Tralee, Ireland – Facing west, this quaint coastal town is one of the warmest spots to catch a fantastic Irish sunset. It’s about as far south as you can go along the western coast of Ireland. The sunsets here are dramatic, reminding you of the centuries of unchanged landscape, with the winds and the rain adding to the feeling of timeless isolation… As the Irish blessing goes: May there be just enough clouds on your horizon to cause a beautiful sunset.
Nice, France – Does it get any more romantic than the French Riviera at sunset? It certainly gets no more picturesque. The glittering Mediterranean will take your breath away as the light bathes the city in shades of pastel. The seaside city appears as if painted by Matisse, who lived many years in Nice, immortalizing several of their now-famous sunsets.
Dubrovnik, Croatia – This ancient city in the Dalmatia region, known as the Pearl of the Adriatic, boats some of the most unique sunsets one could find today. It offers visitors a chance to see the sunset in true medieval setting, just as millions did during the Renaissance heyday of the walled city.
Siem Reap, Cambodia – This isn’t the place to come for a peaceful sunset, but it’s memorable, nonetheless. Every day around 4 p.m., the streets near Siem Reap’s Phnom Bakheng temple begin to fill with smiling crowds of Cambodians and tourists, all gathering to watch for the magically ephemeral moment…for just a few seconds each day the sun’s setting rays catch the top of Tonlé Sap Lake, blinding spectators with glittering, shimmering light.
Kota Kinabalu, Borneo, Malaysia – Often overlooked in favor of more high-profile nearby destinations, Borneo’s coastal town of Kota Kinabalu offers a dramatic backdrop for sunsets. Hit the local food market for some dumplings or noodles, grab your picnic blanket, and set up camp on the town’s beach. From there, you’ll have a perfect spot to watch the dramatic sunset fall behind the Mount Kinabalu (the highest peak in Borneo).
West Lake, Hangzhou, China –The lake has inspired countless Chinese artists and poets and offers the quintessential spot from which to watch a Chinese sunset. The shores of the freshwater lake are lined by cherry blossoms, hundreds-of-years-old bonsai trees, temples, pagodas, Zen gardens, and historical relics. The location has been called an idealized fusion between humans and nature. The famous Leifang Pagoda, located on the shores of West Lake, is illuminated daily by the final rays of the day.
Punta del Este, Uruguay – The St. Tropez of Uruguay, this chic, trendy, resort city offers a metropolitan setting to contrast with the setting sun. From this peninsula the sunset surrounds on all sides, with the rough Atlantic on one and a calm estuary on the other. Watch the sun sink into the waves in luxury here, as you sip a cocktail at one of the many oceanfront watering holes.
Volcan, Panama – The only place in the world where you can see both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans from the same spot. Meaning, also, that you can see the sunset over both oceans from the top of this dormant volcano—a thing few people can claim. A tip for ambitious adventurers: hike up during the day, watch the sunset, camp out overnight, and watch the sunrise on your hike back down in the morning. It’s not a plan for the out-of-shape…but is well worth the spectacular vistas.
Atacama Desert, Chile – Few plants are able to survive the arid climate of Chile’s Atacama Desert (the land is so forsaken, the 2001 film Space Odyssey was shot there, with the desert doubling as the Moon’s lifeless surface). Small groups of visitors to the desert gather each day around much-needed oases and witness the rarely seen, fiery event. If you do make it all the way to the desert, try a sand-boarding and sunset tour.
Compiled by Kaitlin Yent, Managing Editor at Live and Invest Overseas