Santorini holidays are all about colour and contrast. Not least when you take a walk from Fira to Oia Santorini to watch the famous sunset.
Everything on this unique Greek Island seems painted white: buildings, pavements, stones, even the tree trunks. Set this against the dark volcanic rock of the Santorini caldera and add the blue sea, blue paint, black sand and red rock, and you have an extremely photogenic holiday destination!
Around midday the sky loses its dazzling blue and joins the whiteness above the hazy islands. And at the end of the day the Santorini sunset bathes everything in a soft glow.
There’s no better way to experience this than by taking the classic walk from the old town of Fira to Oia Santorini. This is the perfect opportunity to catch a snapshot of Santorini’s iconic architecture and geography as you wander along the edge of the crater rim past villas, convents and graveyards.
At every step are superb views of the island volcano and its caldera, filled with the blue Mediterranean. Santorini is actually the residue of an incomprehensibly large volcanic eruption about 1450 BC, and under the blackened island of the Kammeni things are still simmering away.
A five-minute detour to Antonius Chapel offers a perfect lunch spot with picnic tables and even a toilet hut. Another chapel to another saint sits lonely at the highest point of the walk.
At last we arrived at the northern tip of the Caldera, where Oia perches, waiting for sunset. The most famous town in Santorini is a confection of blue domes and pastel shades.
The much-vaunted sunset casts an exquisite light over the cascade of houses and windmills.
There are plenty of opportunities to take beautiful photos of Santorini, although the atmosphere may not be as peaceful as it looks… Yes it is crawling with tourists, either buying expensive cocktails from the bars or bottles of cold wine and alco-pops from the off-licences depending on their budget, but don’t let that put you off – it is still amazing.
You should note that at certain times of the year the sunset is actually much better (and more peaceful) in other parts of the island, for example from our Santorini hotel balcony near Fira.
If you are considering what to do in Santorini, this walk should be top of your list but don’t forget to explore off the beaten track in Santorini as well. Whatever you do, enjoy your trip to Santorini!
By Natasha von Geldern
The walk from Fira to Oia takes around two hours, although there is no rush, and regular buses carry tourists from Oia back to Fira after sunset (and dinner).
For our Santorini hotel we stayed at the gorgeous Majestic Hotel Santorini, which is peacefully outside of Fira town (still walking distance), has a stunning pool area, and amazing sunset views from its balconies. I personally recommend the Majestic if you are looking for where to stay in Santorini.
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