A trip is incomplete without watching a beautiful sunset, may it be the top of a building or the sea or some hilltop, sunsets always hold a special place in our heart. Researchers say that sunset tends to make up happy, feel generous and make us compassionate. Sunset is a daily phenomenon but each sunset at a new place is different, we can feel the difference in colours, timings, etc. So here is the first part of our series of top sunsets around the world. This list has the best sunsets in Europe.
My hometown Ghent, located right in between Brussels and Bruges, is a true little
gem. With its cobbled streets, former merchant houses, historic buildings and medieval squares, Ghent is a feast to the eyes. Less polished and touristy than Bruges but just as picturesque, it’s the place to be for an exciting city break-in Belgium. While savouring a cool Belgian beer from a sun-drenched terrace might sound tempting, there are actually more reasons to visit Ghent off-season. Nothing beats exploring the medieval streets on a bright winter day, alternating sightseeing with the most delicious warm treats such as a sumptuous Belgian waffle and hot chocolate. Ghent is known for its towers and Castle of the Counts, all located in the heart of the centre and offering first-class views. Climb the 366 steps to the Ghent Belfry half an hour before sunset to watch the colourful play of light over the stepped-gable rooftops. It’s a captive sight. As you head off to explore the city’s creative food scene around a blue hour, you’ll enjoy the gorgeous cityscape once more. The well-thought-out light plan illuminates the many highlights and stately facades, creating a truly spectacular nightly decor.
Contributed by:Sarah Vanheel from Cosmopoliclan
One of my favourite places to view the sunset anywhere in the world is in Athens. There are many great places to see it because Athens has several hills. However, the best spot is to head up Mount Lycabettus. It is one of the best sunsets in Europe that should definitely not be missed.
To get to the top of Mount Lycabettus, you can walk. However, if you’re going specifically to view the sunset, then I would personally take a taxi or the funicular. It’s not a dangerous hike, but it’s not one I would want to take alone at night as the sun begins to set. Plus, you want to make sure you don’t miss the sunset!
From the top, there’s a small white chapel where you can take in the view of the sun setting in the Saronic Sea. You can also see Piraeus Harbor and the Acropolis with the Parthenon fabulously lit up.
If you go, bring a tripod so you can get some great photos of the Parthenon lit up at night!
There’s another viewpoint about halfway down that’s also stunning. To get there, ask a taxi to drive you up. From here, you won’t have to contend with the crowds that gather at the top. I also think this is a better place for getting photos since you’re physically a little bit better situated to get the Acropolis from just the right angle.
Contributed by:Stephanie Craig from Sofia Adventures
Lisbon, known both as the city of light as well as the city of seven hills, has shot to the top of many traveller’s bucket lists. Largely due to the city winning several World Travel Awards over consecutive years (and having just been named the Best European City Break Destination for 2019), but also due to its sheer beauty too! And where a better way to enjoy a stunning sunset, than right here in sunny Lisboa!
I have to be honest, when I first experienced Lisbon’s gorgeous sunset, I fell in love and knew I wanted to call this place home.
Whether you are at one of the city’s many viewpoints (Miradouros) such as the Miradouro de Graça, the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara or the Miradouro de Santa Catarina, to name but a few, you will experience the magic and beauty of a Lisbon sunset. Enjoy a cocktail whilst the sun sets over the river Tagus, lighting the sky in hues of pinks, oranges and yellows.
Alternatively grab a drink at one of the many rooftop bars across Lisbon, such as the Topo Chiado, Noobai, Park Bar, the H10 Duque de Loulé and many more. Or, for something truly spectacular, why not enjoy a sunset river cruise, sailing on the Tagus River, whilst the sun sets, enjoying a completely different perspective and view out over the city. Either way, I’m sure once you experience a Lisbon sunset for yourself, you’ll fall head over heels in love with this place and agree that it’s undoubtedly one of the best sunset spots in the world!
Contributed By:Marco Santos from Travel-Boo
One of the best sunsets in Europe I’ve ever seen was on a small island in the Mediterranean. Not Ibiza, although the sunsets there are pretty special, Ischia, an Italian island in the Bay of Naples. Specifically, Forio, which is on the west coast of Ischia.
This lovely island has a lot of other attractions (not least the 100+ hot springs) but seeing the sunset in Forio is one of the best things to do in Ischia. For the perfect sunset evening in Ischia, arrive in Forio an hour or so before sunset and have an aperitivo in one of the pretty bars on the main street, Corso Mateo Verde. At the top of the street, turn slightly left and carry on walking up the hill on Via del Soccorso until you see the pretty, white Chiesa del Soccorso church. This church has its origins in ancient times and is a much-loved symbol of Ischia – legend has it that the crucifix inside dates back to the 1400s and has mysterious powers. It’s also a popular place to see the sunset in Ischia.
As sunset approaches, locals and visitors alike gather outside the church, which sits on a cliff high above the sea. Both the sky and the sea turn orange as the sun sinks into the waves, then the most stunning purple just after it’s finally disappeared. The sunset in Forio is truly one of the most amazing and colourful that I’ve ever seen and definitely deserves its place on this list.
Contributed By:Helen from Helen on her Holidays
Salamanca in Spain is not perhaps where you might go specifically to seek out a sunset, but its daily occurrence adds to the magic of a wonderful city where time seems to have stood still and stresses of everyday life feel left outside the city border.
Situated in Western Spain on the Tormes river, Salamanca is about 200 miles from Madrid, a journey which takes somewhere between two and three hours via coach. An absolute treasure trove of history, culture and art. it is home to the oldest university in Spain which was founded in 1132. The old part of the city is actually a heritage site and the cathedrals and churches and architecture are a spectacle to admire and behold.
In the summer months Salamanca is buzzing with activity in the plentiful cafes and bars. Locals and visitors alike can be seen drinking coffee, eating croissants and enjoying the delicious food from morn tonight. Chandana a meal made up of rice and steamed pork is simply delicious and needs to be added to everyone’s ‘to try’ list.
The main square, called Plaza Mayor is a wonderful place to relax, sip Sangria and enjoy the authenticity of Spanish hospitality whilst watching the world go by. As it is just minutes away from the central shopping area it is a great place to rest weary feet! A great time to visit Salamanca is during the Festival of Holy Week in September when streetlife and bands are in abundance. Any visitor to Salamanca will leave feeling refreshed with a sense that life is just a little bit more magical than they previously believed it to be.
Contributed By:Sally from Sallyflint
FALASSARNA, CRETE, GREECE
The Greek island of Crete is centrally located in the Mediterranean, at the crossroad of Africa, Europe, and Asia. Its strategic position gives the possibility of enjoying some of the best sunsets in Greece.
In particular, the Western seaside village of Falassarna has become famous in Crete for directly facing the open sea, having a stunningly beautiful landscape during the golden hour. Couples, families, and groups of friends gather on the beach every evening to witness Crete’s most breathtaking landscape as the sun goes down.
Falassarna, notably famous for its tranquil atmosphere, has just one main road and only a few hotels and restaurants, as a consequence, there is virtually no smog or pollution. This is a decisive factor when it comes to the sunset hour since the sunlight directly reflects on the sea without any unnatural filter.
Without much activity going on, the best things to do in Falassarna include hanging out on the beach until the sun goes down, indulging in the local gastronomy, practising water sports, and exploring the archaeological site of Ancient Phalasarna.
When visiting the village, book a table in one of the tavernas facing the bay from above and enjoy the sunset from a different perspective. Try the fresh seafood and delicious local vegetables, all of them rigorously seasoned with the purest Extra Virgin Cretan olive oil.
It’s quite easy to reach the area from any point on the North Coast of the island. Since the beach of Falassarna is one of the three must-visit beaches in Crete, don’t wait until the last minute to look for accommodation. A place that inspires a complete sense of solitude and relaxes, Falassarna allows getting in real touch with nature and inner peace, all ingredients that make it a great place for a holiday in Greece.
Contributed By:Gabi from Thetinybook
Sunset at Holkham beach, north Norfolk
Located not far from the popular seaside town of Wells next the sea, Holkham Beach is part of a protected nature reserve which runs from Wells to Burnham Overy on the north Norfolk coast in eastern England.
Park your car at Lady Ann’s Drive and walk up to the visitor centre to learn about the nature reserve and the wildlife in the area. From there it’s an easy walk through the pine forest and sand dunes to the vast beach.
If you’re visiting in winter, you’re often rewarded with impressive bird migrations or murmurations. In summer it’s ice cream or fish and chips from nearby Wells which proves popular. A family trip to Holkham in any season is great fun.
Holkham beach is backed by pine forest and when the tide is out you can walk for miles along the sand and hunt for shells. The sunsets behind the pine forest and turns the sand, sea and sky glorious shades of orange and yellow. The wide expanse of sand makes it quite a spectacle to witness.
If you have time to spare, head over to Holkham Hall before sunset: there are lovely walks and bike rides through the grounds plus a great café for a warming drink and a shop selling local gifts from the estate. There’s also a great exhibition about the farming heritage of Holkham.
Contributed By:Annabel Kirk from Smudged Postcard
Cambrils, Costa Daurada
Cambrils, on Spain’s Costa Daurada coastline, is a fantastic resort with beautiful sweeping, golden beaches that gently slope into the Meditteranean. The sunsets are spectacular and some of the best we’ve ever seen.
This area is an easy 1.5-hour drive south of Barcelona – and there are loads of flights and trains into Barcelona, so access is simple. Once here, it’s perfectly feasible to just stay in the resort area and not need a car. However, we’d recommend hiring one, at least for a couple of days and especially if you want to see some of the amazing cultural sites inland. Our favourite of these was the medieval town of Montblanc – its original wall still surrounds it and if you’re fortunate enough to arrive during a festival, you’ll get to see hundreds of people dressed up in medieval clothing and sample traditional fare. There are also some incredible UNESCO protected monasteries, like SantesCreus Monastery.
If you stay on the beach, you won’t be disappointed. The beaches in the area have been awarded the Blue Flag classification, so you know they’re nice and clean. There are also loads of beach-based activities, from watersports to trampolining and playgrounds. There are two water parks and the renowned PortAventure which includes six differently themed lands. There’s also Ferrari Land where the rides are, you guessed it, Ferrari themed!
If you like food, both Cambrils and neighbouring Salou, have some really excellent restaurants. We loved the fish at Restaurant Les Barques in Salou and also a delicious vegetarian terrine at Restaurant Cal Tendre in Cambrils. If you’re with family, Costa Daurada is an excellent place to visit.
Contributed By:Clare Dewey from Epicroadrides