The Perfect Setting: Sundowns Around The World

When your day is coming to a close, what better way to spend it than by catching the rays of the planet's most breathtaking sunsets.
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When your day is coming to a close, what better way to spend it than by catching the rays of the planet's most breathtaking sunsets.

Oia, Santorini, Greece

On the far western edge of the former volcano of Santorini lies the small, whitewashed town of Oia. Generally agreed to be the best spot on the island to catch the evening’s dying rays, every available patch of open land fills daily at sunset with tourists and locals alike, keen to watch this Aegean light show.

Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa

The centrepiece of Table Mountain National Park, this iconic plateau, 3500 feet (1067 metres) above Cape Town is the only place to enjoy a sundowner above Africa’s most beautiful city. The easiest way of visiting Table Mountain is to ride up in the cable car, which operates every day, although summer Sundays are best when open air concerts in Kirstenbosch add a sense of occasion.

Djemaa El Fna, Marrakech, Morocco

The centre of city life in Marrakech’s old town, Djemaa El Fna transforms every evening at sundown into a brightly lit circus of snake charmers, acrobats, dancers and food stalls. Arrive just before sunset as the reddish clay of the city walls shine pink in the dying embers of daylight.

Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Elysees, Paris

Containing the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier this national monument is the focal point of the city’s celebrations on every Bastille Day (14 July). However on a daily basis, even Parisians stop to watch in silence as the sunset shines through the arc and along the Champs-Elysees.

The Taj Mahal is constructed entirely from white marble. Considered among the world’s most spectacular feats of architectural engineering this white mausoleum literally shines red at sundown.

Ayer’s Rock (Uluru), Alice Springs, Australia

Right in the middle of the country, and surrounded by mile after mile of next-to-nothingness, an other-worldly aura surrounds the 1135 feet (346 metres) high Ayer’s Rock. The Rock derives its rust colour from natural oxidation, and the glowing effect is due to arkosic sandstone, which contains reflective minerals that change colour at sunset.

Wat Rong Khun, Chiang Rai, Thailand

This distinctly contemporary Buddhist temple, built in all white stone and covered with mosaics of mirrors, is the brainchild of Thai artist Chalermchai Kositpipat. At sundown the temple literally glows red in the setting sunlight.

Potala Palace, Lhasa, Tibet

Sitting atop Lhasa’s Red Mountain, Potala Palace was originally built by the first emperor of Tibet in 637 AD and was reconstructed by the fifth Dalai Lama in the mid 1600s. Comprising of the Potrang Karpo (White Palace) and Portrang Marpo (Red Palace) this really is a sunset at the top of the world.

Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA

At 277 miles (446 km) long, with valleys up to one mile (1.83 km) deep, the Grand Canyon has been a sunset staple for almost 17 million years. Previously considered a holy place by Native American tribes including the Pueblo people, the first European known to have seen this natural phenomenon was Garcia Lopez de Cardenas in 1540.

Taj Mahal, Agra, India

Built by Muslim Emperor, Shah Jahan in memory of his wife, Queen Mumtaz Mahal, around 1648 and at a cost of 32 million Rupees, the Taj Mahalis constructed entirely from white marble. Considered among the world’s most spectacular feats of architectural engineering this white mausoleum literally shines red at sundown.

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