No matter who we are or where we’re from, we are all united by our love of a glorious, blazing sunset. Here are the 10 best places in the world to seek them out.
It’s that magical moment between day and dusk when the sun starts to melt into the horizon. Its beauty is fleeting, yet it forms some of our most treasured travel memories.
To reignite our wanderlust, the travel experts at Bounce compiled a list of the world’s dreamiest sunset viewing spots. Each destination was awarded a score out of 10 based on blog mentions, Instagram tags and local levels of light pollution.
10. Uluru, Northern Territory, Australia
Kicking off the top 10 is one of the most majestic spots in Australia: Uluru. The Australian Outback is one of the best places in the world to stargaze thanks to its remoteness and lack of light pollution – which means it’s also one of the finest to soak up the sunset. There are few more humbling spots to witness the setting of the sun than before this legendary monolith, revered by the land’s Traditional Owners for many thousands of years.
9. Haleakalā, Hawaii, USA
Three quarters of the Hawaiian island of Maui is covered by a dormant volcano named Haleakalā, meaning ‘house of the sun’. Legend has it the demigod Maui stood at the peak of Haleakalā to lasso the sun and make the day last longer. He wasn’t the only one captivated by its magic – today, visitors to the island flock to Haleakalā National Park to witness the sun’s colourful descent into the clouds.
It’s perhaps no surprise this dreamy drop in the Indian Ocean should feature on a list such as this. Just when you think its powdery white-sand beaches and crystalline lagoons couldn’t get any more beautiful, it’s all delicately illuminated by the candy floss pink and burnished orange of sunset. This moment is best experienced from an overwater villa, where the view to the horizon is blissfully uninterrupted.
7. Key West, Florida, USA
The southernmost point of Florida, and just a hop, skip and a jump from Cuba, Key West is an island city in the Gulf of Mexico. Its location at the tip of the Florida Keys archipelago means it enjoy endless ocean vistas – which is perhaps why it became known as ‘the city that made sunset a party’. The waterside Mallory Square is undoubtedly the hottest spot on the island to take in the views (albeit the most crowded).
6. Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia
This sprawling Buddhist temple complex in Siem Reap is at the top of many travellers’ bucket lists for good reason. One of the largest religious monuments in the world – measuring more than 400 acres – the site is home to more than a thousand buildings, providing endless inspiration to visitors since the 12th century. It becomes even more magical during the twilight hour, when the colours of sunset are reflected in the adjacent waters.
5. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, USA
The dramatic landscape of Arizona’s Grand Canyon has been carved by the hands of time over millions of years. There are multiple viewpoints throughout the national park where you can catch the sunset – the most popular being around the South Rim – with each landscape like a work of art, hand painted before your eyes in shades of gold, orange and pink.
4. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Famed for its palm-fringed beaches, Christ the Redeemer statue and colorful carnival atmosphere, Rio de Janeiro also delivers some seriously good sunset viewing. The city streets come alive as the sun dips, signalling the beginning of an evening of festivities and dancing. One of the most incredible spots to watch the sun melt into the horizon is at the peak of Sugarloaf Mountain, 395 metres atop the city and reachable by cable car.
3. Hawaii, USA
It’s back to Hawaii for more sunset wanderlust. With its abundance of beaches – offering everything from pink to black sand – volcanic landscapes, velvety green peaks and shooting rainbows, this US state has more than its fair share of dreamy vistas, made even more spectacular by the setting sun. Its remote location in the North Pacific Ocean, along with the levels of humidity and volcanic ash in the air, are said to accentuate its beauty.
2. Bali, Indonesia
Among the many reasons why Instagram influencers flock to Bali are the fiery sunsets, best admired from a chic beach club with a cocktail in hand. The crashing surf provides the perfect backdrop for a stunning sunset shot, not to mention the tiered rice paddies and intricate Buddhist temples dotted across the island.
1. Santorini, Greece
Relatively unaffected by light pollution, the dreamy Greek island of Santorini takes the top spot on the world’s best sunsets list. Perhaps it’s the way the colours smudge across the whitewashed buildings like a painting or how they dance on the waters of the Aegean Sea…you’ll just have to go to find out. One of the most popular sunset spots is Oia in the north, a coastal village whose buildings cascade down the cliffside.
Discover Bounce’s methodology and the full list of the world’s best sunsets.