The best spots to be when the sun goes down
It is like wearing headphones. You put headphones on and you listen to that song you love, for the umpteenth time. Suddenly, unexpectedly, you heard it: it could be the incidental beat in a passage, the quality tone in a voice, or maybe the input of a particular instrument. Although it has always been part of the song you haven’t notice it before. And it feels like that detail reveals the focus of the whole song and, as result, you appreciate it even more.
Well, metaphorically, watching a place at sunset is listening to a song through headphones. Yellow blends with orange, orange blends with red, red with violet and violet with blue: different landscapes come to light, wrapped on that enchanting colourful dust. Imagination do the rest and the mostly recondite features of places come alive. The fluffy cover of a gentle hill, the intriguing silhouette of a naughty island, the austere pick of a wise mountain, the elegant outfit of some brilliant skyscrapers, they all show up in a trice.
Sunset is one of the greatest performances of nature and -guess what- it is completely free!
Finding good spots for sunset is one of the engines that really move me on when travelling and I confess I have many times forced itineraries to significant detours, due to this hopeless addiction (I’m sorry guys!😂)
Across Europe, Africa & Eastern Asia, here is where -for me- the sun goes down at its best.
Zanzibar: the sunset to get travel bug
I had always thought solo travels were not for me. I was sure I would have been too shy to meet new people, too scared to go exploring sights on my own and that I would have get bored very soon. Despite that, as I have always been curious and fatally attracted by what scares me, in 2012 -due to a twist of fate- I ended booking my first solo trip to Zanzibar.
This picture reminds me of a very special moment: I was in Kendwa, on the northern coast of the island. Children were playing and chasing on the shore and a group of fishermen were lazily folding up their fishnets and I, well I was watching sunset, silently laying on my beach towel, bewitched by the sun firing the sky up and kissing the ocean.
What I loved most of sunsets in Zanzibar was the peaceful atmosphere: no hurry, no worries. It is the Hakuna matata philosophy. Being solo, when sunbeams hit my eyes and there was nowhere to look than into myself. It was in that moment I heard a tempting voice whispering:
Once a day, there is a moment like this everywhere in the world –then it came closer to my ear- there is so much to see, you have to go.
That was it. Travel bug, I got it.
I will be in debt with Zanzibar and Africa, forever.
“Once a year, go someplace you have never been before” – Dalai Lama
Greece: the sunset to fall in love
It took an extra 15 minutes hike to reach the top of Skaros Rock from the delightful white church of Saint George, traditionally dedicated to the protector of the island’s inhabitants. The sun have just started falling down further the alluring caldera and there was a pleasant silence. In my mind, the two uninhabited islands of Thirasia and Nea Kameni came to life: their shapes turned into two big blue whales resurfacing to breathe and I thought they were about to spray water from their blowholes.
Santorini island offers many other amazing – and less set apart – spots for sunset, as the numerous cocktail bars facing the caldera in the delicious sheltered towns of Thira, Imerovigli and Oia. Just be ahead on time and secure a good table with direct view on the Aegean Sea.
Going for sunset in Santorini is like dating someone you secretly love since young. Well, maybe it’s even better.
Ibiza: the sunset to rock your summer
More than everywhere else, it is in Ibiza that sunset is considered a sacred moment, venerated both by locals and visitors.
Put together two girls, crystal sea, scooter rides, good vibes, great music, delicious mojitos: could summer start any better?
So far, my favourite spot for watching sunset was the Ashram Sunset bar, on western coast. As evoked by its name, this beach bar is a guarantee: relaxed atmosphere, great background music with dj set, tasty tapas and set apart corners. This beach bar is perfectly spotted on an elevated promontory, right in between of two bays overlooking the island of Es Bosc.
What I loved most about sunset in Ibiza is without doubt the contagious enthusiasm of its setting: you always have the sensation something good is about to happen.
A good thing of Ibiza is that when the sun goes down, the sound goes up.
Boracay: the sunset to turn strangers into friends
Boracay is one of the most popular destination in the Philippines and it is famous for its great nightlife. Everyday at sunset, groups of travellers meet along the promenade of White Beach, attracted by the relaxed atmosphere and happy hours special deals. If you wanna make new friends, that’s the place. But could strangers you randomly meet on the road turn into friends? Once you will be back home and into your everyday life, you will probably loose contacts with each other.
Most of the time you will never see with each other again, won’t you?
I tried to distract myself from this fixation, fiddling with the colourful cocktail umbrella of my sex on the beach and chatting with an English guy who I knew since only couple of days and a SouthAfrican we just met. We finished our drinks and went for a walk on the beach. Under my feet, the sand seemed to turn into a soft violet carpet, and my mind was cleaned out from any thought.
I loved sunset in Boracay because of the tonalities of the sky, from vivid yellow to bright pink and the numerous “paraws” (typical double outrigger sail boats) waving few feet away from the shoreline. But most of all, I loved people I spent it with.
2 years and 4 countries later, the English guy and I are still very good friends and we are now planning our next trip.
Morocco: the sunset to indulge in wanderlust
Spending a night in the Sahara was on my bucket list since long time. The night before we reached the desert camp I was so excited I couldn’t sleep, feeling as a child on Christmas Eve.
And finally, there I was. Since we were on the road, I started wondering if the experience would have let me down in somehow, because I desired it for so long I could have been feeding my head with too high expectations.
After an hour ride on lazy dromedaries, we finally reached the sunset viewpoint, on top of an high dune (some of them exceed 200 mt/656 feet).
Sunbeams brush the dunes and sandy crumbs sparkle under my dreamy eyes.
The landscape seemed to be not real at all, as drawn by an audacious brush with golden painting on black canvas. There was no noise but the wind’s whistle.
The combination of sunset plus desert had the power of leaving me speechless (…and that’s kind of hard work! 😂)
It was a dream made reality, and it exceeded all my expectations. When a desire itches you, turn it into a plan.
If you can dream it, you can do it – Walt Elias Disney
Seychelles: the sunset to stay positive
Paradise seems a little closer in Seychelles. The dreamy archipelago of islands is famous for having some of the best beaches in the world, as the idillic Source d’Argent.
Personally, I adore Seychelles: they represent the proof that travel industry can help preserving a destination by financing sustainable projects and creating job opportunities for its inhabitants, without damaging its ecosystem. To see this is a concrete possibility, it was a very reassuring sensation.
For a breathtaking view at sunset, I recommend to make a dinner reservation at the Snack Bellevue, on La Digue island: a bumpy 20 minutes ride on a little open van (transfer included with the dinner) will take you to this nice restaurant on top of an high hill.
Although it can’t be exactly consider a budget restaurant, I enjoyed the peaceful environment, the friendly service, the creole menu with fresh grilled fish and tasty sauces. Of course, being barely on the Equator line, sunsets in Seychelles are not the longest on earth but the view of the pristine forest is just amazing.
As long as there will be places like this on planet earth, there will be hope for our planet.
I believe sunset is a powerful amplifier of emotions. It is statistically easier to fall in love, make new friends and take life decisions in front of a sunset.
At sunset we love a little more, worry a little less and laugh a little louder.
Although sunset can reveal a lot about the essence of a place, it can say even more about ourselves.
What you need to do is just “listen” carefully.
👉 What about you, which are your favourite spots around the world for watching sunset?
Comment right here 👇 or share it! #gowithdice 🎲