World's 10 most spectacular sunset locations

SANTORINI, GREECE

There's no more famous island for sunsets than this ancient, cliff-ringed volcanic remnant in the Aegean Sea with its bold, elemental colours and dramatically situated villages. The sea turns purple, the island's whitewashed houses shades of pink. Red cliffs are topped by dollops of orange clouds. The best viewing spots include the ruined fort at Oia, the 360-metre cliffs at Imerovigli and the chapel at Skaros in Santorini's northwest. See santorini.gr

BORODODUR, INDONESIA

Sunset comes suddenly and early in the tropics, but its brief moment of flamboyance is spectacular. Linger until the tour coaches depart from this immense Buddhist stupa, which covers an entire hillside. A red sun sinks into the distant forest, colouring the ancient monument's carved reliefs that depict a parade of kings, courtiers, musicians and dancing girls. Some 400 cross-legged Buddha statues add to the tranquil, golden ambiance. See indonesia.travel

ISTANBUL, TURKEY

This is a silhouette of the Blue Mosque of Ä°stanbul at sunset. sunfeb9trav10sunsets

The silhouette of the Blue Mosque of Istanbul at sunset. Photo: iStock

Though the sun disappears behind the hills rather than into the sea in Istanbul, there are few better places to be as evening falls than on the busy Bosporus harbour front, where you can watch the sun descend behind a fabulous panorama of minarets, palace cupolas and Ottoman towers outlined against a fading sky. The bold, beautiful scene, repeated endless times, is testament to Istanbul's ageless appeal. See howtoistanbul.com

ASWAN, EGYPT

The Nile River slides between city and sandbanks at Aswan, its water tumbled with giant pink boulders. Golden light lengthens, the sun sinks towards the desert, and the Nile's waters blush. Enjoy the scene from the terrace of the Old Cataract Hotel or from the back of a camel as you ride across the West Bank's sand dunes towards the romantic ruins of the Monastery of St Simeon. See egypt.travel

VENICE, ITALY

One of the world's most seductive cities is a fitting sunset stage. Fondamenta San Giovanni promenade on Giudecca Island is a brilliant, uncrowded vantage point, but you'll have to get onto the harbour to admire sunset at its most splendid. The sun's long rays illuminate the city's floating palaces, slender spires and Gothic towers like a painting in a medieval manuscript, as water gurgles and ferries chug. See veneziaunica.it

RED CENTRE, AUSTRALIA

Sunset is always the most magnificent moment in the outback, and the changing colours of Uluru and Kata Tjuta – from orange to red to purple – provide a symphony of light to stir the soul. To add to the effect, visit internationally-acclaimed artist Bruce Munro's Field of Light installation, which runs until year's end. Some 50,000 coloured illuminations spread like a carpet as the sun sinks near Uluru. See northernterritory.com

BAGAN, MYANMAR

The 2200 pagodas and ruins that dot the plains on the riverbanks of the Irrawaddy ought to be more famous. Their spires and platforms rise above lush farmland ringed by purple hills. The light at sunset is sumptuous, and turns the pagodas gold and pink. Sulamani Pagoda is the traditional (if crowded) sunset viewpoint for capturing your photos of a red globe behind this great archaeological ensemble. See tourism.gov.mm

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

Quite a few sunset outlooks showcase the setting of this most beautiful of cities, but perhaps the best is Lion's Head, which overlooks both the city, Robben Island, Table Mountain and Atlantic Ocean for a full panorama of sunset colour, followed by a twinkle of urban lights. If you don't want the rather strenuous hike, simply drive to nearby Signal Hill and park your car instead. See capetown.travel

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GRAND CANYON, THE US

Grand Canyon's red cliffs are rather washed out during daytime, so make sure you stay for sunset, when purple shadows emerge and rock turns orange and vermillion. It can be a shuffle in the crowd, but Hopi Point provides a wide panorama from a position that juts into the canyon. For a more solitary appreciation, head to Lipan Point, where rock walls are banded with astonishing colour. See nps.gov/grca

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL

Almost anywhere on beach or hilltop is beautiful in Rio at sunset, but your best spot is Aproador, a little peninsula that separates Ipanema and Copacabana and provides an outlook westwards along the coastline. Beaches, hills and the iconic outcrops of Corcovado and Sugarloaf are all revealed. Alternatively, Vista Chinesa on the hillside takes a little more effort to reach, but also has splendid sunset views. See visitbrazil.com

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