Around the World in 20 Stunning Sunsets

sunset over Mount Storsteinen


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sunset over Mount Storsteinen

Painting the Sky

There’s something serene about watching the sun go down, but not all sunsets are created equal. Depending on what type of traveler you are — a beach goer, an adventurous hiker, or just someone who appreciates visiting iconic locations — you’re in for a real treat. As our precious daylight hours wane ahead of the time change, take a moment to appreciate some of the world's most stunning sunsets, including the unexpected appearance of a Yosemite spectacle that's usually a once-a-year affair. 

RelatedThe 50 Most Beautiful Views in the World

Firefall at Yosemite National Park

Firefall at Yosemite National Park

Typically, the Firefall at Yosemite National Park can be seen only for a few weeks in mid- to late February. But recently, observers gazing at the famous El Capitan peak were in for a gorgeous surprise when the phenomenon appeared again in late October. They can thank 6 inches of much-needed rain in under two days for reviving the waterfall, which plummets 1,500 feet. It's normally known as Horsetail Falls, but is dubbed Firefall when the setting sun makes the water look as though liquid fire is falling over the cliff.

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Grand Canyon National Park

North Rim, Grand Canyon

Measuring in at 1,902 square miles, the Grand Canyon offers ample spots for travelers to catch a stellar sunset, but for some reason, it’s the South Rim where most travelers congregate with about 5 million visitors each year. Do yourself a favor and visit the North Rim of the canyon. Technically located only about 21 miles away from one another, it’s actually a four-hour, 212-mile drive between the two due to the limited roads in the area. At the North Rim, you’ll get a whole new perspective because of its remoteness, but this only adds to the grandeur of this stunning geological marvel

Related: 33 Historic National Park Photos for Vintage Views

Taj Mahal Sunset

Taj Mahal

Agra, India
One of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal is on many traveler’s bucket lists. Built as an elaborate memorial to the late Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan’s beloved wife, the intricate marble mausoleum was built in the early to mid-17th century. Sunsets here cause the building to change to a beautiful golden color. Just note that selfies and other photos are not permitted as they are considered disrespectful.

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Ala Moana Regional Park

Ala Moana Regional Park

A family-friendly public beach neighboring the famous Waikiki beach, Ala Moana Regional Park gives visitors a chance to play in the golden sand, catch a wave, or just look out at the gorgeous views of Diamond Head — a volcanic cone on the island of Oahu. Located just minutes from downtown Honolulu, guests don’t have to stay at one of the more expensive, oceanfront hotels just to enjoy the area. The park stays open until 10 p.m., so there’s plenty of time to bring a picnic and catch the setting sun.

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Oia Sunset


Santorini, Greece
Santorini has long been considered a paradise among the Greek isles. Idyllic white stone buildings with blue roofs dot the Caldera cliffs overlooking the Aegean Sea. Here you can walk along the cobblestone pathways, speed along the coastline on a Vespa, or just relax on one of the nearby beaches. The best way to enjoy Oia’s magical sunsets though is through a culinary tour with Santorini Gastronomy where you’ll be able to taste local wines paired with a delicious five-course meal.

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Atacama sunset
Jiann Ho/istockphoto

Salar de Atacama

The largest salt flat in Chile, the area is unique in its mirage-like vista. Sunsets here are reflected on the ground multiplying its beauty. This other-worldly location is surrounded by mountains, but it is actually fairly easy for tourists to visit compared to other parts of the country. However you won’t feel crowded or surrounded by buildings here — it’s truly a place where you can commune with nature and soak in all the lasting rays of the sunset. Pro tip: Be sure to bring your bathing suit, so you can float around Laguna Cejar, which is 28 percent salt. 

Related: 14 Under-the-Radar Destinations in Latin America

Hobbiton Matamata, New Zealand


Matamata, New Zealand
If you love to travel to places based on your favorite movies, then Hobbiton is probably near the top of your list. Used in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, as well as "The Hobbit" trilogy, Hobbiton is where travelers and movie fanatics alike can explore The Shire of Middle Earth on the North Island of New Zealand. Guests will need to book a guided tour to experience the area, but to make the adventure even more magical, make sure you book The Evening Banquet Tour where you’ll not only get to see the sunset but you’ll also feast like a hobbit. 

Related: 50 Iconic Movie Locations You Have to Visit

matterhorn sunset

The Matterhorn

A mountain view and a sunset just pair so well together, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better one than the Matterhorn in Switzerland. You can book a sunset dinner above the clouds for arguably one of the most romantic settings in the world at En Güete, also known as the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, which is the highest restaurant in the world. 

Related: The Most Romantic Place in Every State

Palagi Beach, American Samoa

Palagi Beach, American Samoa

Technically considered the last place the sun sets each day, American Samoa is just over 800 miles from the highly sought after Fijian getaway. But Americans don’t need to empty out their savings account or even need a passport to visit this tropical paradise. Make your way out to Palagi Beach at the western tip of the island, and you’ll be rewarded with magnificent views of the mountainous terrain, soft, white sandy beaches leading out to the South Pacific Ocean and the final rays of sunshine.

RelatedThese Island Vacations Don't Require a Passport

tuscany sunset


Fine wine and a good time, need we say more? Spend your day traipsing around vineyards and art galleries in Florence, eating delicious pasta, bread and meat before unwinding with a nice glass of a wine looking at the sunset over the beautiful landscapes of Tuscany. 

Related: 25 Free and Cheap Things to Do in Rome

The Sphinx and Great Pyramid, Egypt

Great Sphinx of Giza

Giza, Egypt
Giza has not one but multiple crowning glories — the Great Pyramids and the Great Sphinx. And although most flock to the Great Pyramids, it’s the Great Sphinx of Giza where you’ll get the better vantage point. Looking up from the base of the great monument, you’ll also be rewarded with views of the pyramids as well surrounding the sphinx. 

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Sunset over Victoria Falls, Zambia

Victoria Falls

Zambia and Zimbabwe
Victoria Falls, which lies on the natural border between Zambia and Zimbabwe is known as one of the world’s largest waterfalls due to its 5,603-foot width. The constant midst produced by the massive water feature manufactures a constant rainbow. Make it an extra memorable experience by taking a Ra-Ikane sunset cruise, and maybe you’ll even be lucky enough to see some local wildlife. 

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maldives sunset

The Maldives

The Maldives
It may be quite the long journey to get there, but there’s no denying the pure beauty that The Maldives have to offer. Picture-perfect sunset views await travelers who venture to this small island nation in South Asia. Book a stay at a private overwater bungalow to make the experience even more magical. 

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los cabos sunset

Los Cabos

Enjoy a stunning sunset view from an All-Inclusive Resort balcony room, a cliffside restaurant, the beach, a sailboat or even a sunset yacht cruise excursion. Venture out to Land’s End by boat and be amazed by the popular landmark known as “The Arch” before taking in a gorgeous sunset experience.

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Santa Monica Pier during a beautiful California sunset

Santa Monica Pier

The Santa Monica Pier makes for an iconic California sunset view. Set up a romantic date for an evening picnic at Palisades Park or take the whole family out for a day of adventure and fun at the Pacific Park amusement park. 

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kilimanjaro sunset

Mount Kilimanjaro

Whether you’re adventurous enough to take on the mountain yourself, or you just want to enjoy the views of the setting sun over the savanna and majestic mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro offers travelers picturesque views. This dormant volcano is the highest peak in all of Africa and is home to unique wildlife like the blue monkey and the colobus monkey.

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antartica sunset
Bruce Wilson Photography/istockphoto

Antarctic Peninsula

Because it is not an easy destination to reach, Antarctica is one of the most challenging places to watch a sunset. However, in doing so, it will no doubt make for an unforgettable experience. Capturing a sunset against the backdrop of icy waters, glaciers and mountains is tough to beat.

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sunset over Mount Storsteinen

Mount Storsteinen

Tromsø, Norway
Known as the Land of the Midnight Sun, this area of the world can have sunsets that lasts for hours, days, weeks or even months. A popular stop for cruise ships, Tromsø is located about 200 miles south of the Arctic Circle. The best way to see the city though is by venturing up nearby Mount Storsteinen. An aerial tram can take you from the city station to the top of Storsteinen in about four minutes, and the attraction remains open until 10 p.m. as long as weather conditions are okay. If traveling during the winter months, this is also a good place to catch the Northern Lights.

Amsterdam canals sunset
Lauren Bowman
stone town sunset

Stone Town

Zanzibar, Tanzania
Zanzibar is truly a hidden gem without enough travelers talking about this magnificent destination; it was voted as one of the Top 10 Best Value destinations by Lonely Planet to visit in 2020. Travelers can trek through the old town, shop in the spice markets, and immerse themselves in the beautiful culture of this east African island located off the coast of Tanzania. Stone Town is one of the island’s westernmost cities, so tourists can catch beautiful ocean sunsets while also enjoying the oldest part of the city.

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