Best Sunset and Sunrise Destinations in the World

Where are the Best Sunrises in the World

Beautiful, romantic and different every day, there’s nothing quite like experiencing the deep orange and pink hues of a sunrise or sunset, especially on holiday. Recent research has even suggested that sunrises and sunsets can significantly boost feelings of awe which, in turn, has the potential to promote both mental and physical health.

Whether you’re looking for the perfect backdrop for a proposal, are fascinated by astronomy or want to test your nature photography skills, people worldwide chase the most perfect sunrises and sunsets every day. In fact, videos under the hashtag #Sunset have amassed a striking 61 billion views on TikTok, while videos under #Sunrise have gained 9.2 billion views.

To help you decide where to book your next sailing holiday in a bid to experience the wonder of twilight, we have created an index revealing the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets in the world.

How did we create our sunrise and sunset index?

Analysing a combination of social media data (Instagram and TikTok), online search data, Trip Advisor reviews and geological data, Sunsail has ranked destinations based on popularity, light pollution, cloud coverage and air pollution.

Based on these factors, each destination has been given a score out of 24 – the higher the score, the better the sunrises and sunsets are.

With so many beautiful sunrises and sunsets happening around the world every day, we have used a range of social media data, online search data, Trip Advisor reviews and geological data to rank destinations based on the following factors:

Each destination has been ranked against these factors and given a score out of 24.

The higher the score, the more incredible the sunrises and sunsets are in that destination.

Any destination that received the same score as another has then been ranked based on average yearly temperatures.

So, let’s dive in and find out which destinations have made our list of the top 15 destinations for watching beautiful sunrises and sunsets.

Sunrise and Sunset Index: The Top 15 Destinations for Experiencing Magical Twilights

1: Sicily, Italy

Taking the top spot on our list of the best destinations in the world for sunsets and sunrises is Sicily, with an incredible score of 20 out of 24. You’ll find the best sunsets when cloud coverage is between 30-70% as the clouds can reflect the warm light of the sun and enhance the orange hues. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that the average evening cloud coverage for Sicily is 66%. With amazing sunrises and sunsets, breathtaking coastal views, charming towns and idyllic beaches, Sicily is one of the true gems of Italy.

Want to experience the best sunrise and sunset in the world for yourself? Build a quote and start planning your Sicily sailing itinerary today. You can also learn more about our other magnificent Italian sailing destinations in Sardinia and Procida, both of which also offer some of the most beautiful sunsets in the Mediterranean.

2: Santorini, Greece

In second place, with an amazing score of 19 out of 24 is Santorini in Greece. Santorini is the second most popular destination on Instagram for sunsets, with #SantoriniSunset reaching 177k posts, and the most popular region on TikTok for the hashtag #SunsetLover, over six times higher than the average popularity worldwide. Are you wondering when to visit Greece to ensure you’re able to enjoy the most exquisite sunsets possible? Take a look at our blog on the best time to sail in the Mediterranean.

Travellers recommend capturing the sunrise and sunsets from Oia in Santorini: “Just perfect. You never tire of the different views over the crater and sunsets are the very best. Because of the direction, the sun always sets in a perfect direction for viewing from the crater rim.” You can also check out our list of the best beaches in Greece, where you’ll find secluded coves that are perfect for watching the sun rise and set peacefully.

We offer three bases in Greece, one in the cultural paradise of Athens, one in scenic Corfu and another in Lefkas where you can explore the Heptanese Islands.

3: Bali, Indonesia

With fairly low air and light pollution, a perfect mixture of secluded beaches and magnificent mountains to get the best views of twilight, and average annual temperatures of 28°C, it’s no wonder that Bali has made it into the top 3, scoring 16 out of 24.

Out of all the destinations we analysed, Bali is the most popular spot for sunrises and sunsets on Instagram, with #BaliSunset being used on over 205k posts and #BaliSunrise being used on over 30k posts.

4: Ibiza, Spain

Next on our list of the best sunrise and sunset hotspots in the world is Ibiza in Spain, scoring a brilliant 16 out of 24. Ibiza is the third most popular location for sunsets and fourth most popular location for sunrises on Instagram, with #IbizaSunset amassing over 130k posts. 

With fairly low air pollution levels and nine blue flag beaches to experience twilight on, we know you’ll fall in love with Ibiza.

5: Dubrovnik, Croatia

Rounding up the top 5 is Dubrovnik in Croatia, with a score of 16 out of 24. Dubrovnik is renowned for its stunning natural beauty, rugged coastline and unique beaches, all of which make for a brilliant backdrop for admiring sunrises and sunsets. Croatia as a whole is ideal as it has fairly low air pollution and is one of the top 5 most popular regions in the world for the hashtag #SunsetLovers on TikTok, over 2.5 times higher than the average popularity worldwide.

Do you love the thought of spending the day exploring Dubrovnik Old Town and immersing yourself in the local culture before settling down on one of the best beaches in Croatia and watching the sunset over the Dalmatian Coast? Build a quote and book your Dubrovnik sailing charter today. You can use our Dubrovnik sailing itineraries for inspiration. We also have a base in Agana, just a stone’s throw from Split.

6: The Maldives

Whether you’re looking for the ultimate honeymoon destination, a Winter escape or simply a place to switch off from the world, the Maldives offers it all…including some of the best sunrises and sunsets in the world! Scoring a fantastic 15 out of 24 and boasting average annual temperatures of 29°C, this destination is a dream come true.

7: Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Bora Bora offers a slice of paradise for anyone who visits, from idyllic beaches to crystal clear waters and sensational scenery. With an overall score of 15 out of 24, Bora Bora received maximum points for air pollution, cloud coverage and light pollution, creating the perfect conditions for some of the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets in the world.

If you decide to set sail around French Polynesia, take a look at our Tahiti sailing itinerary. Our charter base is just five minutes from the airport and offers free mooring/a free berth if you’re sailing one of our yachts.

8: Cornwall, UK

The first of two destinations in the UK that have made the list, with a score of 15 out of 24 is Cornwall. Known for its tranquil, isolated beaches that are only accessible to the most adventurous among us, are you up for the challenge of chasing one of the most beautiful sunrises in the world?

With an average evening cloud coverage of 44% and relatively low air pollution levels, sunsets in Cornwall are supreme. The best part? You can experience them for yourself when you charter a yacht from our Portsmouth base and moor up in Cornwall to take in the views.

9: Zanzibar, Tanzania

Similarly to Cornwall, Zanzibar has one of the lowest air pollution scores out of all the destinations on the list, and an average evening cloud coverage of 37% which is considered brilliant for capturing the best sunsets. With an overall score of 14 out of 24, can you picture yourself waking up at 5 am to find a quiet spot on the beach where you can admire the orange and pink hues of the sunrise?

10: Key West, Florida

With over 65,000 posts under the hashtag #KeyWestSunset on Instagram and some of the best beaches in the world to soak up the views from, no list of the best sunset and sunrise destinations is complete without mentioning Key West. Scoring 14 out of 24, Key West experiences relatively low air pollution and enjoys average yearly temperatures of 26°C.

11: Cape Town, South Africa

Also scoring an amazing 14 out of 24 is Cape Town in South Africa. The average evening cloud coverage in Cape Town is 63% which falls within the ideal conditions for watching sunrises and sunsets. According to Tripadvisor, “if you’re looking for a spot to watch the sunset, I would recommend Big Bay Beach [as it has the] best view of Cape Town”.

12: Paris, France

Next on our list of the best sunrise and sunset destinations in the world is Paris, France, with a score of 12 out of 24. You might be surprised to find a major city like Paris on this list as they’re typically renowned for having more air and light pollution, however, it’s one of the most popular social media destinations on this list, with over 40,000 people sharing photos of the sun rising and setting over the Eiffel Tower.

13: Isle of Skye, UK

The magnificent Isle of Skye, scoring 12 out of 24, is connected by a bridge to Scotland’s northwest coast and offers the most sensational backdrop to watch sunrises and sunsets. 
With a rugged coastline, stunning natural landscape and plenty of beautiful beaches, experience the very best of UK sunsets when you cast off from our base in Portsmouth and sail up to the Isle of Skye.

14: St Lucia

Scoring an impressive 11 out of 24, St Lucia has an average evening cloud coverage of 65% which is within the perfect range for a beautiful sunset. Often considered one of the best honeymoon destinations in the world, there’s nothing more romantic than escaping to a secluded cove and watching the sunset on the horizon together.

Dreaming of couples yacht charter like no other? Build a quote and book your idyllic St Lucia sailing holiday today. You can create a bespoke St Lucia sailing itinerary to ensure you visit all the best sunset and sunrise hotspots.

15: The Grand Canyon, Arizona

Taking the final spot on our list of the best sunrise and sunset destinations in the Grand Canyon in Arizona, scoring a fantastic 11 out of 24. Offering one of the most unique viewpoints in the world, watching the sun come up or go down against the backdrop of this striking natural formation is an unforgettable experience. With the lowest level of light pollution out of all the destinations on our list, you’re in for a real treat.

So, there you have it…the best sunrise and sunset spots around the world. Each destination on this list is completely unique in its offering, with some places providing breathtaking beaches where you can see the sunset dance in the reflection of the sea and others being home to striking mountains where you’ll be one of the first people to celebrate a new day and watch the sun come up.

Can’t wait to explore the wonders of these destinations for yourself? Take the helm on a bareboat charter or hire a skipper and uncover the treasures that await you on a relaxing yacht charter. Whether you visit Greece, Croatia, St Lucia, Italy or any of our other sailing destinations on this list, you’ll be blown away by the beauty you experience each morning and evening.

If you have any questions about our sailing charters or want to learn more about where to find the best sunrises and sunsets around the world, please contact us today.



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