As one of the most idyllic of the Greek Islands, Santorini is world-famous for its cliffside views of the expansive turquoise ocean, breathtaking sunsets, unique domed architecture, and rich cultural history.
There’s no wonder it’s hailed as a picturesque destination for travelers. Witnessing the beauty is a special experience, and capturing it is a must for anyone visiting Santorini.
We’ve compiled this list of the top 5 places to take amazing photos in Santorini. Of course, there are many more places to discover, but you’ll definitely want to make sure you check out these points in your exploration of this island paradise.
#1: The Famous Oia Cliffside
Situated on the caldera cliffs, the settlement of Oia was built overlooking the ocean, where the white-washed houses and buildings glow in the sunset rays every day. Three places for pictures in the Oia village, including the Oia castle and the blue domed churches, made it to the list.
Anyone dreaming of the Greek Isles will have the image of these cliffs in mind. If you’re taking a picture from afar, with these cliff buildings as the backdrop, be sure to wait long enough for the white walls to turn orange as the sunset unfolds.
You can situate yourself midway up the maze-like streets on some steps in the village so that the background shows the various levels of the cliff settlement behind you. If you’re having pictures taken of yourself higher up in the cliffs, with the vast ocean view in the background, then position yourself so that the glow is bathing you.
#2: The Magic at the Oia Castle
The famous view from the castle of Agios Nikolaos will reveal the sparkling Aegean sea, the impressive volcano, and the clear blue horizon. The best view from the Oia Castle for witnessing the changing colors of the landscape as the sunset unfolds is said to be over Amoudi Bay. This gives you the backdrop of the Oia buildings along the cliff.
A pro tip here is to sit near the way of the castle facing toward the bay and get into your spot before sunset. When evening approaches, crowds of people start to gather for their own photo-ops.
#3: The Blue Dome Oia Churches
The blue dome church buildings of Oia are stunning photo locations. There is one in particular that is most famous in the outlook of the dome set against the blue ocean, and you’ll find a place to stand in the foreground of the spectacular view.
There are many more around the town, though for this iconic church, walk down the famous Gold Street alleyway of Oia town, and you’ll eventually find this outlook of the church. The golden hour before sunset gives off a gorgeous light to capture a snap before the sun goes down. Wait too long and it will be more difficult to get a picture as there may be some shadows in the composition.
Be sure to arrive at most of these church locations early as many people flock to these places around sunset to get their own pictures.
#4: The Kasteli of Pyrgos
South of the well-known Santorini town of Fira is the quaint village of Pyrgos. At the foot of Mount Profítis Ilías, the panoramic views of green rolling hills and rocky cliffs make for a little more natural and relaxed experience than the growing cosmopolitan areas of Santorini.
A special place for unique photos is the Pyrgos Kasteli, which is a medieval castle that is one of the most revered places of worship for the local community. It’s the best preserved of the 5 castles from this era, across the whole island. The worn, white-washed walls of the ancient architecture offer artistic views, and with plenty of places to sit, stand, and walk around, there are definitely photo opportunities for capturing this rich history.
#5: The Cathedrals of Fira
Fira town is on the western edge of the island and has a little more happening in the way of a cosmopolitan social lifestyle. The abundance of cafes, retail stores, and varieties of accommodations draw people in.
There are two cathedrals in Fira that are worth the visit for the cultural experience. And the gorgeous architecture and outlook make for some great photos.
The Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist overlooks the ocean, and the views outside the building where it is situated are breathtaking. The grey and cream walls provide a different kind of backdrop for pictures as they are less focused on the natural landscape and capture more of the cultural feel.
The same goes for the Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral, which also has some sea views in its outlook. The stained glass windows and blue domed architecture are also beautiful aesthetics to explore in your photos.
To get the most out of photographing this dream getaway in Santorini, hire a professional who is local to the area and can guide you to the very best places. It’s a fantastic way to see the sites, whether these locations are included or you are treated to other hidden gems unknown to the regular tourist crowd.
Having your special memories captured in high-quality images is priceless when you look back on your journey. When they’re photographed by someone who knows the land and light and takes into account your unique vibe, the result can be nothing short of spectacular. Check out Flytographer destinations page for the listings of current photographers in Santorini.