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Sunsets

I enjoyed reading Rick's "sunset boulevards" article and thought about a thread where we all could share our favorite experiences.

For me, the Aegean sunsets are lovely especially those Greek ones listed in Rick's article. But for an Aegean alternative try Turkey. In 2013 we had dinner at the Ehli Keye Cafe at Behremkale, an old mountaintop town overlooking the beautiful Aegean Sea. The sun set over the sea with Lesbos Island in the foreground and the Turkish coast stretching for miles. The food, service and company was excellent and it is an experience I will never forget. Sure it is off the beaten tourist trails but you can commute there with buses or drive and be rewarded with minimal crowds.

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35 posts

PS: While in Turkey try the Istanbul rooftop cafes such as the Tamara for great sunsets overlooking the Sea of Mamara/Golden Horn/Bosphorus and the Blue Mosque. It helps if you like cats.

Posted by
19526 posts

Everything goes better with cats. Glad to know where to look in Istanbul.

It's odd, but I can't remember a special rainbow anywhere. But on my first day in Greece (Corfu) ages ago, I saw a double rainbow; 30+ years later I still remember it.

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2950 posts

One of my most memorable sunsets was in London while sitting at an outdoor restaurant on the south side of the Thames one evening. This deep red/orange colored sunset started up and intensified in the western sky for what seemed like a good 20-30 minutes. It was stunning. Every passing minute seemed to bring out more forms and color. I've never seen such an intense and wide reaching sunset.

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12578 posts

We were in London last May but were not treated to any spectacular sunsets.

So the most amazing sunset I have seen in the past year was from the deck of our beachfront room in Tofino on Vancouver Island.

Best sunrise---Bryce Canyon National Park.

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433 posts

One excellent memory of a sunset was on our first trip to Italy, a corner table just below Michealangelo Plaza, nice wine, an attentive waiter and the view over Florence with the Duomo, the Arno River with Ponte Vecchio illuminated and when the sun set the crowd in the Plaza applauded.

It was beautiful.

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328 posts

I have two favorites.

  • A couple of years ago, I visited Venice for the first time. Immediately after we checked into our hotel, close to the train station, my mother and I hopped onto a vaporetto and cruised down the Grand Canal just as the sun was setting. What a magical introduction to a magical city!

  • Last year I took a gulet cruise in Turkey, and my traveling companions and I opted to sleep on the deck of the boat each night. I woke up each morning to a clear, beautiful sunrise in the Bay of Fethiye.

Posted by
941 posts

My favorite sunset was many, many years ago but will be stuck in my mind forever. I was thirteen years old and living on the outskirts of Guadalajara, Mexico. Sitting on the wall of the second story porch, looking out over farmed fields to mountains in the distance, the sun slowly sank, with gorgeous hues of pale yellows, oranges, pinks, and deep purples. It was the most romantic sunset of my life and I was alone. And thirteen.

The most beautiful moon rise I have ever experienced was in Red Rock state park in Sedona, AZ. Standing on top of a mountain while watching a mirror like sliver of moon peep from behind far away mountains, only to see it pop up like a huge shiny plate was spectacular.

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1251 posts

The best sunsets I have ever experienced are with my wife. One was in Carmel, Ca and the other was in Mission Beach, Ca.

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4743 posts

Most memorable sunset: from the rooftop terrace at the Ambasciatori Hotel in Palermo. Best viewing point for sunsets in general: my front porch.

Best sunrise: the campground at Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota. I sat up in our tent one morning and was gobsmacked by the most amazing sunrise I've ever seen - our tent was facing dead east.

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14458 posts

Most colorful - Newport Beach overlooking the harbor, spectacular hues of red and purple and gold reflected in the water and all the windows and portholes.

Favorite - every sunset in Zion National Park, when the sun turns the red rock cliffs to glowing colors that you can't believe exist in nature. Sunsets at the Grand Canyon are pretty good too :-)

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35 posts

Apologies in advance but I should promote my home city. Back in the 1990s in its early days of operation we did the Sydney Harbour Bridge climb. Our start was delayed until mid-afternoon so, when a couple of hours later we reached the top, not only were we presented with magnificent views over Sydney, we also experienced a wonderful golden red sunset.
These days the organisers are onto this and they charge extra for the late afternoon/sunset climbs. However it is still worth it if you can get a sunny dry day as you will be rewarded with IMO one of the best views in the world.

Posted by
2158 posts

Having dinner on the beach in Hawaii (Maui) as the sun set was just magical. We saw a number of beautiful sunsets in Hawaii. Just knowing we were in the middle of the Pacific added to the experience. We also saw some unbelievable sunsets in St. Davids in Wales three years ago. Incredible colors.

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11613 posts

Most beautiful sunset for me was in Pamukkale, Turkey, when the white calcium-covered terraces and water pools glowed a dozen hues.

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14458 posts

Zoe reminded me that I had a very good sunset on my RS Turkey tour. I lucked out with a balcony room overlooking the harbor in Kuşadası, our last stop. I grabbed a few of my tour buddies whose rooms faced the other way and we had a lovely hour sipping wine and watching the nature show. But the next night, the sunset was blah.

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307 posts

I have 2 memorable sunsets. The first was on RS Best of Italy. We were at the agriturislmo just outside of Orvieto. The sun was setting over the vineyards and there was a beautiful golden glow over the entire area. It seemed like the air was golden. My next was driving through Palo Duro canyon in the Texas Panhandle. (yes, Texas has an incredible canyon, and most Texans don't know it exists) The sun colored the sky, and the walls with every color imaginable, but it was mostly red, orange and gold. That happened 35 years ago. I have no pictures, but it is vivid in my heart. I agree with the Bryce and Zion canyon review. What a great post. Keep them coming.

Posted by
1984 posts

A fresh memory - the sunset at Monterosso in the Cinque Terre on my recent Best of Italy in 17 Days tour with RS! So beautiful.
We were having happy hour on the rooftop terrace of our hotel, fun!
Judy B

Posted by
1958 posts

I have both a favorite sunrise and a sunset. Sunrise: from the balcony of our Murren hotel room on a Rick Steves GAS tour-the only time the clouds cleared enough to see the mountains nearly close enough to touch. The snow on the mountains was glorious shades of pinks, blues and whites. Spectacular! Sunset: while enjoying a glass of Greek wine lazing about on the tiny patio of our room overlooking the caldera of Santorini. Two of my favorite travel memories.

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1878 posts

My favorite was on the beach on the beach in Nazare, Portugal in September 2008 with my wife. The light just glowed yellow. The weather in Portugal that time of year reminded me a lot of California, more southern than northern.

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681 posts

The best sunset was in Australia-at Uluru in the Outback. The sunset was special but when you turned around it was AMAZING!!! That night we watched the stars twinkling from a whole different hemisphere. Just spectacular. It is hard to pick out a sunrise. When we are traveling, we finally get to sleep in...away from job, dog etc. It is just hard to pass that up. However, as I drive to work I am always calling my husband and telling him to go outside and face the beach (along Palm Beach, FL) because even though I am going to work, the sunrise is awe inspiring.

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35 posts

Some very interesting comments above remind me of other Turkish sunsets such as the beautiful Pammukale when the sun sets over the travertines.
After getting the cold shoulder from many Kusadasi hotels where no staff apparently didn't speak English we scored a 3rd floor room in the Grand Hotel Ozcelik overlooking the Aegean and were treated to 2 wonderful sunsets. All for just 200TL a day for two people with three meals a day included. Aside from one lovely desk manager we were the only ones there who could speak English. All the other guests were Russians but the cultural and language differences actually enhanced our stay.
With the Uluru sunset it's always a paradox that many Americans have been there and I, an Australian, have not .....yet. It is on my list to do when i get too old for international travel.

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29 posts

Our best sunset ever was at the beach in Tofino Vancouver Island. There were forest fires on the north end of the island and the smoke was blowing out to sea. The sunset was brilliant oranges and reds.

The best combo was at the Iberostar Varadero in Cuba. We had an oceanside third floor unit with a large balcony. In the morning looking east we could see the sunrise in the evening looking west the sunset unbeatable.

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933 posts

Most magical for me was sunset at the Ring of Brodgar on the Orkneys in Scotland. Wow!!

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767 posts

Sunsets over the river in Amboise, France. I stayed there 2 nights on the Paris and the heart of France tour.

Florence, Italy. One night after a walking tour I spent 2 hours on a small bridge taking photos as the sun went down, just fabulous.

Sunrise in fall in Villefranche sur Mer, France; I was introduced to this town on my first RS tour, and have returned a few times since.

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234 posts

Took the van ride up to Haleakala on Maui in the early morning hours. Watching the sun rise through the clouds that were below us was incredible . . . stunning colors. Then, taking the 10,000 foot bike ride (really a coast) down the volcano was so much fun.