Spectacular sunsets are one of Mother Nature's best gifts to us. Some parts of the world offer sunsets so mesmerising that even the least artistic of us would wish to whip out a paintbrush and capture the magnificent colours on canvas. What better way to celebrate the stunning view than by toasting to it?
Around the world, many bars and restaurants are situated in prime locations to see the sky change from hues of blue to orange to lilac as the sun sets over the horizon. Order your favourite cocktail, select a full-bodied wine or pop open the bubbly at one of these three spots on your next luxurious holiday jet-setting the globe.
1. Yamas to the town of Oia, Santorini
You will be hard-pressed to find another place on the planet with a sunset as beautiful as the ones that grace this seaside village in Greece. Oia, pronounced la, is jaw-droppingly gorgeous due to its high clifftops flanking cobalt blue Aegean waters and crisp, pristine white architecture. Cobblestoned streets meander through charming all-white houses, their exteriors boasting an occasional pop of colour from bright pink flowers climbing along the walls. The Oia skyline is dominated by three churches with large bells, again in the white-and-blue tones that make this village so picturesque and internationally renowned.
While any Europe tour will treat you to magnificent sunsets in historic cities, many would pale in comparison to Oia's. Geographically, Oia is set atop a clifftop in the middle of a caldera that was created by a volcanic eruption 3,500 years ago. The horseshoe formation of the coastline of this caldera, combined with the cliff's views overlooking the island of Thirassia and volcano of Palia and Nea Kameni, mean that the sunset near Oia reflects light against the white stones, the blue waters and also the rugged rock formations of the cliffs. It's simply breathtaking.
Luckily, no matter where you perch in Oia for your sunset drinks, you're likely to enjoy the vista as most of the restaurants and bars are built along the edge of the cliffs to dish out unobstructed views of the phenomenon. However, two particularly excellent Oia restaurants with equally scrumptious views are Canaves Restaurant and Feredini. The former boasts gourmet cuisine crafted by star chef Andreas Evangelatos, serving Mediterranean dishes beside charming nautical lanterns on the balcony of Canaves Luxury Hotel. Feredini's calling card is that it is situated hundreds of feet above the waters of the caldera, literally on one of the highest points of the cliffs. Your tables resemble cabanas, with sheer drapery floating down the columns and white linens fit for Ancient Greek royalty and Olympic gods and goddesses.
Toast by calling out 'yamas!'
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2. Cheers to The View bar, New York
The flashing lights of Times Square, surrounded by the skyscrapers of the bustling, pumping metropolis of New York City, are a must-see during your USA holiday. Walking through Times Square at street-level is a great way to appreciate the sights and sounds of this iconic Big Apple landmark - but seeing it from a birds-eye view 48 storeys above seated in The View's revolving bar will be the apple of your eye.
As the only revolving rooftop restaurant and lounge in New York, The View oozes exclusivity and has a once-in-a-lifetime vibe. A signature American menu is on offer, which can be enjoyed seated at a table facing the floor-to-ceiling glass windows as the venue rotates a full 360 degree turn every hour.
Of course, the sunsets seen from this height take on a life of their own as the rays turn the windows of the towers around you amber-gold. You will not only see a dazzling sunset across the harbour, casting the Brooklyn Bridge in a sharp silhouette and igniting the Statue of Liberty bronze in the sunlight, but also get to watch the lights of the buildings come on. As the sun completely dips away, the city lights, famous for sparkling like jewels will shine in all their glory for you to admire. This is what makes this very spot one of the best places in the world to see the sunset - you are seeing the Manhattan skyline in style. Why not get a classic Manhattan cocktail to celebrate?
Clink your glasses together with travelling companions as you say 'cheers!'
3. Salute to the famous Academia Bridge, Venice
Finally, Venezia's famous Academia Bridge, or 'Ponte dell'Accademia' as it's known in Italy, stretches across the Grand Canal and is another lovely sunset spot on a European adventure. Watch the gondoliers croon and sing as they take couples on rides across the canal beneath the bridge, while the sun sets behind the curved dome of Santa Maria della Salute Church. Since it was completed in 1687, the architecture of this church has dominated the skyline of Venice and the Academia Bridge dishes out particularly picturesque views of it at sunset.
What you see unfold before your eyes is the canal waters turn golden, reflecting the historic palazzos and churches lining it. Toast to the view from one of the many restaurants and bars line the Grand Canal near the Academia Bridge. Say 'salute' as you drink a Aperol Spritz – a local favourite drink in Venice.