Sunsets seem magical enough as the sky paints a new masterpiece every night — at times, you feel lucky enough to have the time, vision, and clear view to see the setting sun. It almost feels like a crime to have to rate and compare the top beach sunsets, so in order to make it feel a bit less criminal, let’s consider locale instead! In order to find the most beautiful sunset in the world, we should figure out what makes that sunset location just so amazing. Which spots are home to the most beautiful beach sunsets in the world? Ideally, the most beautiful beach sunset should include:
- A unique viewpoint of the sun setting
- A large expanse of the horizon
- Clean air (which helps scatter the blue light better, see here to learn more)
With that in mind, you can find the top ten sunsets in the world by reading our alphabetized, not ranked, list below:
1. Angkor Wat, Cambodia
If you happen to travel to this UNESCO World Heritage site, be sure to get there and stay there in time for the sunset, as visitors have done since the year 1100 A.D.
2. Bora Bora, Tahiti
Truth be told, there is really no bad spot to view a Tahitian sunset. As long as the vista is wide and clear, you’ll be sure to capture the sun’s setting. Matira Beach is one spot popular for sunset viewing — but your own private bungalow facing the western setting sun might just be the ticket to seeing the green flash phenomenon.
3. Dubrovnik, Croatia
The most popular tourist destination in Croatia offers visitors the chance to see the sun sinking into the Mediterranean horizon. Travelers “in the know” say to head to the Café Bard Bar, which has unbeatable views of the ocean and cliffs on the rocks outside of the ancient town walls in the Old City, go early to grab a seat and a drink and a glimpse of the sun setting over the water into the cliffs at right before dusk.
4. Dunvegan Castle, Scotland
It may not be tropical, but the Scottish isle indeed has beaches! In particular, head to the pink sand of Coral Beach where you’ll find crushed coral, Dunvegan Castle, and perhaps a seal or two bobbing in the water while you watch the sunset.
5. Ipanema Beach, Brazil
When people talk about Brazilian beaches, they’re likely referring to beaches in Rio. Ipanema Beach is where it’s at when it comes to beach culture, wild surf, and world-famous sunsets.
6. Key West, Florida
How do you know that Key West is a prime place to catch a glorious sunset? Maybe the fact that they have a nightly festival downtown in Mallory Square just to celebrate the sunset and the passing of another day! Show up two hours before the sun is scheduled to say adios over the Gulf of Mexico for a fun party and a spectacular sunset.
7. Laguna Beach, CA
If your idea of a perfect sunset includes a totally unbroken horizon line, head to Laguna Beach.
8. Mount Haleakala in Maui, Hawaii
Check the weather report and then climb 10,000 feet above sea level to the summit of Maui’s dormant volcano to see a golden prism of a sunset as the sun’s rays break through the clouds.
9. San Blas Archipelago, Panama
All 378 of the San Blas Islands are located so remotely that they don’t even show up on Google Maps! If you remember Gilligan’s Island, then you have a good picture of what the San Blas islands are going to be like. Free from commercial tourism, the islands remain largely unadulterated and the uncluttered horizon provides the perfect stage for the sun to set.
10. Santorini, Greece
The volcanic island of Santorini is renown for its unique architecture, views of the Aegean Sea, and its cliffside sunsets.