See twilight fall over both ancient and modern sites
There is nothing quite like the deep reddish golds and purples of the sun closing out the day. In Greece, the best places to enjoy those sunsets are along the mainland coast or on an offshore island. Use an online weather site or a sunset calculator to find the best times to take in Mother Nature's light show.
Average sunset times
Sunset times between the Greek mainland and the outer islands are within minutes of each other. If you use Athens and the island of Santorini as examples, the average sunset times per season are:
- Winter (December through February) – 5:15pm
- Spring (March through May) – 7:45pm
- Summer (June through August) – 8:30pm
- Fall (September through November) – 7:00pm
Weather, seasonal and other viewing considerations
Winter's shorter days also bring more rain. December, the wettest month, typically has nearly 20 days of rain. If you're heading for Athens be prepared for winter smog, caused mostly by people burning more wood to keep warm. Cars add to the pollution problem year-round but it's not as bad in the summer months. In terms of fog, Greece doesn't receive as much naturally-occurring ocean fog as many other coastal countries in Europe. Fog tends to hug the coast in the mornings, but usually burns off by sunset. In clear weather, you're sure to have a much better view.
With over 2,200 miles of coastline surrounding Greece from east to west, it's not hard to find an ocean sunset view. Book a hotel near the water and enjoy the sight from the comfort of your balcony. Dining at a restaurant overlooking the Aegean Sea also gives you a great perspective without any crowds. Just be sure and book ahead.
Best places to enjoy the view
The Temple of Poseidon in Sounion stays open until just after sunset. You can take a bus or a taxi from downtown Athens for the 40-mile drive to this ancient temple that overlooks the Aegean Sea, and the photo ops are endless. Expect at least some crowds during the busy summer season. Santorini receives a lot of press for hot, clear weather and beautiful sunsets year-round. For someplace a little less crowded, try the tiny mountain village of Kia on the island of Kos. Head for one of the town's restaurants and watch the show from a rooftop garden. Kia is high enough to give you a panoramic view of the Aegean Sea and its many islands, and if you're into stargazing, this is the place to be. Bring a sweater or light jacket and don't forget that camera. Check local ferry schedules to reach either of these islands, or book a flight to Santorini or Kos from the Greek mainland.