Our Favorite Places to Catch a Sunset
By Victoria Ortiz
The magic of a sunset is that it’s everchanging. Whether you count down as the sun slowly slips into the ocean, or watch as the clouds transform from snowy white peaks to fuchsia hues, these atmospheric shows feel like a play whose curtain of night falls all too quickly. We’ve pulled together the list of our favorite destinations to enjoy some beautiful sunsets!
The spectacular sunsets of summer more than make up for the lack of them from November to February. This small Icelandic town hosts a marina that features a backdrop of the volcanic Kirkjufell Mountain jutting into the ocean. In the Land of Fire and Ice, one can even catch a midnight sunset in the latter half of June and then stay up to see a sunrise only a few hours later!
French Alps (Lake Annecy):
Voted Europe’s cleanest lake, Lake Annecy’s charm and beauty become even more apparent at sunrise and sunset. This popular tourist destination high up in the French Alps features a mirror-like lake that will make you wonder whether the lake is on fire. Catch a sunset from the “lover’s bridge,” (Pont des Amours) with snowy peaks and meandering canals in the background.
The mysterious and legendary monument of rocks in the English countryside becomes even more fascinating at dawn and dusk. It is easy to see why many people believe the stones were deliberately oriented as the first rays of sun shine directly into the landmark’s center on the summer solstice. Easily reached from Bath or London, the blazing sky reflecting off these giant monoliths is not a sight easily forgotten!
With Dubrovnik’s massive stone walls as support, you can cup your hand and hold the sun as it drops into the Adriatic Sea. This popular Mediterranean destination and UNESCO World Heritage Site regularly showcases stunning ocean sunsets, which glitter off the white walls of the 16th century buildings and their terra cotta roofs.
Los Angeles (Santa Monica Pier):
It’s hard to say what makes Los Angeles’ sunsets so iconic. It could be the lights of Santa Monica Pier’s ferris wheel spinning on the water. Perhaps it’s the inky silhouettes of surfers holding out home for one last wave. Most people find themselves content to simply stare at the orange creamsicle sky as it dances over the Pacific. It’s not hard to see why.
The Florida Keys:
The sunset has some friendly competition in Key West. Every afternoon artists, food vendors, and street performers vie for your attention as the sun slips into the Gulf of Mexico. Join the locals and tourists as they congregate on Mallory Square Dock in Key West for the daily sunset celebration. Palm trees and sailboats add the ideal romantic touches to the already warm and salty air.
Can stone absorb color from the sky? It seem possible at Ayers Rock, also known by its aboriginal name of Uluru, in the Australian Outback. Surface oxidation of the monolith’s iron turns the would-be grey behemoth into a deep red and orange, which only gets magnified at sunset and sunrise. This ancient sacred site impresses onlookers with its sheer mass, but at dusk it’s undeniably magnificent.
Bali (Tanah Lot Temple):
Visit the point where the land and sky meet the sea at Tanah Lot Temple in Bali. The picturesque temple whose literal translation is “Land in the Sea” sits on a large rock formation with only a shallow water bridge making it accessible by land. Tourists and locals alike flock to this destination at sunset, when the sky explodes with color and this holy place takes on a surreal air.
Rio (Ipanema Beach):
There is always something happening at Ipanema Beach. It is often packed with splashing families, people kicking around a soccer ball while dancers grooving to samba beats. That all slows as everyone stops to watch the daily carnival of the sun setting behind green mountains dotted with lights from the favelas. The best views are from a boat in the ocean, as red and orange flames reflect around you infusing you with vibrant energy for the evening and the city.