bread sticks, etc. You can book your reservation online here.
4. Kastro Oia Restaurant ($$$)
Kastro has a beautiful covered terrace framed by the island’s distinct pink bougainvillea flowers. They serve typical fresh local fare, like grilled fish, lamb, and Greek salad. Visit the photo gallery to check out the sunset view. For reservations, email the restaurant at firstname.lastname@example.org, or give them a call at +30 22860 71045.
5. Pelekanos ($$)
Unlike some of the other sunset restaurant options, Pelekanos is highly regarded as an excellent and well-priced meal in Oia. Offering Greek fare with a modern twist, it’s one of the places you can find a sunset and caldera view in combination (though you don’t get the sweeping, unobstructed view that you do at say, Sunsets Restaurant above). Visit their photo gallery for snaps of their open-air rooftop. For reservations, you can call the restaurant at +30 22860 71553 or reach out by email at email@example.com.
6. From a sunset cruise ($$$)
Lastly, a wonderful alternative is to spend an evening on a boat cruise around Santorini. There are plenty of sailing operators that are all highly rated, though I can recommend the sunset cruise with Barbarossa Sailing. We booked a 5-hour, semi-private tour for 125€ per person, ending up with only four of us on the boat. We loved our day of swimming in volcanoes, snorkeling in clear waters, devouring a homemade meal, and cruising around the Aegean to chill beats in good company. Contact Captain Mario at +30 21140 91240 or on mobile at +30 69870 30668. For this reservation, a week in advance should be plenty.
5 TIPS ON MAKING A SUNSET RESERVATION IN SANTORINI
1. Check sunset times, and plan accordingly.
Some restaurants will have specific times they seat, but others will let you pick your specific time. The whole sunset experience lasts about 20 minutes. The times given are for when the sun dips below the horizon.
2. Book early.
I’d recommend reaching out on the early side for restaurant reservations—I booked 2-3 weeks in advance in high season (August), and not all of the places I called had availability. I found that calling right when restaurants opened for the evening was generally more effective than emailing. I usually top up my Google Hangouts or Skype account with a few dollars in order to dial international numbers.
3. Ask for a first line table.
This refers to a table closest to the edge, which ensures that you have an uninterrupted view instead of being potentially blocked by other diners. This makes a huge difference, especially in the photos you’re able to take throughout the course of the evening.
4. Confirm your reservation two days in advance.
Given their popularity and the flakiness of foreign tourists, many restaurants will cancel your reservation if they don’t hear from you two days in advance. It’s best to call ahead.
5. Arrive on time.
Many restaurants have only a 10-minute grace period until they give your table away. Plus, the closer to sunset you get—the more crowded and difficult to cross the streets will be!
What are some of your favorite places to see the sunset in Santorini?
PS: The one thing I loved most about Greece.