When planning a photography trip there are some things that you need to consider. Gear, weather, clothing, getting about. And shoes. Yes you need to be properly equipped to get out and about taking photos.
And there is then the fundamental question that you need to consider, which in this case is this – where are the best photo spots in Santorini? You need to be clear where you will be taking photos. And in my opinion the best photo spots on Santorini to take landscape photographs are on the top of the caldera, centred around the towns of Imerovigli and Fira.
I say best photo spots in the plural deliberately, as they are many.
Why take photos from the caldera?
Why? Because the views are fantastic. From the top of the caldera you rally get to see one of the unique things that makes Santorini what it is. I am talking about all those white painted buildings perched on top of the caldera – such a wonderful sight that you really need to go to to appreciate.
I thought I knew what I was going to experience when I got to Santorini, but walking through Imerovigli, Fira and Oia was a genuinely unique experience.
From the top of the Santorini caldera you get sunrise views to the east, and sunset views to the west. You also get the wonderful sight of the warm orange sun to the east, and the cold blue light to the west where the suns rays have not yet reached beyond the caldera.
From the top of the caldera you get great views north and south up and down the island.
And from the top of the caldera you can look down on that magical morning cloud which appears every now and then.
In this post I will about the various aspects of taking photos on caldera on the wonderful Greek Island of Santorini.
What about sunrise?
The sunrise on Santorini can be different each day, giving a fantastic range of weather conditions to photograph.
In my 5 days taking photographs from the top of the caldera I had clouds forming below the level of the caldera, mornings with clear clear blue skies and also changeable weather with rapidly moving clouds giving a virtually endless variety of image capture opportunities.
Taking photos of sunrises is pretty much my favourite thing to do.. I love the feeling of getting out and about before the start of a new day.
Most sunrises find me all on my own – there was one notable exception though!.
Yes a coach party of Japanese tourists who I stumbled across!
Apart from this one time I was completely alone for every sunrise. I don’t think they stayed long – not as long as me – I was out for four hours that morning!
And I walked everywhere of course! I don’t think they saw me, as they were engrossed with the view to the est, and quite rightly so – much more interesting than me!
The seas either side
Another thing that you can see from the top of the caldera is the contrasting sea states either side of the island. One morning the sea had a surreal effect to the east, almost looking artificial, whilst to the west the sea was flat blue with lovely gentle rippling waves. And this is at the same time!
Talking of the seas either side – what about the light either side?
Yes look at the lighting. Cold blue pre-morning sunrise light to the right. Golden warm light to the left. This is the moment when sunrise casts it’s golden glow over the island – you can actually see this happening in this photo!
What about photographing the sunsets?
I did not take as many photos of Santorini sunsets as I did sunrises – sunset can be an anti-social time to take photos after all – the bars and restaurants are open after all!!!
All the sunset photographs I took were taken from the western side of the caldera, looking straight into the setting sun.
I also took some photos of the sunset from our hotel, the lovely Kasimatis Suites in Imerovigli (next time we are going to stop in Oia – much easier to spell!). Imerovigli is on the top of the caldera by the way.
Check out the pool and the view beyond!
I even managed to include our room in some shots – that is how great a location Kasimatis Suites is, and how also shows what an absolutely excellent job my wife did picking this hotel.
Me and taking photos of Santorini
Santorini is a small island, covering an approximate area of 28 square miles. I like small islands, and am looking forward to returning to get to know Thira and Oia better. I loved the fact that I could photograph both coasts in the same shot from high up on the caldera – such a unique thing to be able to do.
This is why Santorini is one of my favourite photography locations, and also one of my favourite Greek Islands. My short stay there was a truly unforgettable experience.
I enjoyed it so much I have created a website just about it! Now that must tell you something….
Where did we stay in Santorini?
For my first trip to Santorini we stopped in Imerovigli, not far to the north of the capital of Santorini, Thira. We stopped at the Kasimatis Suites – a great hotel where the lovely staff bring breakfast to your room if you want!!!
And from the hotel you can just sit there all day and watch the sun move across the view into sunset – you actually do not need to leave the hotel to get fantastic sunsets which is so cool.
What is the Santorini caldera anyway?
According to Wikipedia, “A caldera is a large cauldron-like hollow that forms following the evacuation of a magma chamber/reservoir. When large volumes of magma are erupted over a short time, structural support for the crust above the magma chamber is lost.”
Ok – that is how the wondersful topography of Santorini was formed.
Did I ever leave the caldera?
Now theres a question. The only time I left the Santorini caldera was when we walked from Imerovigli to Oia. And when we went to the airport on the way back.
I never made it down to sea level!
Apart from that no – I spent all my time on the caldera. When we return to Santorini I will expolre the rest of the islands, including the lovely beaches on both coasts.
I feel that I have unfinished business with Santorini, both on the caldera and elsewhere.
To conclude, in my opinion the best photo spots on Santorini to take landscape photographs can be found on the top of the caldera.On this website I will initially be writing about 20 photos of Santorini – I might come back at a later date and add more images.
I have lots of them to be fair, and it would be shame not to share more of my photos.
And hopefully of course I will return to Santorini and that wonderful caldera!
One last thing
If you want to buy any of my images, or want to speak to me about future collaboration email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rick McEvoy ABIPP – Photographer, writer, blogger