“Never waste any amount of time doing anything important when there is a sunset outside that you should be sitting under!”
―C. JoyBell C.—
Today was one of those days where I spent my lunch break sitting under fluorescent lighting at my desk, staring at my computer. As I ate my not-very-exciting salad roll, I dreamt of a far-away place where the people are relaxed and friendly, the food fresh and delicious and the sun warm upon your skin.
I dreamt of Santorini.
Each afternoon, the whitewashed walls of Oia (pronounced [ˈi.a]) on the Greek island of Santorini are draped in a sea of colour as the setting sun throws soft hues of orange and pink over the picturesque cliff side town.
Adding further colour to the mix are the thousands of tourists who flock to the island’s northern point, clamouring onto walls, balconies and roofs to watch what is often referred to as the world’s best sunset.
During my week in Santorini, I spent four nights bathed in the warmth of the summer’s evening, camera at the ready, legs dangling over a wall as I tried to commit every sight and smell to memory to help sustain me through the winter days I’d face when back home (as it turns out, winter ended early this year for Brisbane, but there is still the occasional rainy day to be endured).
My favourite viewing platform came in the form of a ruined castle which offers a 360-degree view of the caldera; it was a popular spot with other tourists and also with a couple of local dogs that entertained the crowds as we waited.
As the hours wore on (it takes about three hours for the sun to go down), the streets became a hive of activity and the balconies of nearby cafes, bars and restaurants quickly filled up.
While each sunset was beautiful and it was amazing to watch the sun set over the islands around the caldera, I’m not sure they were the best sunsets I’ve ever seen.
Perhaps it was the lack of clouds and the strong vibrant colours I’m used to back home that I was missing; but I will say that the combination of white walls, blue domed roofs and the sunset over the water were lovely.
Here are some of my favourite photos of the sunsets in Santorini:
“Sunsets over the beaches from now on; each day looking for new ways to go on.”
While the sunsets were amazing, I think the best one came as I left the island behind and headed back to London:
And for those who haven’t made it down under yet, here’s a beautiful Brisbane sunset captured by my mate, photographer Ric Frearson.
It always astounds me the way the pink gets captured in the clouds, making it look like fairy floss, while closer to the horizon it’s like the sky has been set alight.
For those who’d rather be somewhere a little less … populated … there are also great sunset views across the caldera from Fira, Firostefani and Imerovigli as well as from Akotiri.
If you’re like me and you’d prefer to grab a quick snack/dinner that can be eaten from your perch by the sea, I highly recommend the pork and chip gyros from the takeaway shop right next to the Oia bus station. It cost less than 5 (compared to the 8 versions they were selling in Kamari) and it was delicious!
Also, if you’re looking to spend a few nights or more on Santorini, I highly recommend La Mer Delux in Kamari.
While the resort doesn’t overlook the Caldera, it is absolutely stunning, less than 50m from the beach and features a sunbaking deck, restaurant, day spa and multiple pools.
The staff were also super friendly, welcoming and more than happy to offer assistance with everything from restaurant recommendations from day trip suggestions to delivering a daily dose of chocolate ice-cream by the pool!