Have you ever gazed at the horizon, totally enamored of the colors of the sky at sunrise or sunset? You’re not alone. Around the world, countless people marvel at the spectacle as dusk and dawn approach. It’s human nature to be enthralled by the daily celestial motions. But do you know why? Science, of course.
The Science Behind Sunsets and Sunrises
Light travels through atmospheric molecules and particles, scattering in different directions. The way those light rays scatter is affected by aspects like the sun’s position, distance, seasons and the change in the atmospheric weather, humidity, and more. This affects the way we perceive colors as these elements change.
When the sun is at the exact line of the horizon, light refracts and scatters through more atmospheric particles than throughout the rest of the day, absorbing violets and blues and some greens and yellows. This creates the oranges and reds we see at sunrise and sunset.
What does it all mean for you as you explore, looking to take a moment to appreciate the first or last rays of light? No matter wherever and whenever you roam, you’re sure to find a sunset and sunrise that will captivate you.
Where to See the Most Beautiful Sunsets and Sunrises Around the World
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – This iconic city is known for its spectacular views, including the vibrant colors of sunrise and sunset. Catch the rays along the golden shores of Leblon or sneak a more intimate moment at Arpoador, a small peninsula between Ipanema and Copacabana.
Join our “13-Night Intense Brazil – Samba and Sun” luxe-adventure voyage to witness a beautiful Rio sunset.
Punta del Este, Uruguay – Playa Mansa is best known for its serene waves along the beach’s shores. But few know that they can appreciate a gorgeous sunrise or sunset as they watch the waves come and go.
Cairo, Egypt – The Great Pyramids on their own are a bucket-list item to visit. Add in the glowing red of a setting sun as it falls between their peaks and you could one-up others who’ve seen the pyramids with your own magical moment.
Castries, St. Lucia – About 10 kilometers out from Castries lies Reduit Beach, with a backdrop of lush green mountains and calm waves. As the burnt orange and red sunset fades behind those peaks, you won’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of awe.
Wadi Rum, Jordan – Complementing the red sand and rocks of the desert, the rising sun creates an epic view that’s the most inspiring thing to see upon waking after an exhilarating night of glamping.
Watch the sunrise over the Mars-like landscape of Wadi Rum on our signature “MAX SHORE: 24-Night Comprehensive Anatolia and Holy Land” itinerary.
Cappadocia, Turkey – As you take in the sight of dozens of hot air balloons rising on an early morning in Turkey, catch the first rays of sunrise over the enthralling landscape. It’s truly a sight that you must see for yourself to understand its magnificence.
Our signature “MAX SHORE: 24-Night Magical Cappadocia” itinerary will give you the once-in-a-lifetime chance to gaze upon this awe-inspiring view.
Lisbon, Portugal – The old town of Alfama offers one of the most incredible views of the morning sun as it rises over the rooftops of the maze of houses on the hill. Go on an early adventure to Portas do Sol for the optimal viewpoint of the sunrise.