World's Best Sunsets

Sunset has a magic beyond the scientific fact of the sun disappearing behind the horizon and the atmosphere playing up the colours as the earth turns, it's the time of memories and farewells and of romance. And like romance there's more to it than just science and scattering air molecules.

A wedding planner friend was recently asked where to find the best sunset, a Sweet Young Thing wants to take his hopefully intended somewhere exotic to pop the question – backed by the BEST SUNSET IN THE WORLD.

I didn't have to think too much about where I'd seen the best sunset, it was while sitting on the balcony of the Indiana Tea Rooms on Cottesloe Beach, Perth, Western Australia. The balcony opens out over the smooth bay and looks directly west, where my gaze was transfixed for the hour or two it took for the colour and light show to finish, and for our supply of mint juleps to run out. Just down the coast in Broome, I experienced one of my other top five sunsets, riding a camel along Cable Beach. The final suggestion I wanted to throw at our Sweet Young Thing was Kota Kinabalu, in Sabah, where you have Mount Kinabalu looming in a myriad of striped colours on one side, and the paradisical Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park islands, in their bright blue sea, on the other. These sunsets were almost magic for their beauty, and like love is more than a chemical reaction, these sunsets were more than just pretty views, they felt like perfect moments, an idea echoed by a friend who was able to write pages about his own favourites from his travels round Australia.

Further research uncovered recommendations for beaches and islands around Phuket, and a story about someone watching the sun set from the deck of their boat floating in the Andaman Sea.

The Grand Canyon also got a good many mentions. Apparently watching the rays of light sweep across the layers of the canyon from the west rim, and seeing the whole place change from bright orange to deep purple, is well worth waiting out the chill for. But the recommendation is to take a sweater. If the Grand Canyon's grand crowds reduce the magic for you there are many quieter pockets within the Canyonlands National Park, where the combination of unique geological features and dramatic multi-coloured skies make for lifelong memories.

The European equivalent of this grand sunset spectacle seems to be the area around the Dolomites. I know of it for the skiing, but apparently Cortina D'Ampezzo is a glorious place to watch the sun set behind the hills, or in this case rocky mountain peaks.

The blues and white of Santorini's buildings are augmented delightfully by the setting sun, as are the bright green, bowler hat shaped hills of the Lofoten Islands - you can admire them most clearly from a kayak, paddling between them. By the end of October the sun sets in minutes but during the summer the light refraction show goes on for hours.

British patriots hate to see their country left out when it comes to being the best or most beautiful, so there were some suggestions of spots in Wales: Rhosneiger Bay, for the views of Snowdonia and the Lleyn Peninsular, and Conwy Castle, a ruin right on the sea - can't you just see the fingers of colour tracing over the old ruined battlements.
The Isle of Skye was also recommended as being graced with some of the world's best sunsets, again, it's at its most photogenic when seen from the comfort of a sea kayak, and the Brecon Beacons have been called a ridge of fire because of the shades they're coloured, as well as for the fires that used to burn on their spines to warn of English invaders - at least by one person.

Sweet Young Thing is currently undecided where he's going to plan his perfect moment – he's torn between Zanzibar in the Indian Ocean and the Uruguayan Riviera... But he's still open to suggestions if you want to hit us with your own best sunset?

This isn't the first time I've been asked about the perfect place to pop the question, here's some more of World Reviewer's places for Perfect Proposals.

Jon Shaw's Best Sunsets

Comments by other travellers

I have traveled all over the world and experienced many amazing sunsets but I must say that Herne Bay in Kent, UK is up there with the best. The most spectacular sunset occur in the mid summer when the tide is out, absolutely breath taking.

Check out some photos here: bayguide.co.uk/wp/index.php/sunset-image

--I've seen a great sunset in the Philippines at Manila Bay along Roxas Boulevard...

1 Reply

Do you have any photos? Was that to the west?

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