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All too often overlooked when it slowly falls behind an all too familiar backdrop, a magnificent sunset is always a special occasion when travelling.
There is something magical about those fiery shades sweeping across an evening sky that brings a sense of calm and serenity to those fortunate enough to witness the day’s grand finale.
When the sky’s ethereal beauty is illuminated in hues of burnt orange and soft pink as the sun gently sinks and melts into the horizon, it produces a picture-perfect light that has long inspired painters, photographers and poets alike.
Glinting behind the jagged spires of a snow-streaked mountain, setting over the shimmering waters of an azure ocean or bathing oat grass plains in a hazy golden glow, wherever witnessed, the best sunsets in the world remain etched in our memory.
Although tough to pick just five of these burning beauties, here are some of our favourite places in the world to watch the sun go down…
Best places to watch the sunset
Masai Mara, Kenya
There is nothing quite as magical as an African sunset; big, close and wild. We’ll go as far to say everyone should witness a sunset on safari at least once in their lifetime, if not more! And the expansive plains of the Masai Mara Reserve offer up a palette of perfection; rich rubies soften into ochre oranges and pretty pinks as the day’s heat escapes in aquatic-like ripples rising from the golden savannah.
Perhaps one of Africa’s most iconic images is the silhouette of an elephant and Acacia tree set against the oversized equatorial fireball sinking and bleeding into the horizon. Make sure there’s plenty of space left on the memory card for a few sunset shots after a day of snapping big game on the plains.
Taking you there Trips to the Masai Mara
The Arctic Circle
As the land of the midnight sun emerges, throwing off the blanket of perpetual darkness, the anticipation of the local people during March is palpable after four sunless months.
Heading west through the serene wilderness at eight-brake-dog power towards Kilpisjaevi, pausing on the borders of three countries (Finland, Sweden, Norway), get your camera ready as the sun melts and freezes on the horizon.
And if lady luck is on your side, shortly after one spectacular solar display ends, another may begin. To witness the mesmerising Aurora Borealis is a wondrous and soul-enriching experience; aquamarine, cerise and violet ribbons streak across the star-studded Arctic sky as if playing to their own tune, and each time they take to the stage it is a unique performance.
Taking you there Arctic holidays
The Valley of the Moon in the Atacama, Chile
The intense fiery hues of the evening sun set this eerie lunar landscape ablaze with colour; rays slice across the strange rock formations, illuminating all the nooks and craters of this arid, otherworldly land.
As the second driest region on Earth, there are parts of the Atacama Desert that have never had any recorded any rainfall. As the sun dips and the sky deepens in colour, improbable golden and lilac hues dance over the rugged, crimson landscape.
Taking you there Chile trips
Watching the sun set over the stupa tops of Bagan is something of a spiritual experience. The sky awash with watercolour pastels of pink and yellow and the burnt-orange temple facades bathed in a golden glow of the dipping sun, every photographer will tell you there is no better time of day to capture the essence of this sacred temple complex.
For the best sunset shots you want to make your way to the top of Shwesandaw Temple, but secure your space at the top of the narrow staircase in good time – unfortunately you won’t be the only sun-seeking shutterbug there!
Angkor Wat, Siem Reap
This world-renowned UNESCO treasure, already popular with day-trippers, is a must-see at dusk. As the sun dips behind the Wat, the pineapple-topped towers reflect in the tranquil pool that affronts this staggering architectural wonder.
Few places offer up such an idyllic setting for some spiritual sunset contemplation but here, beside the largest religious complex in the world, Cambodia really delivers the goods. An Angkor sunset certainly does not short-change in the photographic stakes.
Taking you there: Trips to Angkor Wat
Witness the best sunsets in the world on one of our tours below.