25 November 2011

A Santorini sunset

An ex was something of a sunset chaser, so I’ve seen the sun disappear into the sea many, many times. Whether California or Wales, I’ve seen and photographed them all. However, the sunset over Oia in the Greek island of Santorini takes some beating, and renewed my faith in the magic of a sunset.

Although the crowds tend to flock to Oia to watch the sun slip into the caldera, if you get a good spot early, you’ll feel like the only people in the world.

We watched the spectacle from a hidden away bar called Sun Spirit. Claiming to be the “most proposed to point” in Santorini, the romance was lost on me as I was there with a friend. But there was quite an air of anticipation both from those waiting for the magic to happen, and from the numerous women who were dressed for the fatal question to be posed.

View from Sun Spirit
You’ll find it by going to the main viewing platform above the castle ruins, and turning right towards the sunset. When you reach a wooden windmill, you’re there.

Kastro is another classy restaurant with an even classier view that’s perfect to watch the sun fade from yellow, to orange, to deep red. Tables can be reserved, and it’s good for small groups and for enjoying the delicious mix of Greek and wider Mediterranean food.

Wherever you watch the sunset, ensure you have a glass of cold, dry Assyrtiko or Nykteri white wine in your hand. Two local grapes that are best enjoyed bathed in an orange glow or in one of the many island vineyards. Such as the Santo Winery which is also a great place to go and watch the sunset while enjoying a glass of wine. In fact, when I was in Santorini a couple we met were getting married there and the photos with the orange sun meeting the sea in the background were just beautiful. The vineyard sits in a small town called Pyrgos, near to the middle of the crescent shaped island, and the small town is worthy of a wander if you if you fancy venturing outside of the winery itself.

View from Fira
Fira is slightly trumped by Oia in my opinion for the sunset. None the less, the town is probably slightly more interesting than Oia, and so a sunset trip there is a must if you are not sunsetted out. The eve we went, the sea was literally swamped with cruise ships, which were putting on a light show of their own as the happy cruisers attepted to capture the moment on their cameras. We went to a restaurant called Ristoroni to watch the show. Possibly one of the best meals we had in Santorini and the company and the view made it a night I'll never forget. Despite the many margeritas.

There are several UK flights a day directly into Santorini. Alternatively, you can fly to Athens and get a boat to the island as part of an island hopping experience. You’ll dock at the island base and get a donkey to the cliff top. Not for the feint hearted (or the sensitive nostrilled) but perhaps worth it for the experience.

1 comment: