Sometimes having a smartphone can help you find some peace, escape and tranquillity. Yes, you read that correctly. Simply tap in ‘Sunrise time’ followed by your location to find out exactly when sunrise begins. Set your smartphone alarm, then come morning grab a blanket (and coffee!) and set out to enjoy one of Mother Nature’s simplest yet awe inspiring moments – the world awakening around us. Having travelled the world in search of the best locations for incentive trips, we have also uncovered some of the best places to watch a sunrise. Why don’t you build some time into your next group travel incentive to gather the team, take a walk and watch the sunrise as a team. Trust us it will be a special moment. Here are our favourite spots that we have discovered so far.
1) Hungary, Budapest
Views of Budapest are spectacular around the clock. The River Danube splits Hungary’s capital in two and whether you’re seated at your hotel room window or enjoying an early-bird breakfast, at sunrise the stillness of the city and the perpetually calm river becomes a space of reflection. As your eyes sweep across the impressive architecture of the city be sure to make note of the Matthias Church, the 13th century landmark in Trinity Square; and make note of the Chain Bridge that connects the Buda district (memorably hilly – so visit only after a hearty breakfast) to flat Pest. The city’s history, culture, food and people await you so once you’ve visually planned out your route, go explore and discover.
2) Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
There’s nothing ugly about this hunchback (translated as ‘Corcovado’ in Portuguese) and especially not at sunrise. The 2,329ft peak is a breath-taking spot to watch the sun rise over the vibrant capital of Rio de Janeiro and at such a great height the details of the city are completely exposed, revealing all of its early morning secrets. The location is also the foothold of the internationally recognised statue of Jesus Christ and tourists from around the world flock here to visit the statue and marvel at the views, beneath Christ’s outstretched arms. Each hour an electrically powered train travels up the mountain, the journey in itself an impressive experience. The train can carry up to 360 people creating quite an atmosphere upon arrival – whatever the time of day.
3) Oahu, Hawaii
We had to throw in a beachy one. The sound of gentle waves, the sensation of sandy toes and the flicker of salt in the air is sure to wake you up in a way that makes you feel calm, happy and incredibly lucky. Not all will experience the wonders of Oahu and so waking up early and enjoying the sun melt into the sky is something to truly treasure. Once the sun has risen a little we recommend starting your day a little earlier to begin hiking one of the old train track routes. The sunrise will follow you up and over the hills, illuminating your way and the breath-taking beauty that this Hawaiian island is home to.
4) Watsons Bay, Australia
There are so many incredible spots to enjoy a sunrise on this continent. Australia may as well be a synonym for ‘sun’ as the country is bathed in it for the majority of the year. However, we love setting up camp by Hornby Lighthouse on the extreme of Watsons Bay, South Head. Sitting at the foot of the lighthouse and looking out to see is spectacular, as it feels as if there’s almost nothing between you and the sun itself – just ocean. Don’t forget your camera, the hues of pink, blue and gold are stunningly beautiful.
5) Edinburgh, Scotland
Not too far from home we have a special spot located on Calton Hill, where you can enjoy the view of a handful of Edinburgh’s ‘landmarks’ from an equal height to some of them too. Much like a unique seasonal dish the Scottish sunrise is best enjoyed during November and February. Yes, you will need a cosy coat and woollies. We recommend bringing your map, too, to plan out your day of exploration. Take photos throughout the day to note the change in light of where you visit and from dawn till dusk you’ll have captured an underrated aspect of this historical city.
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By Anthony Kelly
Anthony began his marketing career back in 2008 after studying business management & marketing at the University of Stirling. He joined the events and incentive travel industry in 2015 after spending a number of years in the engineering, oil & gas and transport & logistics industries.More articles by Anthony Kelly