Luxury Travel Blog + traveltuesday

The World's Best Sunsets

To watch a beautiful sunset is to have a borderline spiritual experience. We're all sun worshipers at heart -- minus the dancing and animal sacrifices, of course -- whether viewed from your kitchen window, neighborhood bench, or the beach.

Just as an ornate basilica can feel like it elevates the experience of your average chapel, solemn sunset worship finds its element when reflecting off the most majestic seas and kingly canyons. But where can you find prime seating for this grand theatre in the sky? We've polled our Twitter community for their favorite sunsets from around the world, some situated in volcanic vistas of Europe and spots truly Biblical in their proportions. Unofficial sun worship is in! Feel free to share your most memorable sunset scenery moments in the comments.

Santorini, Greece(I've Been to the Greek Isles / I Want To Go to the Greek Isles)

Volcanoes don't seem to erupt with geographical design in mind, but without their handiwork in Greece we'd lose the gorgeous views provided by Santorini, the small group of islands that provide a sunset roundly understood to stand as one of the most picturesque you'll ever see. The photo above (by Marcel Germain) captures the moment in widescreen, highlighting the charming white architecture of the archipelago and the "breathtaking cliffs," which give way to spectacular promontory viewings (as traveler katemay3 was fortunate to experience).]

The Dead Sea

Just 'cause the sea's lifeless doesn't mean the sunset is. In fact, the tranquility of the water's surface lends a portrait quality to most shots taken of the Dead Sea. The sunlight here deserves some respect, too: Its power is shielded due to the site's position so far below sea level. In other words, you can sit in front of the sun for hours without a wicked sunburn, which has led some to believe the Dead Sea sun has healing properties since way back in its Biblical days. Twitter traveler @jhaywardbenzal enjoyed her view from Jordan looking out over the West Bank. The Dead Sea can be reached easily in Jordan by taking a bus from Amman, and you're also afforded nice views from the Israel side by taking a one-hour bus from Jerusalem (hat tip to reader Tessa for the recommendation and nasnas for the image).

Sequoia / Kings Canyon National Park Area, California

It's nearly the opposite of the Dead Sea experience above: On the premises of Sequoia National Park and the adjacent Kings Canyon National Park lies Mount Whitney, the highest point in the 48 contiguous states at 14,505 feet. The towering trees that give the park its name naturally obstruct some sunset views from directly below the foliage, too, so the few vistas that allow unspoiled views become even more sacred. If you're moving by car to Cedar Grove, the sun over Kings Canyon there is fantastic, and in between Grant Grove and Lodgepole you'll see the sun's orange draped over the majestic Sierras.

Thanks to @joanna_haugen for the suggestion and V For Photography for the lovely image.

Amalfi Coast, Italy

John Steinbeck, who penned an essay on Positano, Italy for Harpers Bazaar in 1953, caused traffic in the Amalfi Coast area to spike significantly: "Positano bites deep... It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone," he remarked. It's hard to contain our love for the Amalfi, too; to watch the sunset unfold from a moped or actually sitting cliffside, wherever, is to experience something almost supernatural. The sky morphs into comical orange and pink colors and on a clear night the sun looks like a tasty ripe nectarine. The closer to the cliffs, the better; you imagine yourself awakening to this every day and can't help but be overcome with wonder as the light reflects. (img by Tony Moorey)

Cairo, Egypt(I've Been to Egypt / I Want To Go to Egypt)

The Egyptian desert sunrise / sunset above sandy foothills is so iconic it's almost hard to believe it's real having not been there. Not to mention this was the place where thousands of years ago they really did worship the sun god, so you know something special is going on. But a sunset in the desert, as noted by JoAnna, no matter where you are, makes for an eye-opening experience, especially for city-dwellers. (photo by snake.eyes)

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The World's Best Sunsets + traveltuesday