It happens every day, yet we don’t often take the time to enjoy it—the sunset. Watching it might seem like a travel cliché, but there is no denying the beauty of a great one.
1. SANTORINI, GREECE
WHERE IS IT: Two hundred kilometres from mainland Greece lies Santorini, a volcanic island in the Aegean Sea.
Steep cliffs surround the lagoon at the island’s centre, with the area’s signature whitewashed, blue-topped architecture climbing the hillsides.
WHY YOU NEED TO SEE IT: Because visitors travel from near and far to experience the spectacular sunsets here, and there is no shortage of stunning vantage points. In the town of Oia, the white houses that crowd the hills reflect the setting sun for maximum impact, making it the most popular lookout spot. For a more serene setting, head to the picturesque Akrotiri lighthouse
2. MARA, MASAI, KENYA
WHERE IT IS: In South-western Kenya, Mara Masai is one of Africa’s most famous nature reserves, with more than 1,500 square kilometres of breathtaking grasslands. It’s home to a veritable who’s who of iconic wildlife: lions, leopards, cheetahs, zebras, gazelles, rhinos, hippos and wildebeest.
WHY YOU NEED TO SEE IT: Because it doesn’t get any more dramatic that this! After a day on the safari, end with a bang. The umbrella acacia tree at sunset is arguably the continent’s most indelible image. The flat land creates the opportunity for bold silhouettes popping out from the fiery sky—no wonder it’s a favourite with photographers.
3. BAGAN, MYANMAR
WHERE IT IS: The ancient city, dating back to 200 AD, is found in Myanmar’s lush Mandalay region. Once the capital of long-fallen kingdom, it’s still home to thousands of Buddhist temples and pagodas.
WHY YOU NEED TO SEE IT: Because there is nothing like the surreal sight of the sun setting behind the pointed stupas jutting out from the forest floor. The Shwesandaw Pagoda, built in 1057, is also known as the sunset pagoda since it’s the best viewing point.
4. SAUGEEN SHORES, CANADA
WHERE IT IS: On the shores of Lake Huron in western Ontario, it was, in the early 1800s, an important fur trading route for the Hudson’s Bay Company. Today, it’s an area formed from the amalgamation of Port Elgin, Southampton and Saugeen.
WHY YOU NEED TO SEE IT: Because there is a different colour combination every night: red, orange, yellow, pink, purple and blue in watercolour swooshes over the lake. Visitors and locals alike gather with ice cream and blankets to sit on the shore, while bagpipe players create an appropriately spectacular live score.
5. GRAND CANYON, USA
The red rock geological wonder known as the Grand Canyon is intricate, colourful and awe-inspiring, making it a must-see for tourists all day and all year. In the Arizona desert, the serene sunset lights up billions of years of strata for as far as the eye can see.