Watching Santorini’s famous sunset in Oia

I visited Greece in 2012 with my friend Jill and we went on the cheapest possible tour of the Greek Islands. We stayed in Santorini in a very cheap hotel where we met an Aussie girl and we decided to visit the sunset.

I read a tourist page for the Oia sunset and it described it as ‘crowdy’ as that is certainly true! The same page also said: ‘Sometimes, the steam from the sea makes the atmosphere slightly dim as if wrapping it with a diaphanous veil.’ This description paints quite a poetic picture and we felt like we couldn’t be in Santorini and not see the famous sunset!

A bunch of us from the hostel went on a coach including a single man and a single woman. I noticed that they started chatting on the bus and shared a rooftop for the grand event.

I also clocked that they didn’t get back on the bus to return to the hostel. Of course they didn’t, the sunset had set their lions aflame and they’d decided to bang it out in beautiful surroundings instead of going back to the horrible hostel that smelt of bumholes.

(I’m sure the sunset continues to inspire bang-age and there are a few Oia babies floating around.)


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This is Oia’s old castle where people pile on to watch the sky change its colours.

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The white buildings bathed in soft, pink light.

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People who booked a table being watching by people who didn’t.

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One man is so awed that he has a nap as the light dims.

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Misty and pink from behind a windmill.

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The sky turned a deep orange like tinned spaghetti.

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Me having a gawp at the tiny pink sun.

The sunset we saw was slightly hazy and not one of Oia’s absolute best compared with how it incredible it can look. But how can you be disappointed with the sun? We take so little time to watch the sun rise and set so these moments are precious.

I was very glad we went, if only to see the backpacker romance unfold.

It was difficult to summon the same enthusiasm for the freezing cold, mind-numbingly boring, hard seated boat trip to next island. Nothing like trying to sleep out on deck for 12 hours on the slow boat to Naxos.

Luckily the islands are so lovely that it makes up for it and Santorini was easily our favourite in terms of beautiful places to visit and the great company of other backpackers.

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