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There seems to be a draw to beautiful sunsets. An urge to witness the sun as it dips below the horizon as the day ends and see the colours of the sky explode and amplify before the darkness falls. This stunning dance of clouds and sky, colour and light, often draws up an emotional reaction that lasts longer than the fleeting display above. It can touch your core and leave you hopeful and it can shake your soul and leave you moved. And as with anything that touches the heart, it imprints itself and leaves a lasting memory which is exactly why most people love to look for the most beautiful sunsets in the world and seek out those epic sunset photos.
One of the most beautiful sunsets we’ve ever witnessed was while we were travelling through the Keys in Florida. We decided to take a road trip to Key West and on the way, we stopped to watch one of the most spectacular, and emotional, sunsets. It was the first of many moving scenes we’d see during our travels but it is a memory we have held on to and cherish.
We’ve already asked fellow travellers to share where to find an amazing sunrise and now they share where they found the most beautiful sunsets in the world in an effort to aid those in the search for that moving moment and for a bit of sunset eye-candy!
Where You’ll Find The Most Beautiful Sunsets In The World
Khongoryn Els, Gobi Desert, Mongolia
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We visited Mongolia in July 2014 and set out to explore the Gobi Desert, living with the nomadic families in their gers. They lead a basic life, which they are extremely proud of, holding on to traditions they’ve strongly maintained since the days of Genghis Khan.
They also keep a lot of animals, particularly goats, sheep, yaks and camels.
There’s a famous film, The Story of the Weeping Camel in which a camel mother fails to connect with her new born baby and a fiddler is employed to play his morin khuur (horse headed fiddle) to her. The sound of the fiddle resonates with her, making her cry and is therefore supposed to make her reconnect with her calf. Well, this is what happened in the film.
At our camp we got lucky and watched a fiddler playing to the camels. The aim was just to soothe them so they could sleep (in this case there was no mother/child issue).
And you know what? It worked! Tears started to fall down the camels’ cheeks and gradually, one by one, they closed their eyes and went into a deep slumber.
This was one of the most beautiful moments we’ve experienced during our travels.
And what made it even more special? The whole thing was with the most incredible sunset over the Gobi Desert.
El Nido, Palawan, Philippines
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As I pushed my feet into the golden grains and perched my refreshed frame on the only wooden bench available, another day on this hidden slice on El Nido was drawing to a close. I’d discovered this secret spot the day before and consequentially went back to it every night I could until I left El Nido in the Philippines. With no tourists around and local kids relishing in their own creative yet beautifully simple games here, it’s a welcome respite from the chaos that has been building up near the port since El Nido has become increasingly popular. A simple shack sells cheap beer here and funnily enough, old Avon products that my Mum used to sell. I love that retro touch. Head to the beach away from the port to Corong Corong and you’ll find what the little adventurer within you needs!
Koh Phangan, Thailand
By Dave Brett of Travel Dave
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Whilst being based on the island of Koh Phangan, my highlight of every day was packing away my laptop by the end of the day, making my way over to the beach in Haad Rin, looking for a deck chair, ordering up a fruit shake, then sitting back and enjoying the sun setting over the sea.
It was like experiencing a 3D movie each and every day. Breathtaking.
The sun sets, as you look over the jungle hill tops, watch the water glitter overlooking Koh Samui, and if you have a nice clear day you can explore and discover all the different colours projecting off the sea. It’s like a light show, both magical and enjoyable.
The best spot on the island to watch a sunset is along the southern coast where you will find a large majority of the resorts which unlocks many wonderful sunset spots.
One of my hidden tips for a sunset on the island of Koh Phangan is to either Tuk Tuk up to the Amsterdam Bar, or head to the silent temple of Wat Koh Tahm, where you will have to be quiet and respect the local monks at the retreat, but you can walk up to a wonderful viewpoint looking over the island.
Enjoy the show!
El Cucu, El Salvador
By Jules & Christine of Don’t Forget To Move
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The small Central American country of El Salvador might not be the first stop on a traveller’s itinerary, but because of this it’s been able to preserve untouched destinations all over the country. For a long time El Salvador’s beaches have only been known to the surfing enthusiast, with some of the world’s best making regular stops to ride deep point breaks and long sandbank waves. However, travellers who make the effort to get out there are also rewarded with long stretches of white sand, pristine waters and amazing sunsets.
This stellar sunset comes from the small beach of El Cuco on the southern coast. It’s a bit of a mission to get to, but once you’re there you won’t want to leave. Gaze in amazement as the sun sets over the cliffs and lights up the whole beach with splashes of yellow, orange, pink and red. Take a walk down the beach and watch the sky dance with colours and change before your eyes, before setting down for a beachside beer and a couple of fresh pupusas.
If the timing is right there are also sea turtles that regularly lay eggs along the beach. When you get there be sure to check out La Tortuga Verde, where you can get involved with helping protect the eggs and releasing hatched turtles back into the water. Otherwise just kick back and enjoy a gorgeous beach all to yourself!
By Paula & Gordon of Contented Traveller
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Seminyak is north of Kuta and Legian on the Indonesian island of Bali. It is a trendy and very popular area because of its amazing sunset beaches, great shopping, and excellent food. It is also close to Pura Petitenget where a line of temples is found going right up to Tanah Lot. It is common to be able to see the blessings and ceremonies occur that Bali is so famous for. The very best thing to do in Seminyak, Bali is to head down to the beach in the afternoon, grab a colourful bean bag and a beer, listen to the music as the sun sets dramatically.
Encinitas, California, US
By Jason Will of Zipkick
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This stunning sunset was taken in Encinitas, CA from a drone overlooking surfers at Moonlight Beach. Growing up in Minnesota meant the beach was a distant concept and we instead resorted to lake life. The colouration, ocean waves and endless surfers during sunset make this a lasting memory.
Encinitas is located in the northern part of San Diego county and close to scenic Highway 1, which spans the western coast of California.
Uskudar, Istanbul, Turkey
By Nat & Rob of Love and Road
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Our third time in Istanbul, and I thought we already knew everything about this sizzling city, until one Turkish friend asked us if we had already watched the sunset at Uskudar. Of course we answered no. Most of the tourists never go there. The same day we got a public ferry from the Eminonu pier, close to Sultanahmet and all the ancients attractions in Istanbul, and crossed the Bosphorus Channel. When we got to the Asian side we walked along the coast and stopped in front of the Maiden’s Tower.
The place is full of locals, small tea shops and comfy cushions. A truly inviting place to sit and relax! The view was already amazing, the Bosphorus on your right side, the Marmara Sea on the other. In front of you is the Maiden’s Tower, and far away you can see the Süleyman Mosque, the Turkish palaces and the whole of Istanbul, ancient and modern. It’s when the sun touches the ground that the real spectacle starts.
The sky gets completely orange, the minaret silhouettes draw an incredible skyline. The seagulls flying and the sound of prayer from the mosques create a unique moment. It’s so special that words can’t describe it. It’s a powerful sunset, the sky is so intense, the architecture is so beautiful and dramatic. It seems that even the boats crossing the Bosphorus are frozen in time.
I used to think that a stunning sunset should be on the beach however, after that evening I discovered that the most beautiful and unique sunset is in Uskudar, Istanbul. Where Asia meets Europe, where culture and nature blend to perfection.
By Matilda of The Travel Sisters
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While certainly not obscure, the Cayman Islands are a great place to catch spectacular sunsets. During a particularly brutal Chicago winter, we traded the cold for some fun in the sun on Grand Cayman. Our only expectation was warm weather and a beautiful beach. We arrived to our hotel on Seven Mile Beach a bit before sunset and as soon as we could toss our luggage into the room went for a sandy stroll. Although we expected to be wowed by clear water and coral sands, we were absolutely surprised by the stunning sunset before us. Wow, how fortunate of us to catch such a rare event! Or not. Apparently, stunning sunsets are not such a rare event on Grand Cayman but rather a typical occurrence. Still we were fortunate enough to have four days on the island- each one ending with a breathtaking sunset.
Tahai on Easter Island
By Sarah & Kris of Jetsetting Fools
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We’ve been fortunate to watch the sun set from many corners of this beautiful world. We have watched the sky turn a vibrant, glowing pink in Lisbon, a silhouetted sun gradually dip below the horizon from Flic en Flac Beach in Mauritius and stretching shadows of karsts as the last of the day’s rays lit everything else on Halong Bay, Vietnam. But, the most magical sunsets were those we witnessed from Tahai on Easter Island.
As one of the most remote places on earth, the island is shrouded in the mystery of the moai – the tall, stone-carved protectors that are found on platforms around the island. While they are a sight to see in any light, the scene was mystically enhanced with the backdrop of the setting sun.
Like a crowd taking their seats in a theater, people would begin to gather on the sloping hill of Tahai facing the five standing moai about a half hour before the sun set. As the sun inched closer toward the horizon, the clouds and sky were lit in bold hues of blue, gold and pink. The moai stood solidly in place while the dramatic show played in the background.
Oia, Santorini, Greece
Natasha and Cameron of The World Pursuit
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We were fortunate enough to enjoy a spectacular sunset in Oia, Santorini. The blue and white houses that are seen in movies really do exists! We were ecstatic to enjoy such a beautiful sunset in a surreal location. Watching the local fisherman bring in their daily catch and letting daily Greek life pass by is the perfect end to the day.
Could use some more beautiful sunsets? Check out the second part where travellers reveal more great destinations for amazing sunsets!
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