10 Best Sunsets and Sunrises in the World
Posted on June 22 2017
I’m a sucker for sunsets and sunrises. I’ve seen more than I can possibly count, but they never fail to take my breath away. What amazes me most is how a simple change in geography can dramatically alter the colors that paint the sky. As I’ve traveled the world, I’ve kept my eyes out for truly unforgettable sunsets and sunrises. Here are my ten favorites and ones that I definitely recommend adding to your bucket list.
- Lake Tahoe, California
While I could just as easily feature Lake Tahoe for its serene sunrises, I opted to focus on their sunsets. Honestly, both are magical.
But there’s something one-of-a-kind about a sunset in Lake Tahoe. When the clouds are just right (which is more often than not), the sky turns brilliant shades of pink, purple, and gold. These colors reflect on the water and the entire lake turns into a vibrant rainbow. If you are ever in Lake Tahoe, head to the lake during sunset for the view of a lifetime.
- Isle of Skye, Scotland
The Isle of Skye in Northern Scotland is known for its dramatic environment. The rock formations, waterfalls, rivers, and glens were truly spectacular.
But what I wasn’t expecting when I arrived in Skye was the stunning sunrise. I spent my first night camping along the shore in Portree and woke up to the sound of seagulls cawing overhead. I stepped out of my camper and I was greeted by the morning sun peaking over the hills. A must-see for any sunrise lovers.
- Dwerja Bay, Gozo Island, Malta
One of my favorite things about islands is the chance to catch both sunrise and sunset. It’s often hard for me to pick a winner, but in Gozo the choice was clear: sunset all the way. Though this could have to do with the face that I settled on Dwerja Bay for my sunset viewing.
Not only did I get the chance to witness the bright orange and blue hues of the sun ducking over the horizon, but I got to enjoy this amazing rocky bay. The islands of Gozo and Malta are surrounded by good sunset and sunrise viewing spots, but sunset at Dwerja Bay easily takes the cake.
- Assos, Turkey
Assos is a tiny, lesser-known fishing village on the coast of Turkey. My dad and I found it by accident, but it quickly won our hearts and years later we returned with the whole family. I decided to wake up early our first morning in Assos to try and catch sunrise and let’s just say I wasn’t disappointed.
The pastel sky and crystalline water were incredible, but what really made the experience unforgettable was the old Turkish men crawling into their boats and taking off for the morning fish. While I woke up to watch the sunrise, I got to watch a bit of the local lifestyle as well.
- Kruger National Park, South Africa
South African sunsets are famous worldwide. And for good reason. I was working at a private game reserve near Kruger and often had the chance to join the guests on an evening safari. After an hour or so of gawking at the wildlife, our guide would pull over and we’d all get out.
We would stand in the middle of the South African bush sipping cocktails and watching the sunset. The sun always blazed either orange or red. There were no rainbow-colored clouds, just a pure, burning sun inching toward the horizon.
- Machu Picchu, Peru
If you ever trek to Machu Picchu, promise me this: you’ll get up at 4am to make the long climb from Aguas Calientes up to the Machu Picchu ruins. The payoff for getting up so early? One of the most mystic sunrises on the planet.
Just as you reach the entrance to the ruins, the sky will transform into an array of pastels, illuminating one of the world’s seven wonders and, if you’re anything like me, bring tears to your eyes. Plus, there’s the added bonus of getting to explore the ruins before the rest of the tourists show up. Worth it? I think yes.
- Goa, India
Sunset in Goa is a must for multiple reasons. On the one hand, you’ve got the pink hue that descends on the shore and the magenta sun that dips in the distance. It’s an amazing sight all on its own. But half of what makes sunset in Goa one of my favorites is the atmosphere.
Travelers flock to Goa and during sunset, the island is alive with activity. People sipping fancy cocktails sit beside a table digging into a delicious Indian dessert, all while yogis line the shore getting in one last practice for the day. While the sunset is beautiful, it’s only half of what there is to see during dusk in Goa.
- Tamarindo, Costa Rica
Tamarindo is one of Costa Rica’s more popular beaches and as such, it draws a ton of tourists during sunset. Sunrise, however, is an entirely different story. Two or three times a week I would get up to watch the sunrise in Tamarindo and it was one of my favorite things about my time in Costa Rica.
I had the beach practically to myself and was greeted only by the occasional hard-core surfer, up to catch the morning swell. Sitting in the peaceful stillness of dawn and watching the expert surfers ride the waves, I got to see another side of Tamarindo. A side I completely fell in love with.
- Santorini, Greece
If you’re looking for a truly dramatic sunset, look no further. As if a vacation on the Greek Islands didn’t sound fantastic enough, add to it one of the most striking sunsets I’ve ever seen.
The sunset off the coast of Santorini turned the entire sky orange and with the picturesque sailboats out at sea, I felt like I was living on a movie set. Santorini is the ideal destination for a truly jaw-dropping sunset.
- Huacachina, Peru
The sunrises in Huacachina are unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. It’s not your typical pastel sky and warm morning sunshine, but it’s an experience you will remember for the rest of your life. My friends and I got up early to climb one of the massive sand dunes in Huacachina in hopes of watching the sunrise over the oasis.
What we found was a desert covered in a thick blanket of fog. I could hardly see two inches in front of me as I clambered up the ridge of the dune. As the sun rose, the fog diminished just enough to see the stark outline of the dunes and though it wasn’t warm or bright or colorful, it was one of my all-time favorite sunrises.