Sunsets with a Definite Sense of Place
Collected by Joseph Cyr, AFAR Local Expert
The sky can inspire wherever you are...but here are some sunsets with a definite sense of place--horizon and silhouette, natural and man-made, define evenings that can only be 'there' instead of 'anywhere.' Away from our workday commutes, traveling often gives us the time to enjoy the day's end...No anonymous palms outlined here--these are glowing scenes that can't be uprooted.
Oia 847 02, Greece
This little private church is probably the most photographed stop in Oia. Our rented house was right next to it but lower on the steps so we could see lots of people getting lots of photos. Married couples would take their photos next to it,...
Kongostraat, 9000 Gent, Belgium
While many may think of the likes of Brugge and Amsterdam when it comes to cities teeming with canals, Ghent has much of the same charm, but without the swarms of tourists. The buildings reflecting off the water and boats docked in the canal are a...
11570 N Oracle Rd, Tucson, AZ 85737, USA
There's more than sand in the southern Arizona desert. Come mid-winter through spring, or after the mid-summer monsoon rains, and you'll find flowing water and reflecting pools among the cacti-studded hills. On the northwest flank of the Santa...
New Orleans, LA 70114, USA
If you're looking for some quiet time while visiting New Orleans (what?), consider heading across the river to Algiers Point—a residential section of New Orleans on the west bank of the Mississippi River, full of Creole cottages and other...
Bisti Badlands, New Mexico 87499, USA
The Bisti Badlands south of Farmington, NM, are an unsung gem in the American Southwest. But deep into the Badlands is a magical place known as the “Egg Factory.” It’s a two-mile hike with no discernible elevation gain from the parking lot. But to...
RT 8, Morondava 619, Madagascar
Baobab trees, which grow up to 100 feet tall and 30 feet wide, carry a prehistoric grandeur worthy of their title as Madagascar’s national tree. Of the six ancient baobab species native to the African island, only the largest, the Adansonia...
Catalina Hwy, Arizona, USA
Downpours are isolated but intense during a Tucson summer. The mid- to late-summer "monsoon" in the Desert Southwest of the U.S. can be the most uncomfortable time to visit, if you're only considering the thermometer. So often, though, the vast...
6 Chome-11-1 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo 106-0032, Japan
Dunyue Rd, Dunhuang Shi, Jiuquan Shi, Gansu Sheng, China
Imagine the surprise and delight our group experienced upon arrival to the rooftop terrace of the Silk Road Hotel in Dunhuang, China! This resplendent view of the Singing Sand Dunes at sunset is in the heart of the exotic lands of the ancient Silk...
Zona 1 de Villa Nueva, Villa Nueva, Guatemala
The "Volcán de Agua," just west of Guatemala City, at sunset... Going 'up north' to visit Guatemala, where an old family friend has lived for years, was our vacation during the year we lived in Nicaragua. Her neighborhood is in the hills above...
I discovered this Marin Headlands view of the Golden Gate Bridge on one of my very first trips to San Francisco. In my three-plus years living in the Bay Area, I still haven’t found a view to top it. My favorite time to visit is just after sunset,...
62 Hengshan Rd, Xuhui Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200031
The boat trip to the Yangtze delta is a great Shanghai excursion. The delta itself is not very interesting, as there's water everywhere and you can't decide whether you're on a river or the sea. But you pass the old harbor of Shanghai and you can...
St. Paul's Churchyard, London EC4M 8AD, UK
After climbing to the top of St. Paul's Cathedral, while looking out over the Thames, I thought, "Really? Can it really already be almost sunset? It's not even four in the afternoon yet!" Late autumn in London--yes, night falls while it's still...
South Bank, London SE1 7PB, UK
Piazza Venezia, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
The Monument of Victor Emmanuel II in Rome, nicknamed the Wedding Cake (and, alternately, the Typewriter) for its distinctive boxy shape, offers some of the most stunning panoramic views to be had of the Eternal City, in every direction. There is...
Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France
This former royal palace is one of the largest museums in the world, and its art collection is considered one of the most comprehensive. It contains around 400,000 works, although—mercifully, perhaps—not all are on display at any one...
Al Haram, Giza Governorate, Egypt
You may have studied them in school and seen a million pictures, but that has probably done little to prepare you for actually seeing the Pyramids of Giza in real life. Standing in the shadow of the 450 foot tall Great Pyramid is a humbling...
79 N 11th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249, USA
A five-year restoration and renovation project transformed a factory on the Williamsburg waterfront, originally built in 1901, into the stylish but laid-back Wythe Hotel. This property has a distinct Brooklyn stamp, from the Brooklyn-made...
Av. Francisco Bering, 2-224 - Arpoador, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 22080-050, Brazil
In Rio, a rocky promontory divides the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema. At the end is a large flat rock that was once a place where fishermen harpooned the whales that came to reproduce in the warm waters. Hence the Portuguese name Arpoador,...
Praia do Arpoador, Avenida Francisco Bhering, s/n - Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 22080-050, Brazil
There may be no better place in Rio to watch the sunset than Arpoador Rock. Wedged in between Ipanema and Copacabana, is it a gathering point for Cariocas and tourists alike to toast the day with a fresh caipirinha. Watch the sun fade behind...
Amarapura, Myanmar (Burma)
Mandalay. We flew there to see Amarapura, the ancient royal city for one reason: the old teak walkway without nails, which symbolizes the simplicity and Buddhist flavor of life in Myanmar (Burma). In the late afternoon, we strolled across U Bein...
Port Campbell VIC 3269, Australia
Australia’s Great Ocean Road tops the world’s coastal drives with its dramatic coastline from Melbourne to Adelaide. Rough waves and wind relentlessly beat against the harsh cliffs and leave behind battle wounds of bizarre limestone rock...
Queenstown, New Zealand
Once considered a novelty, night skiing is now ever popular at such resorts as Coronet Peak near Queenstown in the South Island. Lit by floodlights, you can board or ski on Friday and Saturday nights from sunset until 9 p.m. and watch the lights...
50170 Mont Saint-Michel, France
It's safe to say there’s nothing in the world quite like this magical island, topped by a medieval monastery that rises out of the bay like a heavenly apparition. It’s said that, early in the 8th century, a bishop in nearby Avranches...
Calle Carmen Alto 227, Cusco 08000, Peru
This store is just a little ways off the main street of the San Blas arts district in Cusco, but definitely worth the diversion. Inside, funky, modern jewelry and handbags are mixed with neatly hung vintage dresses, shirts, and jackets. The walls...
Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
The Grand Canal is the no-brainer must-do Venice experience, and the best way to explore the city's main thoroughfare is on a vaporetto, or water bus. For a great introduction to the area, ride the vaporetto from the railway station, at the edge...
Mono Lake, California 93541, USA
The colors and incredible rocks at Mono Lake draw you in. It is like no place I have ever visited. The rock formations are called Tufa towers which form in a variety of ways at Mono Lake. The most visible formations are the towers on the lake’s...
Porkombor Street(Charles De Gaulle), Mondul 3 Village, Slor Kram Commune,, Siem Reap province, Kingdom of Cambodia. 00855, Cambodia
Taken in Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia where I had the pleasure of taking a boat ride at sunset on my own to visit a floating village in the middle of the lake. One of the final images on my camera is this boat in the far distance of a mother and her...
Riomaggiore SP, Italy
Hiking the Cinque Terre is an extraordinary way to explore the Ligurian Coast. Five villages connected only by hiking trail and rail with breathtaking coastal views and colorfully quaint villages. The trails can be challenging at times and it is...
Piazza San Pietro, 00120 Città del Vaticano, Vatican City
No wonder the lines to get inside St. Peter's Basilica are some of the longest in Europe: It's home to world-famous architecture (many consider the dome atop St. Peter's Basilica to be Michelangelo's greatest achievement), one of the best views of...
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