An empty village & a winter’s sunset

It’s cold…it’s wet…it’s windy. It’s almost the middle of December and…well, winter has finally arrived on Santorini. Over the weekend the temperature  probably dropped by 8-10 degrees…. but still a comparatively mild 5c today.
I say comparatively mild because friends in Frankfurt were telling me that it was -7 during the day and a brain-numbing -16 at night. Yes… it’s winter in Europe, and what a wonderful thing that is…

Here in Oia the temps are nowhere near what our German friends have to endure, but it’s cold enough to keep tourists away. The village is quiet again… very quiet (read: empty). My favorite time of the year has come around again… so I thought it was about time I took you for what has become our annual winter-sunset walk, just so you can see what I see at this time of the year.

10am… if this was summer there would be hundreds of people walking
“the marbles”. Today….it’s just moi!


looking the other way…. it’s still just me


even the kids at Atlantis (bookshop – on the left..resident all year) have not bothered to open their doors on this miserable, wet morning.


Rex as always is on the look out… but all he can spot is the sublime sunburst


and guess who is all grown up now…. and copying his big brother


winter sunsets have a different charm to those of hot summer… a lot more
subdued, a lot more subtle. I prefer them…


this was a cold evening by Oia standards… and quiet, very very quiet..


the Kastro restaurant terrace is now empty… the sunset watchers long gone,
the house of the “Sisterhood of traveling pants” (blue door) is in need of repairs and the Summer Lovers house (center-top of the picture) is all boarded up


the path leading to the fort is empty…. and for the first this year, I get to watch
an Oia sunset…. a l o n e. Not many people can say that…


alone on the fort… bliss


a look to the left reminds me of the unreal / surreal place I am lucky enough
to call home…


this is my favorite pic so far this winter… have never taken the neighborhood
from this angle. This is the path home as I return from sunset watch…


the night lights switch on as I make my way down….the village peacefully quiet


a picture you don’t see very often… the neighborhood on a cold winter’s night.

It hardly seems like a year ago that we went for our last winter sunset walk… and our New Year’s Eve at the fort…. but it has been. A lot has happened in the past twelve months and a lot more is about to happen over the next year.  Living in a small village in the Aegean has its drawbacks… but it also has its great benefits. As the cold winter nights set in and daylight disappears early afternoon… there is a stillness,  a zen-like serenity which you simply can’t buy in the city. You may not want it of course…which I can understand, but if you do… then this is a blissful time indeed. It’s time to be creative… to learn new things… to weave new dreams and to contemplate how to make insanely great things happen in the coming year ahead. So while you’re doing whatever this winter… if you happen to think about a caveman sitting, reading, dreaming & listening to his music by candlelight… send me a wave   .::   ; ~}

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Thank you for the overwhelming response to the (only half-finished) Aegean Designs blog/site. Allison has too many orders to complete before Xmas so we have taken the main catalog off-the-air (although it is still available to existing customers by request – just leave a comment either here or at the AD blog and we will send you the links). Today also marks the first post on Allison’s blog… something she has wanted to do for some time but simply did not have the time to…. you can read her first post here.

More pics this Thursday…. !

10 responses to “An empty village & a winter’s sunset

  1. What a wonderful post…you make it hard for someone who is dreaming of a visit to pick a time of year to go.. you make convincing arguments for all four seasons!
    Congrats on the AD response!!

  2. interesting to see that two amandas are your first commenters!

    i loved your tour of a wintertime santorini…..regardless of the time of year it is a magical place…..stunning photographs !

    enjoy your blissful solitude watching the sun set over oia…..i remember those views fondly;-)

  3. How incredibly beautiful…those sunsets are amazing!!

  4. Dear Caveman,
    Would love to know what you’re reading these days while it’s so quiet?!
    Gorgeous photos as always. Fun to see Santorini in the wintertime too.
    Looking forward to the next batch. Love those animal photos!
    Ciao, Kirsten

  5. Fabulous pictures,as always,and what a difference seeing Oia without all the tourists..You make my day when I find a new blog online.When I spoke to my friends in Fira,just 9 days ago,they said that the weather was still so good and warm,so it must have changed right after that,since I see that even Athens has had snowfalls.Looking forward to seeing more pictures on thursday.

  6. Caro Michael,
    D’accordo! The winter is more of a poetic season. Even our fourlegged friends seem to become more philosofical. Love your pics!!! It certainly has its very own palette. Off for Stockholm for yet another atmosfera. I quite like Stockholm, dressed in white. Enjoy your hibernation. Back soon. Bacione, Ingrid in Umbria

  7. 16th of Dec and been wandering around the villages on Santorini. Been following your blog on and off. I have to agree that one experiences a different kind of magic on the island at this time of the year. In the silence and emptiness of Ia one can hear the island whisper a different tone. The hike from Imerovigli to Ia in near solitude is one of the best I have done. I wish for a chance to witness a winter sunset like the one in your pics. First time in Santorini and it’s everything I’ve ever dreamed of, and yes, even if it’s winter. This is exactly what I DREAMED of – Santorini and me. I feel as if I’ve already left my heart here. So see I will have agree, have a dream, one day it will come true.

  8. Hi Michael, It has been too long since my visit and I so enjoyed walking along with you through the quiet village. I would much long for this time of year if I lived there during the summer. Just stunning photographs of your magical world there . . . to have all that beauty to yourself must be so inspiring. I love the shots of your pets . . . the distant horizon is a marvel. Someday I will visit there this time of year and perhaps run into you on the deserted walkways. Of course it would be impossible not to! ;>) Our sunrises and sunsets are more intense during the winter months . . . it makes up for the lack of color in the landscape. Happy Holidays! Thanks for visiting me too and your kind comment.

  9. I believe in destiny, it wasn’t just the Google website that has transported me here. And here is where I got the chance to get a little taste of your life. Thank you so much for that beautiful letter you wrote. Painting pictures without any paint or brushes I believe is the most beautiful art. And yes sir you have painted a picture in my mind. I have booked a flight on January, 21st for Sanorini. I am a poet and have been traveling to countries on my own for a getaway. Many people feed the mind with books, education Ect. Many people also go visit the gym or head out for a jog at 4:00 in the morning to treat there body. But sometimes humans forget to treat there soul.. Which is the most important “mystery” in our lives. A mystery Mr. Caveman only because we can’t see the soul, nor can we feel it.. And we can’t exactly figure out where it is located. Amongst all of those things it is in fact what’s most alive. It is the reason we live. So I have decided to treat my soul for a getaway! I sir have also been doing some research in order to figure out some. Can I ask is there no tourist around in the winter what so ever? Do the locals in or around the village speak English? I am staying for a week.. Is that enough?

    Thank you much can’t wait to hear from you.

  10. Very nice blog. I am currently in Oia and I think the situation might have changed slightly, since you can always see a few lonely tourists on the streets. They are still very few though and the idea how busy this place must be in summer is kind of weird to think about.
    If you happen to read a commen to this relatively old entry, I am wondering if you know of any restaurants in Oia that are open at this time of the year. We found only one so far, but would love to check out some more.

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