Each day the sun sets, regardless of where you are in the world. However, Greece has always been known for having some of the most spectacular sunsets in the world. Why is this? You may think that there is nothing particularly special about Greece. But Greece’s location on the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas makes for some beautiful sunsets from just about any place in the country.
As the sun sets over the ocean, it casts a reddish tint across the sky and clouds and on the water below. Sunsets are something that have captivated people for tens of thousands of years, as our ancestors used to wonder if the sun would rise again the following day. In ancient Greek mythology, Apollo would drive his sun chariot into the netherworld at the end of each day. The ancient Greeks would watch that fire ball go into the ocean and hope it would rise above the mountains on the other side of the world the next day.
Today, we know more than the ancient Greeks did regarding the setting of the sun and its eventual rising the next day. But that does not keep us from being captivated by the sheer beauty of a sunset, especially a Greek sunset.
20 SANTORINI – THAT MAGICAL REDDISH ORANGE GLOW ACROSS THE WATER
Santorini is probably the most famous place to enjoy a good sunset in Greece. It is an island about 120 miles southwest of the Greek mainland, and that puts it right smack dab in the middle of the beautiful ocean where the setting sun casts that magical reddish orange glow across the sparkling water. If you are visiting the island of Santorini and you are looking for some of the best places to enjoy a great sunset, consider a sunset cruise out on the sea. Some of these cruises even offer dining options! What could be more beautiful than that? For those of you that like to keep to the land, there are a number of good restaurants that are overlooking the ocean to the west.
Alternatively, there is a place on the island of Santorini called the donkey stairs, which are on the way to Skala. These are narrow stairs that used to take people up and down the hill, but now, you can climb as far as you would like in order to face the setting sun and really get an opportunity to enjoy it.
But if it is a great unobstructed view of the setting sun that you crave, go to the Akrotori Lighthouse which is on a remote part of the island and offers that once-in-a-lifetime view of the sunset.
19 ATHENS – ARDITOU HILL OR LYCABETTUS (THE HIGHEST HILL IN THE CITY)
The capital city of Greece is Athens, as many people are aware. But many people would not consider such a bustling metropolis to be a great place to enjoy a perfect sunset in Greece. However, these people would be mistaken. Athens is another popular place for tourists and locals to really enjoy the sunsets that Greece has to offer.
Arditou Hill will allow you to take in the full effect of the setting sun on Athens from a hill that is located in the center of the city. What could be more perfect than being able to see the sun setting and reflecting off the white walls of the buildings of Athens?
Another hill in Athens is Lycabettus, which is actually the highest hill in the city. This famous hill has a lot of history to it, which you can enjoy as you wait for the sun to begin to set. However, if you would like to enjoy the sunset from your hotel, consider staying at Lagonisi, which is a plush luxury resort that has beautiful beaches from where you can really enjoy all that the setting sun has to offer. Athens may be a big city, but it really has a lot to offer people looking to enjoy a sunset in Greece.
18 ZAKYNTHOS – DRIVE TO THE TOP OF THE HILL
In the Ionian Sea is an island known as Zakynthos, which has some pretty amazing sunsets. On this island, there is a hill at Kampi, which holds some historical significance. If you drive to the top of the hill, you will find a civil war museum, which you are free to visit as you wait for the sun to set. As the sun begins to go down to the west, you will be able to see its rays splayed out across the sea from a high vantage point, which will make it so much more spectacular. Back down on the main part of the island, stroll around Keri Lake, which has a number of cafes and pubs along the way from which you can enjoy the setting sun. Or, if you continue to stroll around the lake, you can get a deeper appreciation of the majesty of the setting sun. Another great place to enjoy the setting sun on the island of Zakynthos while getting in a good stroll is at Strada Marina. Visiting the beautiful Zakynthos island will provide a great way to enjoy what Greece has to offer. But if you are looking for an amazing sunset, then this particular island should definitely be on the list of places to go.
17 TEMPLE OF ZEUS – SPECIAL POSITION IN THE GREEK PANTHEON
The Temple of Zeus is located near Athens, probably because Athena and Zeus were so connected as ancient Greek gods. So one may believe that a sunset in Athens would be similar to a sunset at the Temple of Zeus. However, Zeus had a special position in the Greek Pantheon, and his temple was designed in such a way so as to give him the most honor. Unfortunately, much of the temple has come tumbling down, but that makes it that much more romantic a spot to view the setting sun.
The Temple of Zeus is a monstrous structure, with tall Greek pillars and massive slabs of stone. Some may see a pile of rubble, but those that can appreciate the temple for what it was will get more out of sitting at the site and watching the setting sun on a romantic escape from the bustle of the main city of Athens.
The temple itself looks down over the city of Athens, which is a bustling metropolis compared to what it was centuries ago. Today, looking out over Athens from the heights of the hill on which Zeus’ temple is perched, even the most unimaginative traveler can visualize how this spot paid homage to the king of the ancient Greek gods.
16 FOURKA – RESORT NAMED ‘THE OLYMPION SUNSET’
Fourka, Greece has such beautiful sunsets that a resort there is named the Olympion Sunset in honor of the Greek gods and the setting sun. While you are visiting the area, there are a number of activities to participate in as you watch the sun go down to the west. The restaurants in Fourka cater specifically to the people who are there to watch the sunset. The paths are lined with people who are there to stroll slowly along in the evening watching the golden orb descend into the ocean. Yes, Fourka may be one of the most beautiful places in Greece where you can observe the setting sun. Its location on the sea makes for an ideal viewing position of the sun going down as though it was being swallowed up by the ocean.
The way the fire licks across the waves is something that is almost magical, unlike any other sunset that many people have seen. Fourka may not be a well-known place to visit in Greece, but if you are looking for an amazing place to view the setting sun, then this is the place to go. Remember, if a resort is named after the setting sun and how it plays off the mountain of the gods, it is probably a sure bet that it is a place to go for the sunset in Greece.
15 NAXOS – PERFECT PLACE TO STAND AND WATCH THE SUN SET
Naxos is the largest of the Cyclades islands off the main coast of Greece. It is here that Apollo’s temple is located, which may seem an odd place to view the sunset as Apollo is more often associated with the rising sun. But still, it was Apollo who drove his chariot into the sea off the coast of Naxos each night, so maybe it is fitting that some of Greece’s best sunsets are found at the Port of Naxos. From the temple of Apollo, the only thing that remains is the Porta, or gateway.
This is seemingly the perfect place to stand to watch the setting sun each evening. Or, if you prefer, you can take in the sunset each night you are on the island from one of the many great restaurants.
Naxos as an island does not have much to offer the average tourist, unless what you seek is something related to Apollo and the sun. It is on the island that you will be sure to take in some of the most spectacular sunsets that the nation of Greece has to offer the world. Perhaps it was its ideal location that led the ancient Greeks to build their temple to the sun god on this particular spot.
14 TEMPLE OF POSEIDON – A SPECTACULAR VIEW OF THE FIREBALL FROM CAPE SOUNION
The Temple of Poseidon offers a spectacular backdrop for the setting sun. This particular temple is located southeast of Athens, so it is a little distance from the bigger city. Perfect for viewing the setting sun as it plunges into the sea. Poseidon was the Greek god of the sea, and anywhere that the water touched, the ancient Greeks believed Poseidon was in power. If you are interested in a beautiful sunset, then Poseidon’s temple presents a spectacular view of the fireball from Cape Sounion. The sun held little power of the sea and Poseidon, so there is little significance of the location of this temple with regards to the sun. So it may just be the luck of how the ancient Greeks positioned Poseidon’s temple that it is such a remarkable place to go and watch the setting sun. With its large white columns of white marble from Agrilsea, Poseidon’s temple is perfect for reflecting the final rays of the sun as they cast long shadows across the floor of the temple. Visiting Poseidon’s temple is one thing during the day, but the location turns into a whole different–and better–place as the sun goes down. Truly, viewing a Greek sunset from Poseidon’s temple will be on the short list of things to do when visiting Greece.
13 LEFKADA – COME FOR THE BEACH, BUT STAY FOR THE SUNSET
Lefkada is a beautiful island in its own right. The fact that it is surrounded by the ocean means that it is a great location for viewing the sunrises and sunsets. But really, it is the unique position in the sea of Lefkada that makes the island perfect for viewing the sunset. Kathisma Beach is surrounded by white cliffs, which perfectly reflect the reds, oranges, and golds of the setting sun.
The blue water seems to be like a mirror whose surface was polished exactly for the purpose of reflecting the sunlight against the smooth sands of the beach. The Lefkada Apolloni Temple is now the site of a lighthouse. However, in a past life, this was the location of human sacrifices. Regardless of what you visit the temple site for, you will be amazed at the magnificence of the setting sun at this particular spot. Perhaps the ancient Greeks felt something special at this place, and that is why they held their religious ceremonies here. Lefkada has so much to offer the tourists who come to the island, but it has more to offer people who stay the day in order to watch the setting sun from Kathisma Beach or the Lefkada Apolloni Temple.
12 MYKONOS – UNIQUE SUNSET VIEW
Mykonos is known as Little Venice and regarded as a romantic location where there are plenty of places to see the sun set. This particular island is sparsely populated, with the majority of people living and working in the town of Mykonos. In Mykonos, the buildings are situated so that they hang out over the water. They were originally homes for fishermen and their families. But now, they are home to cafes, the perfect locations for viewing the sunset over a nice coffee or dessert.
The view from the windows and terraces of these buildings looks out directly over the sea to the west, giving you the perfect view of the setting sun. You will be able to experience vibrant sunsets while visiting Mykonos. The reds and oranges are so spectacular that you will find it difficult to believe that it is real.
However, if you venture out of the town of Mykonos, you can go up into the hills where windmills from the 16th century catch the final rays of the sun. For one of the most unique sunset experiences, consider a horseback ride along the beach of Mykonos. There are a number of wonderful activities to participate in on the island of Mykonos, especially if you are looking for a unique way to view the setting sun.
11 AEGEAN SEA – COMPLETELY SURROUNDED BY AN OCEAN ON FIRE
The Aegean Sea virtually surrounds Greece and all of the Greek Islands. While the entire sea is perfect for viewing the setting sun, there are a number of specific locations that should definitely be considered when looking for an opportunity to catch the last rays of the day. One of these is the Santorini Caldera, which is the sunken remains of a volcano. This area is likely one of the most picturesque places that you will find to watch the setting sun. Plaka is another place where you will find the beauty of the setting sun on full display at the end of each day. If you are a fan of the beach, be sure to travel to any of the countless islands on the Aegean Sea to stay on the beach and watch the sun go down, throwing your long shadow behind you as you drink a cocktail or hold someone you love close. Another great option for viewing the sunset from the Aegean Sea is to go out on a sunset cruise. These cruises will give you a chance to be completely surrounded by an ocean so on fire with the setting sun that you will be unable to take your eyes off of the beauty all around you.
10 CORFU – KAISER’S “THRONE”
Corfu is an island off the northeast coast of the Greek mainland. This location gives visitors the most remarkable vantage point to see the setting sun. Built onto a peninsula, the Old Fortress is set up on a hill affording views of the whole city, likely the best spot on the island for seeing the setting sun. Yet, there is another place that was so remarkable that Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm wanted to build his Anchillon palace on the spot. It is here that visitors can stand at the Kaiser’s “throne” and look out over the water to see the setting sun.
Kasioppi Beach is a scenic beach on Corfu island that boasts soft sand and beautiful water, perfect for just stopping to end your day watching the setting sun. The most remarkable places on the island of Corfu are the places that were chosen by others to see the setting sun.
From the history of the island, with its connection to Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany, to the present, this particular island is perfectly situated and suited for watching the fiery colors of the setting sun. Greece has a lot to offer people who really want to watch the sun set, and Corfu island is a prime example of this magnificence.
9 SAMOTHRACE ISLAND – A LOT TO OFFER
Samothrace Island is in the northern Aegean Sea and is home to some of Greece’s finest sunset viewing locations. The Sanctuary of Great Gods was where the ancient Greeks believed Zeus and his family took their refuge. It is here that you can wonder at the beauty of the setting sun over the three terraces and among the ruins of the ancient temples. Another location to watch the setting sun on Samothrace Island is at the Village of Prophet Elias. This is a mountainous village on the west side of the island, meaning that when you are here, you are looking out over the Aegean Sea, directly at the setting sun. Here, Mount Athos provides a beautiful vista along with the setting sun, and the Chapel of the Prophet Elias is also a beautiful location to view the setting sun. Samothrace Island is also home to the Harbor of Kamariotissa where you can watch the sun set and boats sail. The Harbor of Kamariotissa presents a unique view of the setting sun with the shadows of the small boats coming in with their daily catch catching the final rays of the sun. Samothrace Island has a lot to offer anyone who is visiting Greece and looking for some of the world’s most beautiful sunsets.
8 ACROPOLIS – A WONDERFUL GLIMPSE INTO THE PAST OF ANCIENT GREECE
The Acropolis is home to a number of temples to the ancient Greek gods. It is the most complex and complete ancient Greek monument site left and offers a wonderful glimpse into the past of ancient Greece. And that makes it a very special spot for viewing the setting sun. The Acropolis sits atop a huge hill, overlooking the surrounding countryside. As the sun begins to set, visitors are given the chance to see the shadows below them begin to lengthen, as the shadows of the ancient temples stretch out like the fingers of the gods themselves.
The ancient Greeks positioned the temples on the Acropolis in such a way so as to bring the most joy to their gods. The beauty of the temples was intended to give glory to those very gods that controlled the lives of the ancient Greeks. And as the sun sets over the Acropolis, one can almost hear the ancient rituals being carried out to honor those gods as the days came to an end. Although ancient Greece has set long ago, traces of that history are still evident at the Acropolis. And with the setting sun, the Acropolis comes to life in a way different than during the day.
7 MILOS ISLAND – AS THE SUN SETS, THESE BUILDINGS SEEM TO COME TO LIFE
Milos Island is an ancient volcanic island in the Aegean Sea. Plaka, which is considered the capital of the island, is about 220 meters above sea level, which provides for some spectacular panoramic views of the island, the sea, and the setting sun each night. The architecture of Plaka is remarkable and provides for a special backdrop for the setting sun. The ancient city of Fylakopi is actually from a period of time before the ancient Greek civilizations, which makes it one of the oldest settlements in all of Europe. The volcanic stone of the buildings, which date back to the Bronze Age, are so amazing that your breath will be taken away. And as the sun sets, these buildings seem to come to life with the glow and the shifting shadows. Sarakiniko is an area of volcanic rock that has eroded into caves.
If you are looking for a unique sunset, then you will find it here, with the contrasts of the white rock and blue water and the setting sun. Mylos Island is a beautiful volcanic island, with history dating back to the Bronze Age. The people of that time probably chose to live on the island for the natural beauty, especially as they watched the sun set to the west each evening.
6 MESSOLONGHI LAGOONS – SHADOWS HELP BRING THE LANDSCAPE TO LIFE
The Messolonghi Lagoons are an extensive wetlands where the Patriac Gulf and Ionian Sea meet each other. Here, there are a plethora of differing ecosystems and areas to explore—from the lagoons themselves, to rivers, to hills, to forests. And all of these provide for spectacular viewing of the setting sun to the west.
As the sun sets over the main lake, visitors are treated to the beautiful reflection day of the sky in the water. As the sky turns from blue to orange to red to purple, so does the salt water lake below. If there are clouds present, they too will light up with the changing colors that also reflect off of the diverse flora and fauna in the area.
The Messolonghi Lagoons is really a special place to go and observe the setting sun if you are in Greece. The ecosystems of the lagoons and rivers mean there is plenty of water for the fading sunlight to reflect off of. And the forests and other plant life perfectly refract the sunlight and cast long shadows that help bring the landscape to life, even as the day is coming to an end. For one of the most spectacular opportunities to observe a sunset in Greece, be sure to make a point to visit the Messolonghi Lagoons.
5 MESSINIAN BAY – EXPERIENCE A NEW SUNSET EACH NIGHT FROM A DIFFERENT VANTAGE POINT
Messinian Bay is surrounded by small villages which overhang the cliffs. For a small bay, there is a surprising variety of scenery, all of which provide a unique perspective on what a sunset looks like. The caves in the bay may provide the most spectacular view of the setting sun, although they are not readily accessible at all times. That said, the olive groves that are on the hills that surround the bay also make for some special views of the sunset. The valleys and mountains of the bay area are also perfect viewing areas for a spectacular sunset, and visitors to Messinian Bay are able to experience a new sunset each night from a different vantage point.
The Pylos Castle is actually two hilltop castles that overlook the bay from Pylos. From either castle, you can see either the bay or the town. But regardless of which way you are facing, you will be treated to the remarkable colors of red, orange, and purple as the sun begins to set. Messinian Bay definitely provides for a special experience for those tourists to Greece that are looking for an opportunity to really experience all that a Greek sunset has to offer.
4 MOUNT OLYMPUS – MOUNTAIN OF THE GODS
Mount Olympus is the tallest mountain in Greece and was the home to the ancient Greek gods and goddesses. If you are looking for an opportunity to really enjoy a Greek sunset, then a visit to Mount Olympus should be on your list of places to go. Get to the mountain early enough in the day and you will be able to really enjoy all that is available during the day. From wandering paths to flora and fauna, Mount Olympus is a Greek national park that is not to be missed. But it is really as the day comes to an end that Mount Olympus really becomes the mountain of the gods.
The mountain may as well be lit on fire on some nights as the sun goes down and the final rays burst around the sides of the peak.
If you are on the mountain, looking to the west, you will be greeted with a truly beautiful sight that many people would not consider taking advantage of, as they tend to vacate the area as it begins to get into the late afternoon. If you are a distance away from the mountain and looking west toward it, your view will be even more spectacular with the sunlight eclipsed by Mount Olympus and the gods.
3 DELPHI – TRUE BEAUTY
Delphi was probably the most important oracle in all of ancient Greece. It was here that kings and commoners alike came to have their future foretold to them. It was central in determining a number of things in the ancient Greek world. And Delphi is also a place in Greece to experience an amazing sunset. Like the majority of the ancient temples from thousands of years ago, the Oracle at Delphi lies mostly in ruins, save but a few columns that stand proud to remind visitors of the importance of this site. But as the sun begins to set each night, a whole different world is opened up at Delphi.
Here, visitors are treated to the true beauty of the site—a beauty that maybe only the ancient Greeks thought they would understand. The beautiful hues of the light from the setting sun casts long shadows of the remaining columns at the temple. The white stone begins to glow, then seems to burst into flames of orange, red, yellow, and gold as the sun continues to set. Then, ever so slowly, the colors begin to fade from vibrant shades of fire to more muted purples and blues. And even these eventually turn to blackness, leaving the Oracle at Delphi to face another night as nothing more than a pile of stones, its past glory all but forgotten.
2 STROFILIA – RENOWNED FOR ITS SUNSETS
Strofilia is a park in Greece that is renowned for its sunsets. It is a pine forest that is next to a beach with white sands and beautiful blue waters. If that does not sound like an ideal location for just enjoying nature, then take into consideration that
as the sun goes down in Strofilia park, the place becomes like a whole different world. The beauty of the green trees turns to shadow with the sun’s rays refracted through the needles.
The white sands begin to glow and become lit with fire as though they are trying to hold onto the warmth of the sun as long as possible. And the crystal waters continue to shimmer, but they go from a blue of the sky to the purple, red, and orange of the setting sun. There is certainly beauty in Strofilia during the day, but really, the park is so much more beautiful when the sun begins to go down. It seems like people really want to visit the park at a time when the sun is up, but they do not know what they are missing as the sun sets. So, for the best experience of Strofilia, be sure to stay long enough to experience a setting sun.
1 ATHENA’S TEMPLE – RED AND ORANGE GLOW CASTING LONG SHADOWS OF THE COLUMNS
The city of Athens is named after the goddess Athena, which should give some indication of her importance in ancient Greek culture and society. The temple to Athena was home to some of the most important rituals in ancient Greece, and the location of the temple demonstrates its place in society. As the sun sets on Athena’s temple, visitors are greeted by the same red and orange glow casting long shadows of the columns as the ancient Greeks enjoyed thousands of years ago. While much of the temple of Athena has fallen into ruin, there is enough here to allow the traveler to picture what it would have been like when it had first been built all those years ago. The temple itself sits on a hill overlooking the city. As the sun sets to the west and the shadows grow longer, the ancient civilization that existed on that hill seems to be revived. The people of ancient Greece had a special place in their religious beliefs for Athena and her temple, and the setting sun helped them to solidify how important she was in their lives. Today, you can gain an appreciation for ancient Greek culture by enjoying the setting sun at the temple of Athena.
Greece is a land of wonder, a wonder that dates back thousands of years to the ancient civilization which helped to shape the modern world. Each night, the sun sets on Greece just as it sets on every place on Earth. But the sunsets of Greece hold a special power, as is evidenced by this list of places to view the beauty of the Greek sunset.