Santorini, known around the globe as host of one of the most magnificent sunsets in the world, does have unique cultural claims, but for me the sunset is not one of them. I am of the unpopular opinion that Santorini does not capture the wild colors and true ensemble of what a sunset has come to mean. To me it is more of a muted watercolor painting set amongst the jutting rock cliffs that are the Greek Islands. Sure, the surroundings make it more romantic but you attempt to brag about this view to someone from say Florida, Hawaii or I don't know anywhere in the West or East Indies they're going to come back with more impressive stories and imagery.
Why does this matter at all? It doesn't, but it does to those few travelers who make their way to Santorini for the purpose to view this acclaimed sunset. Having met a man and his family that were on their way to Santorini in order to see the sun drop beneath the ocean I was hopeful that this ritual or pilgrimage of sorts would be well worth the journey. Sadly, it wasn't.
Don't come to Santorini in order to view its “magical sunset.” Come for the amazing food, iconic traditional Greek housing, donkey rides up the mountain in Thira, and to behold the ancient land of Strongili that fell victim to the most massive earthquake the world has ever seen.
T I P : Most people residing in Santorini refer to Oía as the town to watch the sunset and recommend watching it at the most northern tip, next to the church. Tons of people gather here every evening to watch it and there is only one street that leads there- it can and will get c r o w d e d.
Head the opposite direction. Take the well-advertised path towards Fira and stop when you get to the dirt road. To your left will be a cemetery and here you will be able to see the entire town of Oía, the horizon and watch the sun set below it. Not only is this view of the sunset more impressive but you're also alone and in the extremely touristy towns of Santorini this is a welcomed refreshment.