From castles and craters to deserts and beaches, there’s no shortage of picturesque spots to soak in the last of the day’s light in Saudi Arabia. Here are 10 itinerary-inspiring sunset spots to enjoy (and Instagram) during your adventure.
This escarpment northwest of Riyadh offers endless views, so look for interesting rock formations or angles that show the sheer drop to really illustrate how the area lives up to its name. The abundant fossils in the area come to life at golden hour, presenting another interesting shot at sunset.
While it is hard to beat a view of the sun dipping into the Red Sea, it pays to look for added interest, like the sun setting behind King Fahd Fountain, or waiting until you can combine the last sunset colors with the lit-up Mamluk Mosque Lamps on Al Andalus Street. On nights when the sunset is more pastel, it’s worth seeking out the Floating Mosque, which appears to hover over the waves.
Once you have explored every nook and cranny of this 400-year-old stone settlement, head down to the road in front of the village to catch it illuminated by the last bit of the day’s sun. You’ll see why it’s called the Marble Village as the pale slate pops against the dark mountains.
No matter what time of day you visit, the contrast between the blue lake and golden dunes is striking, but it comes alive at sunset. Climb up high for the best view, and be patient as the colors change the water, sand and sky. While Asfar Lake (also known as Yellow Lake) is the star of the show, keep an eye out for interesting dune formations or little details along the shoreline.
Plan ahead for sunset views here — high canyon walls mean that golden hour is earlier. Down on the ground, look for reflective pools to help show the rock formations. If you have the chance, venture up to higher ground to gain a perspective on just how magnificent Al Disah Valley is.
By the time the sun is setting, you’ll probably be heading back to the main island after a day of exploring the little islands. This is the perfect time to snap silhouettes of the many boats or even see dolphins. If you’re on the main island, the area around Beit Al Refai or one of the many beaches are ideal for taking in the sunset.
The reward for scrambling back up to the edge of Al Wahbah Crater is being able to watch the setting sun tint the white crater floor. Look for an angle where you can capture the last rays dropping below the crater’s edge.
The trouble with Al Soudah is that there are almost no bad views, which means it is very popular. Head up Jabal Sawda until you find a good vantage point, and settle in for a show. A zoom lens can help create dramatic images of the sun going down among the layers of peaks. Don’t get too distracted by the view, though — the baboons are always on the prowl for leftovers!
The area around Tarout Castle is a lovely place to watch the sun set over Tarout Island, especially the eye-catching mosque just below. Too much work to climb up? In the rainy season, the puddles are perfect for reflecting the castle and palm trees.
This unique park in King Abdullah Economic City is full of hedges artfully trimmed into a menagerie of animal shapes. If you have already filled your camera roll with sunset dunes and mountains, this might be the place to grab some sunset selfies with a leafy camel.
Traveling in Saudi? Bookmark this article and remember to use the hashtag #SaudiSunsets on Instagram when capturing golden hour during your trip.
- By Leah Schmidt