We know it’s not easy to wake up early when you’re on a holiday, but the spectacular sight of the sun rising in these places might inspire you to change your mind.
Grand Canyon, USA
This spectacular gorge in the state of Arizona in United States looks even more impressive as it changes colours at sunrise. This steep canyon was carved by the Colorado River, and is considered to be one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. There are numerous popular spots to take in the views including Maricopa, Hopi, Mather and the South Rim.
This original purpose of the prehistoric monument and UNESCO World Heritage Site is still shrouded in mystery. It is made up of two concentric stone circles built on a small mound in Salisbury. There’s nothing quite like reaching here early to watch the first rays of the sun hit the stones. Plan your trip during the summer solstice, when Stonehenge gets thousands of visitors, including pagans and druids, to see the sunrise on the longest day of the year.
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
The sprawling 12th century temple complex lies in Angkor, the former capital of the Khmer dynasty of Cambodia. Spread across 97 square kilometres, it comprises of numerous temples, moats, palaces, passageways and towers. It is a tourist hotspot at any time of the day, but arriving early gives visitors a chance to observe the temple towers take shape. This is also when the temple is at its quietest, and so ideal for some contemplative viewing.
The Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard is situated north of the Atlantic circle, and is considered to be the northern-most inhabited place on earth. Due to its location, Svalbard witnesses two unique natural phenomena for several months every year. The first is the midnight sun, when the sun stays in the sky for 24 hours a day; and the second is the polar night, when the night lasts for more than 24 hours. Spend a few months here, and the concept of sunrise and sunset will never be the same again.
Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
This extinct volcano is the highest mountain in Africa, and the image of its snow-capped peak surrounded by plains has inspired the likes of Ernest Hemingway. Catch the spectacular sight of the sun’s rays beating down on the snow, or if you’re up for it, trek to the top for a bird’s-eye view of the plains around.