While an ordinary sunset is an oxymoron, some places in the world are worth visiting simply because of the beautiful vistas they offer every evening. Imagine ending each well spent day with a jaw dropping dreamy sunset. Bringing with it the promise of a new dawn, a sunset is when the heavens unfold magic from above. Read on to get inspired and fly away to one of these gorgeous destinations and chase some incredibly stunning sunsets.
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Unlike most organized travellers in the world, Pushkaraj and I usually travel on our whims and fancies. No matter how hard we try, we never succeed in planning a trip in advance. On those rare occasions when we do, it inevitably ends up falling apart. So given our history of failure, we don’t bother planning any more and randomly decide where in the world we’re headed to next. Funnily enough, on countless instances either of us has excitedly exclaimed to the other, “Let’s travel somewhere next week!” However, as soon as the initial craze wears off, the dreaded question starts doing the rounds -“But where to?”
Suddenly, Earth seems like a small place and even after pulling out our world maps, we’re not able to pick a single destination that ticks most boxes. So, we do our little inky pinky ponky or think of erratic things like where in the world can we find the most gorgeous waterfalls? Or, let’s check out one of the Seven Wonders of the World (that’s how Jordan happened by the way and we totally loved Petra). Yes, we’re insane on those levels. We usually base our instincts on nature’s bounties and haven’t been disappointed so far.
This time round, we’ve collaborated with fellow travel bloggers to make a compilation of the most stunning sunsets in the world. So next time, when you’re bitten by the wanderlust bug and have no clue where to head to, just maybe, stunning sunsets could inspire you to decide your next holiday destination. After all, who doesn’t enjoy staring at postcard perfect sunsets?
Honestly, we love sunsets. If monotony was defined by watching the sun set from the same coast day after day, we’d do it without a blink. It’s the most magical, surreal and calm feeling to watch nature take over and paint the sky with a fresh palette of colours signifying the epilogue of yet another beautiful day. (Well, on a more honest note, we have barely ever been able to wake up early enough to witness the beauty of a sunrise and hence, we’re totally prejudiced towards sunsets.)
So without further ado, here are the best places in the world to watch beautiful sunsets.
Wadi Musa, Jordan
by us from Trailing Abroad (Instagram)
Home to magnificent Petra, Wadi Musa is a quaint litle town, full of action packed alleys which are buzzing with energy. While Jordan is a mesmerising country in itself, nothing beats the beauty that Wadi Musa hides within its small territory. Watching the sun set on the carved marvel that Petra is, we were lost in paradise. It was one of those rare moments when we dropped our cameras and stood still, taking in the prepossessing sight that was before us. How we wish photos could do a little justice to what our eyes bore witness to that fine evening. The sky was literally ablaze with a striking crimson beam that lit up the entire city before darkness took over. At night, the locals told us, it was one of the best sunsets they had seen in a decade as well. We couldn’t thank our stars enough for once again making us realise, how drop dead gorgeous this world that we live in is.
Sunsets are a little piece of magic that remind us no matter what has happened throughout the day, the ending can always be something beautiful. Retelling the story of a sunset is like illustrating the emotions of a dream: the colors, the atmosphere, the feelings at that very moment. But what makes a sunset so beautiful? To me, it’s not the location, the meshing of dusk colors, or the romantic feeling of a day disappearing. Sunsets happen every single day, but yet we aren’t reminded of this alluring artistry each day. So, what is it that makes one sunset stand out above all others? It’s the people who are watching that sunset with you; that make that particular view so magical. This precise sunset may not have the pure golden colors or the unambiguous outlines of the distant buildings but this was a memory shared with my sister on her first adventure away from home, our first night in Italy. It was the moment of pure innocent happiness that spread across her gelato stained smile that made this one of the most breath taking sunsets I have ever and will ever see.
Galle, Sri Lanka
The secret of happiness is to find a congenial monotony. I may just have found my secret of happiness. Everyday, the sun bids goodbye by painting this canvas with pink, orange and red hues. Yet, every single time the sight overwhelms me leaving me mesmerized! Not all monotony is bad after all. I spent most of my evening sitting on the promenade and observing locals do their thing on a Sunday. The youngsters flew the kites, couples took their private corners and seniors slowly walked through the promenade looking at the sea every few minutes. The sun started melting, leaving the hues on the sky canvas and in no time what was left was only the remains of the most beautiful shades of colors. It was a gorgeous sunset in Galle, Sri Lanka when I found myself lost in divine monotony.
South Lake Tahoe
I’ll admit, I’m not the type of traveler who watches sunsets or hikes in the night time for the sunrise. However, I’ve randomly seen many beautiful sunsets in countries like Canada, Mexico, and South Africa, but none of them compare to South Lake Tahoe in California. The first time I saw Lake Tahoe’s sunset was two days after relocating from Los Angeles and needing some me time. I took a book and camera with me, sat on a bench by the lake and waited until the sun started to disappear turning the clouds and everything else orange. As time went by, I realized more people had come to witness what I was seeing. Everyone from locals, families on vacation, and even a wedding party were there to see this sight. Then, another solo female traveler came by, asked to sit next to me and offered me a beer. We both sat there admiring the beauty while engaging in small talk. Till this day, I’ve never seen a sunset so strikingly beautiful.
During a coastal road trip along Vietnam we stopped at the quirky city of Hue to explore. A casual afternoon stroll along the small grassy park overlooking the Perfume River led us by chance to a group of Vietnamese students, who were keen to practice their English with us. Over an hour later and we were still chatting away – learning about their lives and culture and feeling all the more globally connected. We said our goodbyes and with a wholesome feeling we continued our walk, only to stop in awe at the Truong Tien Bridge where the vibrant hues began to seep into the sky. I was utterly speechless by the striking colours washing over us, it was truly unlike any sunset I’ve seen before and have never seen one so beautiful since. The pastel shades were like candy floss covering the world, and filled me with such serenity and love for our inspiring Earth. It’s moments such as these that we treasure and hold on to, that are perfect in every way and are made even more special by those we are surrounded by.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
When we think about stunning sunsets, we often imagine nature, but one of the most memorable sunsets I’ve seen was in the heart of the city of Chiang Mai. After a day of walking, my boyfriend and I finally sat for a while at Wat Phra Singh temple to enjoy the soft light in the sky above the temple and to listen to the monks chanting. Thailand has this magical effect to create bubbles of calmness in its noisy cities wherever Buddhist monks are to be seen. This is exactly how we felt. As if time had frozen for half an hour and everything ceased to matter as long as we had the sunset, the chanting and ourselves.
Rio De Janerio, Copa Cabana
The sunset photo I have chosen was taken from my hotel room balcony overlooking Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro. This sunset really stands out for me for a number of reasons. I absolutely love the setting – I think Copacabana is one of the most spectacular beaches in the world with its wide sweeping bay beset by the mountains – and the sky looked absolutely beautiful with the light reflecting off the few clouds, turning them a gorgeous shade of peachy-pink. The beach and strip are always busy during the height of summer but this was during carnival time so there were even more people than usual. Carnival is brilliantly crazy, the city parties non-stop for more or less a week and the atmosphere is like nothing else I’ve ever experienced. This particular sunset felt like a moment of tranquillity between all the crazy goings-on, it suddenly struck me what a calm feeling the city had (even if very fleeting) just before it got dark and the parties really got going again! It was even more poignant and perhaps bittersweet for me as it was the very last night of my trip round South America – I was flying home the next evening. Every time I look at this photo, I’m taken straight back to all the memories of that wonderful trip.
Is there any spot more famous for sunsets than Santorini? I knew when we were headed to the Greek Islands that we needed to take in some of the spectacular sunset views that Santorini has to offer. Being the crazy researching type of person that I am, I looked into the best spots for a sunset in Santorini. Many people said the old church on the hill was the best spot in Oia while others said to try and see it from the cliffs. When you get to Oia at sunset, you will be greeted by crowds and crowds of people. Famous spots attract lots of tourists! We chose to get a reservation at a restaurant on the sunset facing side of Oia so we could watch uninterrupted vistas. We were not disappointed by our dinner view and the gorgeous sunset! The view was incredible; we avoided crowds, and ate delicious food. The whole experience was something I will never forget. When in Santorini, plan ahead and reserve a table for your sunset, you won’t regret it!
This sunset, captured from a houseboat on the backwaters of Kumarakom Lake in Kerala was certainly very special as I was on my honeymoon with my husband five years ago. A little drizzle of rain, live classical music and just watching the sun set in the horizon, hand in hand made it the perfect evening for us. That very moment we were happy and satisfied with the decision to visit Kerala, God’s own county for our honeymoon.
Mauna Kea, Hawaii
by Justine Cross from Wanderer of the World (Instagram)
When travelling to The Big Island of Hawaii, towards the top of your wish list should be a trip to the Mauna Kea mountain. This mountain is home to the world’s largest astronomical observatory and offers views from 13,000 feet up in the air. Imagine viewing a sunset when you’re above the clouds?
This is just one of the ways in which Mauna Kea offers a unique sunset experience. But when you can also frame your sunset with observatory telescopes in front, this also makes for a unique photograph to bring back home with you as well.
Once the sun has set, you’ll be asked to head back down to 9,000 feet, where the Visitor Centre can be found, so that the astronomers can do their job once the stars come out. But even from 9,000 feet, you will be able to see more stars than you ever thought possible. This means that not only will you have seen an incredible sunset like no other, but you will also follow it up with a magical evening of stargazing! Are you now convinced that Mauna Kea truly does offer a unique sunset experience?
Wyoming, United States of America
by Jamie Joyner from Photo Jeepers (Instagram)
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, USA is filled with endless opportunities to photograph nature at its best. The park is filled with jagged peaks of the mountains complimented by the surrounding landscape. On a trip to photograph Grand Teton last spring, it was cloudy and rainy. This type of weather presents challenges while traveling and photographing outdoor locations. But the stormy weather can also add that ‘special something’ to the photo, especially at sunset.
Clouds almost always create more dramatic sunsets. Many times we find that the clouds start to break just as the sun is setting. The result can be intense colors illuminated on the clouds. It’s worth it to find that perfect location to photograph a sunset and wait and see what happens to the clouds.
We like to look for creative ways to showcase the sunset, like a reflection in water. And remember, the sun doesn’t need to be in the photo. Most often, the most vibrant colors appear after the sun sets.
by Ritika Singh from Offbeat Wanderlust (Instagram)
Sunset makes my day every single time but when you witness sunset in Antarctica you know that you have witnessed the most beautiful sunset of your life. Walking in Antarctica is like walking on another planet. It’s a world of white, blue and grey as far as the eye can see. It stands out like no other. The grandeur of Antarctica’s packed ice, rugged mountains, serene landscape, jaw-dropping sunsets and magnificent icebergs will leave you breathless. You will experience nature at its unspoilt best. We visited Antarctica in the month of March when the sun stays up for 22 to 23 hours. So the sun never really sets. Witnessing colors of the midnight sun is surreal. You will experience an incredible sense of freedom and peace. Every evening nature paints the sky in different colors in Antarctica.
Whenever someone asks me about the most amazing sunset I have ever seen, my mind immediately is transported back to spending Christmas Eve of 2016 on the Avenue of Baobabs in Madagascar. We were heading back from a hike through Kirindy Forest Reserve and we were 3 hours early for sunset. It was either wait around or go back to the hotel. I couldn’t miss the sunset. I couldn’t tell if it was going to be a good or bad one, but if turned out to be a good one and I would be kicking myself for not waiting around. Our driver and guide (locals from the area) were patient and kind enough to just hang out, as we wandered around. I took photos of everything in sight and we just took it all in… for 3 hours. And when the sun finally started to set, it was worth every minute. Hues of reds, pinks, yellows and orange filled the sky. As if the Avenue of Baobabs wasn’t magical enough in the daylight, watching the sunset there was like watching it on another planet. It was a great way to start off the first Christmas I have ever spent with my boyfriend.
by Hannah Lukaszewicz from Getting Stamped (Instagram)
Over the past four years of traveling nonstop, we have seen some amazing sunsets but none compare to the sunsets in the Maldives. Every night you could find me out on my balcony or the beach just waiting for the free amazing nightly show called the sunset. Night after night, the Maldives delivered the most epic sunsets. I still remember the first night we arrived at our resort and got the honeymoon villa in the Maldives, we didn’t want to go out for sunset but we opened the shades and were blown away. After that first sunset, we made it a point to catch every sunset. Just imagine sitting on the deck looking at shades of blue you never even knew existed and then the sun sets lighting up the sky like cotton candy.
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Where have you seen the most stunning sunset in the world? Would you travel just to watch a beautiful sunset?
Tell us in the comments below and pass on some travel inspiration =)