The Best Sunrises in the World
Catching a stunning sunrise is one of the joys of a holiday. From mountain tops, iconic monuments, beaches (or even your hotel balcony) you're spoilt for choice when it comes to enjoying some of the best sunrises in the world.
If you're a keen photographer, sunrise is the perfect time for practising your lighting skills. Catch vibrant orange skies or a soft light that makes the world around you glow. Be quick though, you only have a couple of minutes from first glimpsing the sun until it's above the horizon. Although the sun rises in the east, you can enjoy this spectacle right across the globe so we've gathered the best places in the world to help you plan your sunrise holiday.
Wainui Beach, New Zealand
New Zealand is the first country in the world to enjoy the sunrise so Wainui Beach in Gisborne, North Island is the perfect place to watch it. Wainui is a pristine length of sand that curves between two headlands and is backed by gently rolling hills. At dawn - sand, sea and sky all take on a magnificent orange glow.
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Despite the tourist crowds, Angkor Wat in Cambodia should definitely be on your list. This is a sprawling complex of temples some of which date back to the 12th century and is probably one of the best sunrise sites in Southeast Asia. The best place to watch the sunrise is from the pond. The towers of Angkor Wat are reflected in the water as they bask in the beautiful orange and red light of the sunrise.
Cape Mulinu'u, Samoa
A quirk of fate (and a change in the dateline in 2011) turned Cape Mulinu'u in Samoa from the last place in the world to enjoy the sunrise to one of the first. Not only do you get truly photogenic sunrises, but Cape Mulinu'u is an idyllic holiday spot of crystal clear waters, golden sand and lush forests. It's perfect for romance, making it an ideal honeymoon spot.
Australia's Uluru is always mystical and mysterious but visit at sunrise and it becomes truly magical. It's definitely worth an early start. Sacred to the indigenous community, Uluru gradually changes colour as the sun rises taking on a bright red luminescence that stands out against the surrounding landscape. Even knowing that science can explain the colour changes doesn't detract from the glory. This sunrise will stay in your memories for a lifetime.
Cape Town, South Africa
Seeing the sun slowly appear over Table Mountain in Cape Town is breathtaking. Watch from the beach or your hotel balcony or hike up the mountain to enjoy the sunrise. If the climb (and the sunrise) has left you breathless, descend on the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway. (The sunsets are pretty spectacular too, especially with a cocktail in hand.)
Haleakala National Park, Hawaii
Hawaii is one of the last places in the world to see the sunrise with the volcanic peak of Haleakala giving one of the best views. Plan an early start to reach the peak but once there you'll enjoy a light show as the world turns orange and red before your eyes. The changing colours sweep across bamboo forests and lunar-like landscapes.
Stonehenge in Wiltshire is another place steeped in mystery. On the summer and winter solstices, thousands of people gather to witness the sunrise and the spectacle of the sun's rays striking a precise line through the stone circles. It's thought that the stones were skilfully placed to be in line with the rising sun.
Machu Picchu, Peru
Jungle and mist add extra mystery to the ruins of Machu Picchu. Catch a mist-free morning and the sunrise at Machu Picchu delivers an experience like no other. It's easy to let your imagination run riot as the rising sun covers the ruins with glorious colours. Abandoned in the 15th century and only re-discovered at the turn of the 20th century, it's definitely worth making the effort to see a Machu Picchu sunrise.
You don't have to worry about fully enjoying a sunrise. Unlike an eclipse, when the sun is so low in the sky, there's no risk of damaging your eyesight. Everywhere has a sunrise but some are certainly more glorious than others. If you're ready for some early mornings then start planning your next holiday with CheapTickets.co.th.
Go back to top
Want to read more?