10 of the best places to watch that sun rise (or set)
Summer has finally hit, or so we've been told, with summer solstice taking place this week. Monday was the longest day of the year, with approximately seventeen hours of light between sunrise and sunset. And although we may not be having the brightest of Junes here in Britain, we still think the sun is kind of a big deal. So, with that in mind, here are ten of the best places to watch it do its thing around the world.
Taj Mahal, India
One of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal is one of the most inspiring places to watch the sun rise. As night fades, the iconic mausoleum is silhouetted against a burnt-orange sky, making for breath-taking views.
Matterhorn Mountain, Switzerland
Matterhorn Mountain pierces the evening sky every time the sun sets over the Swiss Alps. A ragged summit with a near-symmetrical pyramid-esque peak, the Matterhorn is popular with mountain trekkers and holiday goers alike. As the sun goes down it turns into a dramatic black shadow, swamped in mesmerising colours that are reflected in the picturesque lake in front.
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Head to Angkor Wat at around 4:00am to catch the sun rise above the majestic and ancient temple complex. There'll be a gaggle of other tourists crowding around to take pictures but don't worry, there's something quite magical about the way everyone goes silent as the sun creeps up over the striking turrets.
Santa Monica, California
Santa Monica pier is swathed in shades of orange, pink and blue as the sun sets behind the famous Ferris wheel, which sits as an iconic landmark on the horizon. Each evening the sky explodes with a full spectrum of dreamy sunset colours, leading locals to continuously debate where the best place to catch it is.
Elgol, Isle of Skye
The Isle of Skye is renowned for its mystical beauty, and this particular beach is the perfect spot to catch an atmospheric sunset. The sun doesn't go down until around 10:24pm in Elgol at this time of year, with the summer evenings stretching out for hours in true Northern European style.
Lofoten is an archipelago in Norway, and is renowned for its sheltered bays and unspoiled beaches, which sit nestled against a backdrop of dramatic mountains and snowy peaks. Not only is it graced daily by the world's best sunsets, it's also a great spot to view the Northern Lights at certain times of year.
Sunset Beach, New Zealand
Watch the surf turn from blue to orange as the sun goes down over Sunset Beach in Waikato Port, New Zealand. This black-sand beach is very popular among surfers due to its great waves, but it's also a fantastic spot for simply sitting back and enjoying the sunset, with unique rock formations and ilmenite sands making for eerily beautiful views.
The Quayside in Newcastle makes it onto this list not only because of the impressive lighting display across the Millennium Bridge but because the North East of England is home to some of the world's best sunsets. Stand on the bridge to watch the daylight fade, or grab a glass of wine in one of the nearby bars to enjoy the sun setting behind Newcastle's stunning architecture. If this has whetted your appetite for a stay in The Toon and you're looking for Newcastle Hotel Deals, take a look at our range of rooms and book your stay with us.
Wadi Rum, Jordan
Wadi Rum is one of the biggest deserts in Jordan and captures some of the most beautiful sunsets on the planet. Climb up one of the many mountains to view mile after mile of glowing red sand as the sun disappears behind hundreds of formidable cliff-faces.
Koh Samui, Thailand
Pick any of the islands in Thailand and you'll get to witness a spectacular sunset every night of the week. This picture is of Koh Samui, an island renowned for its white sand beaches and tall palms, which turn black against a blushing sky as the sun goes down each night. Best enjoyed with a cold bottle of Chang in your hand - the local Thai beer.
What's your favourite spot to watch the sunrise or set? Let us know in the comments below, on Twitter @MillenniumEU, or on our Facebook page.