Morning Has Broken: The World’s Most Gorgeous Sunrise Spots

Today’s post is by Carly Phillips, is a freelance writer and travel agent from Liverpool. She likes to go for early-morning jogs to watch the sunrise. I can definitely understand the attraction! 😉

There is something magical about waking to watch the sun come up in a spectacular place. Although getting up early is a bit of a pain, the excitement of watching the sun come over the horizon is worth it. There is something almost spiritual and inspiring about watching a sunrise.

Here are some of the best destinations for memorable sunrises, from Cambodia’s Angkor Wat temple to Arizona’s Grand Canyon. Why not book a flight, set your alarm early, sit back and watch the show?

Angkor Wat Temple, Cambodia

When you approach the ancient temple of Angkor Wat in the predawn darkness, the monolithic structure creates a mysterious silhouette against the sky. Slowly, the light fills the horizon and the tropical flowers in the pond open their petals. The sun plays hide-and-seek behind the towering stone structure for a while, illuminating clouds in shades of lavender and pale blue.

Then, the sun bursts over the temple’s roof, bathing the structure in golden light. Suddenly, you see intricate details of the relief carvings revealed by the sunlight that cover this 1,000-year-old monument from the Khmer Empire.

After watching the sunrise, you can spend the day touring the temple complex, as there are several different ancient shrines and temples to explore. You can rent bikes for this adventure, or if you want to get about easier, you can hire a tuk-tuk driver to take you to the temples.

photo credit: Stuck in Customs via photopin cc

photo credit: Stuck in Customs via photopin cc

Stonehenge, England

Stonehenge is an age-old enigma. Why are these enormous stones arranged in such a pattern? What do they mean? You can ponder these questions (and more) while watching the sunrise illuminate them.

On the solstices and equinoxes, many neo-pagans and druids gather at Stonehenge to worship at this spiritual monument. After the sunrise, explore the countryside and the other nearby monuments. You can take guided tours of the landscape that are offered by the National Trust.

photo credit: Wessex Archaeology via photopin cc

photo credit: Wessex Archaeology via photopin cc

Tres Cruces, Peru

This mountain point is a six-hour bus ride from the city of Cuzco. It acts as the gateway to Machu Picchu. The Incas thought that this location was sacred, and it’s easy to see why when you feast your eyes on the awe-inspiring views.

Tres Cruces is located 3,739 metres above sea level on the last mountain ridge before the edge of the Amazon forest. When you watch the sunrise here, particularly around the June solstice, you witness a multicolored natural light show. Sometimes the atmospheric conditions even create the illusion of multiple suns. It’s a sight that no words can describe and a holiday that you will remember for the rest of your life.

photo credit: AlexCamPro via photopin cc

photo credit: AlexCamPro via photopin cc

The Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA

The Grand Canyon is a spectacular place in general, but it is even more amazing when the sun comes up. Some say that it is one of the most impressive sunrises in the continental United States.

The cool purples of the rocks at dawn are lit up by the Arizona sun. The entire canyon looks like it is slowly being turned to gold. One of the best viewpoints in the canyon to watch the sunrise is Yaki Point. This is the first viewpoint that is marked on the East Rim drive. It has a brilliant unobstructed view of the east side of the Grand Canyon.

photo credit: Aditi-the-Stargazer via photopin cc

photo credit: Aditi-the-Stargazer via photopin cc

These only some of the most amazing places in the world to watch the sun come up. Make sure to check your sunrise times before you set off, as you don’t want to go to the trouble of waking up early only to miss the moment when the sun first appears on the horizon.


  1. says

    The greatest sunrise I ever saw was from the top of Clingman’s Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee.  I was above the clouds which made the sight even more spectacular and I was the only one up there observing the sight which made it very personal.  I have seen sunrises around the world but none compared with that one.   

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