Few things are more beautiful to look at in photographs than a sunset. The combination of colors and the contrast of dark and light make for a view that is pretty stunning. Of course, people who have traveled to various parts of the world have seen a number of sunsets, and can provide insight into which scenes are the most breathtaking. For instance, some would say that sunsets overlooking the beach are especially serene, while a photo of a sunset overlooking the desert can send the message that there is beauty even in places that look desolate. Capturing the view of the sunset in a number of settings around the globe also means that the pictures will include architecture that is specific to the region. A sunset photo can also capture the animals and plants that live in the area, as well as silhouettes of the people who are native to the land. These are the elements that made each sunset picture unique.
Whether you want to take a picture of the sun setting in your backyard, want to capture the dusk during a camping trip, or want to take some photos that will make your vacation more memorable, these pictures can definitely provide you with some inspiration. Here are 15 of the most beautiful sunset pictures ever captured.
15 Melbourne, Australia (Taken by Tony Wheeler)
Tony and Maureen Wheeler published a tiny travel guidebook in 1973, and it changed the way many people vacation to this day. The Lonely Planet, the Wheeler’s company, which was founded for backpackers, released the first book, Across Asia On The Cheap, over 30 years ago, and Tony Wheeler still loves to travel. However, when asked about the most beautiful sunset he’s ever seen, Wheeler thinks of his hometown of Melbourne. He states that while he enjoys looking at the sunset from beaches and other exotic locations, he loves to look at the sunset from his office window in the Footscray suburb of Melbourne. He states that the city’s skyscrapers can look like a kaleidoscope, which makes the scene especially impressive.
14 Wurzburg, German (Taken by Axel-D)
Wurzburg, Germany was once known as the city of 100 churches, and some of the structures have remained somewhat intact, even though they are centuries old. The city is also known for its arts and culture, and was once home to philosopher Albertus Magnus and poet Walther van der Vogelweide. Wurzburg is also home to many U.S. Army soldiers and their families who are stationed overseas. When visitors and residents are not taking in the beauty and history of the museums and galleries that Wurzburg has to offer, they can always see a beautiful sunset, especially during the fall season. The deep orange colors and thin swirls of clouds make for a picture that can serve as a pleasant memory for years to come.
13 Ban Talae Nok, Thailand (Taken by Rudy Maxa)
Sometimes, when you want to capture a picture of the sunset, it helps to take in all the surrounding beauty as well. Rudy Maxa remembers a recent visit to Thailand, where he spent time in the small community of Ban Talae Nok. The area is known for losing more than 200 of its residents in the tsunami of 2004, including 16 school-aged children who were playing by the beach when the storm hit. A new school has been built in Ban Talae Nok, on a hill, so that children will be kept safe. Maxa states that “a herd of wild water buffalo go down to the deserted beach and pause as if they are not sure they want to get their feet wet.” He then describes the scene in which the animals step energetically into the waves and walk in deeper, until the water is at their necks.” Maxa counts this as “one of the most unusual sunsets” he’s ever witnessed.
12 Sicily, Italy (Taken by Andrew Zimmerman)
Andrew Zimmerman is a travel enthusiast and chef who is known for eating some pretty shocking (and gross) things, including fermented blubber and worms that have been deep-fried. However, some of the memories that stand out for Zimmerman the most aren’t always related to being such a culinary risk taker. The sunsets he enjoys the most are in Bali at Seminyak Beach, the sun setting over Mahoe Bay in the British Virgin Islands and the Delta Marsh’s “particularly blood-red sunset.” However, the one that stands out the most to Zimmerman, is the sunset he witnessed in Noto, Sicily. He states that the countryside in the area is filled with wheat fields, and the horizon is lined with villas and palazzos. Zimmerman stated that the “setting sun…cast the most beautiful light” he’d ever seen in his life, and that “nothing has ever matched it.” Sounds like the trip to Sicily was definitely worthwhile.
11 Atacama Desert (Taken by Julia Dimon)
Most people would probably say that their version of a breathtaking sunset involves the beach, but travel journalist Julia Dimon begs to differ. She states that one of her favorite sunsets was at the Valley of the Moon in the Atacama Desert of Chile. She recalls that during the winter at around 6:30 in the evening, the sky starts to showcase a number of orange, purple and red hues. The dim lighting highlights the mountain ranges and defined streams of light protrude from sand dunes in the desert. The winds that have been in the desert for thousands of years have helped to shape the dunes and stones, and the slick surfaces make the perfect stage for the dusky light from the sun to move through the desert. Dimon says that sunsets like these “induce a sweet sense of calm” and are especially inspiring.
10 Srinagar, India (Taken by Vikas Khanna)
Vikas Khanna is known for letting his love for culinary adventure take him around the world. Khanna, who was born in India, draws inspiration from the culinary traditions of generations past. After a trip to the Himalayas, Vikas described the area as “a sanctuary of wisdom, hope, enlightenment and peace.” He also stated that he felt “unmatched serenity” as he watched the sun set over Dal Lake, which is located in the northern Indian city of Srinagar. Khanna has stated that these are the types of moments he treasures as an avid traveler. He shared in his book From the Rivers, that these are the times he enjoys “just peacefully resting on a cliff” where he can “watch the game of shadows the clouds play over the mountains.”
9 West Palm Beach, Florida (Taken by luvjnx)
West Palm Beach is a town that is rich in culture. It’s easy to find authentic cuisine from Haitian, Cuban, Jamaican and African residents, and the city is known for its involvement in music and the arts. The weather is wonderful (it’s often in the 70s during Christmas time) and it’s close enough to Miami to take a quick vacation every now and then. The tropical weather and tall palm trees make for some beautiful sunsets, no matter what time of year you’re in the city. Deep orange and golden colors are often apparent in the sunset. The shadows of palm trees and tropical plants against the sun makes for a beautiful postcard backdrop.
8 Manuel Antonio Beach, Costa Rica (Taken by Thomas Kohnstamm)
Travel writer and author of the book Do Travel Writers Go to Hell?, Thomas Kohnstamm was tempted to choose locations in Hawaii for his “most beautiful sunset” location. However, he decided on the view from Costa Rica’s Manuel Antonio Beach instead. He states that the 80-degree water and the warm, sandy beach are a wonderful way to watch the sun go down. There are many colors displayed in the sky, against the silver-blue water and the lush green tropical plants. Kohnstamm describes the scene as “breathtaking” and says that “it’s more than simply beautiful” and serves as creative inspiration for him.
7 Reykjavik, Iceland (Taken by Dhani Jones)
Dhani Jones is a former linebacker for the NFL who made the successful transition into TV. For his show on the Travel Channel, Jones has gone to some of the most popular vacation destinations in the world, including Thailand, Spain and New Zealand. Once he arrives in these beautiful places, it’s Dhani’s job to train and compete in intense sporting events. He doesn’t get to watch the sunset often, but Jones did happen to catch this beautiful scene in Reykjavik, Iceland, on the harbor, “around the time of the summer solstice.” Dhani Jones describes the sight as “amazing,” since it looks like the day will go on forever (sunset isn’t until around 10 pm).
6 Anzio, Italy (Taken by Moyen Brenn)
Anzio is located in Italy’s Lazio region. The area is a fishing port, and is known mainly for its hydroplanes and ferries to the Pontine Islands. Tourists often enjoy visiting the remains of Roman villas along the coast of Anzio. One villa, named the Domus Neroniana, is believed to be the place Nero once lived. There are also several sea and beach resorts in the city, and that’s where many tourists go to watch the sun set. The water takes in a silvery blue hue as the sun goes down, casting a pronounced yellow light onto the water. The dark sand on the beach complete this stunning view of nature.
5 Butterfly Beach, Santa Barbara California (Taken by David M. Schrader)
Butterfly Beach in Santa Barbara has the distinction of being one of the most beautiful west-facing beaches. Vacationers often schedule their visits in the evening, just to witness the awe-inspiring sunset while taking a walk or admiring the water. The tan-colored sand and collection of large rocks that line the shore make the scene especially interesting and visually appealing. Light shades of yellow and pronounced orange hues come together to make the sunset spectacular. There are also branches in odd shapes and pops of color from sea creatures and wildlife that make this picture of the sunset one you’re not likely to forget.
4 Fire Island, New York (Taken by Peter Greenberg)
Travel journalist Peter Greenberg, has encouraged his readers to think of the sunset as an indication of a new beginning, instead of seeing it as the end of a life. Fire Island in New York is a sandbar that is 32 miles long and is 13 miles from Long Island’s coast. It can only be reached by boat, and you can see the bay from the ocean. One of the special things about Fire Island is that no matter where you are once you reach the island, you can witness the sunset. A warm shade of orange takes over the sky, and you may see the shadows of birds as they perch or fly across the sky. Greenberg states that people can’t help but be bathed in a “deep emotional” light when they see the sun set on Fire Island.
3 Old Fort Marcy Park, Santa Fe New Mexico (Taken by Dean Fikar)
There are several historic ruins in Old Fort Marcy Park that make it easy to see the colorful sunset each evening. Shades of orange, red, yellow, gold and purple are also evident in the sky when the sun sets; the natural combination of hues in the sky blends with the greenery perfectly. The 8,000 feet elevation at the park also gives visitors easy viewing when they want to watch the sun go down. Pink and blood orange hues are also seen in the sunset, and this spectacle is made possible due to the minimal light pollution in Santa Fe.
2 Santorini, Greece (Taken by Samantha Brown)
Samantha Brown is a Travel Channel host, but she doesn’t compete in sports like Dhani Jones and dare herself to eat weird food like Andrew Zimmerman. Instead, she simply travels to beautiful places, observes the people, natural settings, food and attractions, and describes the great things she finds. Brown has hosted shows like Passport to Europe, Girl Meets Hawaii and Great Cruises, along with Samantha Brown’s Great Weekends, so she’s a pro when it comes to letting viewers know when a sight is truly worth seeing. She said that the sunset in Santorini “makes one feel like they’ve reached the end of the earth.” The white-domed houses against the orange and yellow backdrop are especially striking and picturesque.
1 Hopi Point, Grand Canyon, Arizona (Taken by Arizona-leisure.com)
The Grand Canyon has long been a popular vacation spot for families, and is one of America’s natural treasures. The views of both the sunrises and sunsets in the Grand Canyon are said to be life-changing. After all, being around such astounding natural history is bound to inspire you. Shades of peach and purple crown the large mountains of the Grand Canyon during sunset, and Hopi Point is one of the best spots to witness the sunset. Visitors have stated that they’ve never seen a sunset so beautiful. It’s the type of sight that can help you to gain new perspective on life.