I’ve always enjoyed watching the sun set. There is something magical and almost surreal about sunsets. The way the sky is transformed into a beautiful work of art as it’s lit up with fiery shades of pink, yellow and orange is simply breath-taking. It’s like watching God’s canvas. What is most incredible is that no two sunsets are ever the same. From the clouds to the colours, each is unique. If you want to marvel at beautiful artwork in the sky, here are some great spots around the world to watch spectacular sunsets.
The Serengeti, Tanzania
If you love nature and dream of safaris in Africa then you may find Serengeti sunsets are hard to beat. The Serengeti National Park is located in the Mara region, in north east of Tanzania, and is famous for the annual migration of millions of wildebeest. The dusty air and hot weather in this World Heritage Site makes for some superb sunsets. As the sun begins to lower on the horizon a hush falls over the African plains. Dramatic silhouettes of trees against the colourful sky create a magical moment. This is Africa at its best.
Kalalau Trail, Hawaii
The Kalalau Trail is located along the Nā Pali Coast on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. Although the strenuous 11-mile trail requires a permit, the first two miles are suitable for even moderately experienced hikers, and are open to the public. Although the sunset is always spectacular, no matter where you are on the Kalalau Trail, one of the most beautiful spots to photograph the painted sky is at Hanakapiʻai Beach, which lies at the end of the first two mile stretch. As the sun lowers it creates a shimmering sea and even the stones and pebbles on Hanakapiʻai Beach seem to change colour as the sky turns fiery orange.
Ruwer Valley, Germany
The Ruwer Valley is located in the German wine-growing region of Moselle near the city of Trier in Rhineland-Palatinate. Beautiful vineyards cling to the banks of the meandering Moselle River and the Ruwer and Saar tributaries. Riesling fans that stay in Moselle holiday rentals will be in heaven. After a day of wine-tasting you can take a leisurely boat trip down the Moselle River and enjoy a beautiful sunset against the backdrop of the vineyards of Ruwer Valley. It’s the perfect sunset destination for wine connoisseurs.
The Caribbean island of Barbados is famous for its beautiful coastline where crystal clear water laps at white palm-fringed beaches. There are several beautiful beaches around the island where you can sip on cocktails and watch the sky change colour as the sun dips below the horizon. Some of my favourite Barbados beaches to watch the sunset are Bottom Bay Beach, Maxwell Beach, Sandy Lane and Paynes Bay.
North Yorkshire, UK
There are several picturesque spots in the UK where you can watch spectacular sunsets, from the scenic Lake District to the lovely Cornish coastline. Even the bustling streets of London look beautiful as the sun sinks below Big Ben. But one of the best places to watch the sun set is on the North Yorkshire coast. You’ll get some splendid photos watching the sunset at Saltwick Bay near the wreck of the Admiral Von Tromp, or in the town of Whitby, with the suns last rays peeking out behind Whitby Abbey.
Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia, Canada
The small region of Peggy’s Cove is located in the Canadian Province of Nova Scotia, and one of the most delightful and picturesque places in Canada. Tourists come to Peggy’s Cove to travel the Coastal Heritage Trail, hike in the Peggy’s Cove Preservation Area and eat lobsters on the rocks. It’s a region of exceptional natural beauty that is only enhanced when the sun goes down and one of the best places to view the fabulous sunset is from Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse.
Fort Kochi Beach, India
India is home to some beautiful locations where you can watch the sunset, like the iconic Taj Mahal, or the ruins at Hampi, but one of the best spots is Fort Kochi Beach. The beach is located along the Kerala coast in the south west of India, near the town of Cochin. The beach is nestled between coconut trees and is the perfect place to spend the day soaking up the sun. Don’t forget to take out your camera at sunset, when the dust and heat and clouds create an amazing picture in the sky.
Alaska is an extraordinary place to visit for any nature lovers. There is something about Alaska that is wild, untamed and yet peaceful, and sunsets in Alaska are no exception. When you’re not whale-watching, hiking through national parks or taking a fjord cruise, you can enjoy the most outstanding sunsets from virtually anywhere in the state. One of the most impressive sunset views can be enjoyed from Kincaid Park, near Anchorage. The trails of Kincaid Park lead through spruce and birch trees to the stunning Alaskan coast.
Llyn Peninsula, Wales
It’s no surprise that such a beautiful countryside sparkles under the setting sun like Wales does. Whether you’re on the Welsh coast or staying in a holiday rental in the peaceful Snowdonia countryside, you’re bound to see some beautiful coloured skies at sunset. A fabulous place to watch the setting sun is on the Llyn Peninsula in North Wales, where you can see the suns last rays of the day shining down between the clouds onto the Irish Sea. Some other great spots to watch the sun dip below the horizon are Rhossili Bay in Swansea, Tresaith Beach overlooking Cardigan Bay, Nash Point and Caernarfon Castle.
Auckland, New Zealand
Auckland’s unique position between two major bodies of water makes it the perfect place to watch both the sunrise and the sunset. The scenic beaches on the west coast overlook the Tasman Sea. When the sun sets the sky is painted with the most beautiful hues of pink, yellow and orange. If you’re looking for some great holiday photos, this is the spot to be when the sun sets.
8 tips for taking great sunset photos
- The best lighting occurs after the sun has actually set, so don’t rush off.
- Clouds are not a bad thing. The light that filters through openings in the cloud creates spectacular sunset photos.
- Having a foreground, whether it is a beach, or a farmhouse, or a tree, adds depth to the photo.
- Always use a tripod.
- Shoot at a variety of focal lengths.
- If you normally take photos with the auto mode, switch your camera to aperture or shutter priority mode to take shots at different exposures. Rather underexpose than overexpose.
- Turn “auto white balance” off. If it’s on you can miss some of the best warm golden tones.
- Don’t put the horizon line in the middle of the photo.