Taking a few moments at the end of a hectic day to watch the sunset can be a perfect way to catch your breath and unwind.
Anywhere you can catch a sunset is great, but some places in the world offer particularly captivating and romantic sunsets. Where are those spots?
Click through to see our picks, counting down to our favorite place to watch the sun dip down.
30. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
The best place to watch the shimmering sunset in Puerto Vallarta may well be from the edge of the malecon, the paved walkway running along the beach. Though a popular stroll any day of the week, on Sundays, the bustle on the malecon reaches a crescendo as locals head out for a weekly oceanfront "paseo," or stroll. While meandering, be sure to pay attention to the artwork lining the walkway, including modern sculptures from artists like Sergio Bustamante.
29. Angkor Wat, Cambodia
One of the most spectacular and mysterious destinations in Southeast Asia, Cambodia's Angkor Wat temple complex lures travelers to witness the amazingly preserved example of Khmer architecture and Hindu traditions. If you find yourself in the neighborhood, be sure to have your guide organize the visit so you are brought to the main Angkor temple for sunset. It's one of the most popular times of day to visit.
28. Venice, Italy
If Italy is a land of love, then Venice, with its gondola-dotted canals, might just be its romance capital. Whether you enjoy the sunset from the famed St. Mark's piazza or while strolling across one of the old bridges spanning the canals, it's impossible not to be struck by the "bella vistas."
27. Uluru, Australia
Uluru, also known as Ayer's Rock, sprouts out of the ground in Northern Australia, rising some 1,142 feet. Set in the midst of a mostly flat desert, Uluru has mesmerized humans for more than 10,000 years, as evidenced by petroglyphs found on the rocks. Today, it is one of Australia's most popular tourist destinations. Many tours leave from the town of Alice Springs, allowing visitors to walk around the rock, then enjoy the sunset from a distance.
25. Serengeti, Tanzania
Whether you've traveled to Tanzania on your own or as part of a tour, you'll have to see the Serengeti. The plains grow only more beautiful as sunset falls across them. Keep an eye peeled for the wildlife, including wildebeests, zebras and buffalos.
24. Taj Mahal, Agra, India
It's said to be the world's most beautiful monument dedicated to love. Actually a mausoleum, the white marble Taj was built in the 17th century in memory of the Emperor Shah Jahan's third wife, who died during childbirth, leaving the emperor heartbroken. Visitors should plan to arrive late in the afternoon, strolling the grounds and settling in to watch the complex glow in the changing light of sunset.
23. Sahara Desert
Few sights are as haunting as the Sahara Desert, with its rolling, often windswept sand dunes. Overnight camel treks are a popular way to visit, and many trips depart from Merzouga, Morocco, leading to the Erg Chebbi dunes. Tours typically stop at sunset so you can savor the experience of watching the shimmering golden sands change color in the dimming light.
22. Railay, Thailand
Visitors to Railay, one of Thailand's most exquisite beaches, are often struck by the massive limestone cliffs surrounding the sandy inlet. Rock climbers often dot the behemoth cliffs well into the night. Some even sleep on the rock ledges. Sunset connoisseurs flock here in the evening to soak in the golden spectacle.
21. Paris, France
Visions of the Eiffel Tower, bohemian cafes and romantic strolls along the Seine have helped the City of Light capture the hearts and minds of travelers for ages. Not surprisingly, it's a great place to watch the sunset. Catch the show from one of the city's many vantage points looking out on the Eiffel Tower. It's a classic Parisian experience.
20. Haleakala Volcano, Maui, Hawaii
For an unforgettable sunset experience, watch the sun drop from high above cloud level at the top of Maui's 10,000-foot Haleakala volcano. Numerous tours run daily to the top, but be sure to pack layers of warm clothes. Though Maui may be steamy hot at ground level, Haleakala's peak gets chilly, particularly after sunset.
18. Grand Canyon, Ariz.
America's greatest natural wonder, the Grand Canyon makes an easy choice for nature lovers seeking extraordinary sunset photo ops. Though stunning at any time of day, a trip to this American icon is best enjoyed at sunset, as the air cools and the canyon walls glow into the night.
16. Fanabe Beach, Tenerife, Spain
Tenerife is the largest of Spain's seven Canary Islands. During the day, take advantage of the beach's water sports, including Jet Ski and banana-boat rentals. In the evening, stroll along the beachfront promenade at Fanabe Beach to experience some the best sunset views.
After pro-democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was released from house arrest in Myanmar in 2010, a travel boycott to the country was lifted. Now, more travelers are going to see the stunning temples and stupas of Bagan. It just might be the most popular spot from which to watch the sunset, though quiet beaches like Ngapali Beach aren't too shabby for sunset views either.
14. Rome, Italy
With astonishing history dating back thousands of years, stunning architecture and piazzas, and one of the world's greatest culinary traditions, Rome is one of the planet's most lovable cities. Even famed movie director Woody Allen has been bitten by the bug, releasing his recent film, "To Rome With Love." To best capture the "Rome"-ance, stroll along the banks of the Tiber River, or settle in at a cafe in the Piazza Navona, and watch the magical world of Rome sweep past you just as the sun drops.
13. Bali, Indonesia
Bali has seen a massive uptick in tourism in the past few years thanks to the role it played in Elizabeth Gilbert's "Eat, Pray, Love" -- for the uninitiated, the island is where Gilbert finds love. From Ubud to Uluwatu, Bali's spectacular landscape offers lush mountains with excellent hiking and remote beaches with incredible sunset views.
12. Key West, Fla.
It's a bona fide rite of passage for travelers to Key West to take momentary leave of the bars on Duval Street and head to Mallory Square to watch the nightly sunset spectacle. Always up for a good time, Key West locals and visitors have turned the daily sunset into one of the island's greatest gatherings. Onlookers snap photos of street performers playing music, walking tightropes and juggling fiery torches -- and of the epic sunsets, of course.
11. Santa Monica, Calif.
One of Southern California's most scenic sunset-watching spots, the Santa Monica Pier juts into the Pacific Ocean with a dramatic silhouette that features a giant Ferris wheel. Watch the sunset from the boardwalk, or from a table at The Lobster, a popular seafood restaurant at the base of the pier offering spectacular sunset views.
10. Havana, Cuba
Since the Obama administration lifted some travel restrictions to Cuba, cultural, educational and religious tourism to the nation has seen a boost. A 50-year economic embargo by the U.S. seemed to only stoke Cuba's mystique among travelers, and though it's still difficult for ordinary citizens to travel there, it is possible to sign up for a tour with an authorized organization, such as National Geographic Expeditions.
9. Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
While Dubai has been high on travelers' must-see lists for years, the newest trendy Middle Eastern destination is Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. The city has seen a building boom recently, with a number of new mega-hotels opening, including the Rocco Forte Hotel. Frank Gehry's new Guggenheim Abu Dhabi is set to open soon. While all the new development is generating buzz, visitors say the Gulf's golden sunsets have a quality that is nothing short of timeless.
One of the hippest destinations on the travelers' circuit these days is Croatia, and in particular its islands. Visitors should plan to stay at one of the country's trendier seaside destinations, like Split or the island of Hvar. Waterfront dining and drinking options abound, so you'll have no trouble finding the perfect spot to sip a cocktail and watch a blazing Croatian sunset.
7. Koh Tao, Thailand
You'll find no shortage of postcard-worthy beaches flanking Thailand's coastlines and islands -- they're among the main reasons Thailand remains
- First Item
- Second Item is a long one and it should wrap to more than a few lines and then go around and around and around.
- Third item should be near the cut off.
- Fourth item living large and in charge.
- Fifth item is sure to get cut off if it is then it might show the problem if it gets cut off by a long bullet point.
- If not then the sixth one has to right? I mean how tall is this thing anyway.
6. Ipanema Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
As Brazil gears up for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics, travelers are taking a keen interest in the South American country. Arrive in Rio de Janeiro and head to Ipanema Beach. Made famous in part by the catchy tune "The Girl from Ipanema," the beach truly does teem with tan and lovely ladies, as well as a slew of toned and tanned men.
By day, crowds and touts selling drinks and snacks fill the sands, but as the sun sets and night falls upon the Dois Irmãos (Two Brothers) mountains looming over the beach's western end, Ipanema begins to empty and a sense of tranquility emerges.
Panama has already gained buzz as a low-cost retirement destination for Americans, but lately it's become one of the world's hottest vacation destinations, attracting celebrities like Angelina Jolie. Panama's real attraction is its islands and thier beaches, including the Archipiélago de las Perlas, a string of stunning islets in the Pacific, as well as the 350 islands in the country's Kuna Yala region, any of which serves well for sunset-viewing.
4. London, England
It's been a banner 2012 for London. The city recently celebrated 60 years of the Queen's reign with her Diamond Jubilee, and now it's preparing to host the Summer Olympics. London has built a new stadium, and a nearly 400-foot landmark tower known as the Orbit, which will ultimately be the centerpiece of a new 560-acre park.
Still, London has long been a favorite for travelers looking to enjoy city attractions such as the Ferris wheel-like London Eye, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. For the best sunset views, plan to ride the nearly 450-foot-tall Eye, or take pause from along the banks of the River Thames.
3. Mui Ne, Vietnam
Vietnam has been a mainstay on the backpacker's circuit for years. Now it's gaining widespread attention from tourists visiting its historic cities and exquisite beaches, making it our choice for the third best place to watch the sun go down. Sunsets explode across the sky in Mui Ne, a small Vietnamese beach town and one of the world's kite-surfing capitals.
Reasonably-priced accommodations line the beach, like Indochina Dreams resort; consider watching the sunset from one of the hotel's beachfront bungalow porches. Afterward, head to one of the pop-up restaurants along the main drag of Huynh Thuc Khang road for a fresh seafood dinner.
2. The Maldives
Our second favorite place to watch a spectacular sunset may also be the most endangered spot on the list. Environmentalists warned in recent years that The Maldives islands might be disappearing because of rising water levels. It seems sunset seekers can breathe a bit easier for the moment: Many scientists believe the islands will exist mostly intact for at least the next century.
The chain of picture-perfect islands has soft white-sand beaches and idyllic palms. Startling turquoise water is home to some of the world's most exquisite coral reefs. Snorkel or dive to experience the islands' underwater beauty, then lounge on beach chairs, cocktail in hand, and watch a blazing sunset.
Next: 16 Scorching Songs Made for Summer Heat
1. Santorini, Greece
Greece's economy may have taken a tumble recently, but as some businesses try to bolster tourism, travel deals to the country are on the upswing. Travelers' first stop should be the island of Santorini. Watching the sunset from a restaurant terrace in Santorini's tiny west-facing town of Oia is an island ritual.
If you're on the island for a couple of nights, head to the wee village of Imerovigli to your second Santorini sunset. There, the rocky promontory known as Skaros juts into the sea and Santorini's dramatic landscape stretches before you.