The sight of our life-giving sun slowly disappearing below the horizon has fascinated, mystified, terrified, and pleased homo sapiens (and our primate ancestors before us) for eons. Human-like creatures have been staring open-mouthed, pointing, cowering, oohing, and ahhing as their home patch of dirt slowly tilted away from the sun since the deepest, darkest past. And sunsets still capture our attention and appeal to us on a primal level like almost no other experience.
Whether it’s dipping into a vast, gently rippling ocean, or retreating behind the gargantuan granite silhouette of sheer rocky mountain, or falling in slow motion off the edge of a majestic purple prairie… Watching our sun slipping away for another day is always an emotional and life-affirming experience.
But now that the majority of humans live in cities, getting a good view of a sunset is rare for most people. Many of us never notice the sun going down – we enter our office during broad daylight and leave after dark, bathed in synthetic city light. Sadly, today many lives are lived without sunsets.
If you are one of the many people who can’t remember the last time you sat back and enjoyed a sunset, then perhaps it’s high time you gave yourself the gift of a trip to one of the best places on Earth from which to view a sunset. Here is our BUCKiTDREAM list of suggestions of where to capture the greatest sunsets on Earth.
Galway Bay, Ireland Salthill is a seaside suburb of the eccentric city of Galway on Ireland’s wild western coast. Salthill Promenade is a glorious walkway along the ragged shoreline. The promenade is quite action-packed, with plenty of quaint cafes, cozy pubs, and wonderful eateries. It is also a perfect place to watch the navy blue Atlantic swallow the sun (and all natural light with it) whole… It’s a sight to behold.
The Masai Mara, Kenya The Masai Mara, in East Africa, is very near to where the earliest humans are thought to have evolved into existence. The most ancient homo sapiens fossil remains were found in Omo in southwestern Ethiopia and they date back 200,000 years. This means the Masai Mara, Kenya’s enormous, protected game reserve, is almost exactly like the terrain in which our ancient ancestors would have lived for tens or hundreds of thousands of years. Watching a spectacular Masai Mara sunset is an awe-inspiring experience that puts you in a kind of contact with our most distant forefathers.
Funchal, Madeira Funchal is the cool and zany little capital city of the mountainous Portuguese island of Madeira. Situated far out in the Atlantic Ocean, around 600 miles off the Moroccan coast, Madeira’s capital city is a bustling hub with great food, fantastic little bars, and many laidback terraces high above the vast Atlantic. There you can sit, sip a cocktail, and watch the sun dip gently behind the local fishing vessels moored in the bay and into the distant mid-Atlantic waters. Heavenly.
The Grand Canyon, USA The shadows cast by the gigantic sandstone cliffs rising up from the floor of Arizona’s Grand Canyon float and glide seductively over the whole area, like purple bed sheets being pulled slowly over a tanned body as the lights dim and the mood turns romantic. Watching a sunset at the Grand Canyon is a sensuous experience that will live forever in your dreams.
Cala Comte, Ibiza, Spain The beach at Cala Comte on the westernmost edge of Ibiza is a famously perfect spot from which to enjoy a glorious Mediterranean sunset. As the waves lap softly, the sky turns a deep orange, and any clouds erupt into a slow-drifting kaleidoscope of colors, you feel as one with your fellow sunset-watchers, the little island, and indeed the entire universe. A sunset at Cala Comte is a communal experience that will remind you that you are an integral part of the whole.
The Taj Mahal, India The Taj Mahal is a unique and amazing place to watch a sunset. The shadows cast by an atomic tangerine sun setting behind this otherworldly megastructure are eerie and dreamlike. The silhouettes of slow-moving birds flapping in flocks across the hazy sky add to a reassuring sense of continuity. We humans may build, strive, worry, and forage… But nature will just keep doing its thing, without pomp and ceremony, always enough, always here and now, always unsurpassably beautiful.
So that was our BUCKiTDREAM list of suggestions for where to capture the greatest sunsets on Earth. Whether you’re watching a red sun fall behind a lonely Masai Mara tree as our ancestors did, or looking out to sea from an Ibizan beach surrounded by good friends, be sure to share your experiences on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.