National Geographic and others say that sunset in the village of Oia is one of the best in the world. So naturally I needed to see what the fuss was all about during my fleeting island getaway. Take your classic Greek island vibe, dazzling white village perched high atop the cliffs, and a splatter of desolate islands within view and – yeah – I guess I can believe you’ve got the makings of the near perfect spot to end the day. So fantastic, in fact, that it’s commonplace for locals and travelers applaud once the sun dips below the horizon. (Really.)
In preparation for my visit to Oia I reached out to a Charisma Suites, a dazzling new boutique hotel on the far side of the village. Truthfully, I just wanted to see their blissful infinity pool with my very own eyes. I didn’t stay there (price-wise it’s a better fit for honeymooners) but I dropped in for a few glasses of local white wine and cheese.
From the start, I felt like I tumbled right onto a page of Travel and Leisure magazine. Their sparkling white bar with a 360 degree view of the Aegean Sea, I totally zoned out while Maria and George coxed me to relax on one of the day beds.
So then I sat there, with this view before me…
As any good blogger would do though, instead of relaxing, I documented.
(On a related note: we bloggers should coin that logic because I know I’m not the only one. #IdontRelaxIdocument #WhatMeansRelax #DocumentersUnite.. no?)
Maria and George were incredibly welcoming and hospitable, just as eager to show me the property as I was to see it. So after the wine they let me peek into one of the rooms and grab a few shots. While traveling I fumble around constantly searching for wifi so I was amazed to learn that guests here are given a personal phone to use during their stay. Eh! Now that’s luxury.
After my stop at Charisma Suites, I made my way back up into the village towards the famed sunset spot on Oia Castle. With at least an hour until sundown I figured that I had time to kill and wandered aimlessly for a few minutes.
My island-time speed was quickly jarred I drew closer to the center of Oia, an audible stir was in the air. People were already preparing for the sunset – sliding their chairs around, folding obstructive umbrellas, quickly darting to lookout spots. We all knew.
I joined the commotion and scampered up the rocky wall of the old castle, along with a zillion other visitors. (Note: Apparently the volume of tourists seen in the picture below is only marginal compared to the amount during high season. So shoot from elsewhere if you’re visiting June – September. There are plenty of other spots!)
The following hour was everything it I could have wished for, plus some. I attempted to take the same shot in 10-15 minute intervals as the light changed. I have no idea which is my favorite but, for me at least, it’s very obvious why Oia is so special.
So, you tell me, which is your favorite?
With the sun finally below the horizon, applause filled the air and I couldn’t help but feel so darn fortunate to have seen it.
Note: I was not paid by Charisma Suites for this coverage, I honestly just wanted to see it and share it with you!