River in foreground with deep orange sky and sun appearing
Landscape,  Lens-Artists,  Themed galleries

Gallery: another tequila sunrise (credit the Eagles)

Awake! for Morning in the Bowl of Night

Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight:

And Lo! the Hunter of the East has caught

The Sultan’s Turret in a Noose of Light.

Omar Khayyám, The Ruba’iyat of Omar Khayyam (translated by Edward Fitzgerald, 1859)

Somehow, getting up early to watch a sunrise is so much easier when travelling. Of course it helps that the setting is usually both more beautiful and more interesting than the rooftops of our London suburb above which we would normally see it rise.

I’ve taken the theme of Amy’s Lens Artists Challenge this week, ‘Here comes the sun’, quite literally! I’ve compiled a selection of photos taken at or near sunrise in various parts of the world. So yes, here indeed comes the sun.

No two sunrises are alike. Some are more subtle, others are vibrant. Some I may have shared before, possibly in a slightly different edit. But all (I hope) demonstrate the rewards of getting up that bit earlier!

How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains

John Muir
River with pinkish mountains and bridge

This was the early morning view from our hotel deck in Nong Khiaw, Laos. I’d had a rough night (holiday tummy) but this sight was enough to lift my spirits.

Valley with mist and pink sky above

This was a bit of serendipity. When staying in a guesthouse on a ridge above Bevagna in Italy, I got up very early to use the bathroom. A glance out of the window had me rushing for my camera and heading outside to capture this view

Pale pink sky and large sun above palm trees

And here’s another hotel sunrise, this time from Souimanga Lodge in Senegal. This, incidentally, is where I took the photo of a baby mangrove that many people seemed to like in my recent ‘All or nothing‘ post!

River with palm trees and small boat with passengers

Not exactly from a hotel, I took this early morning shot from a houseboat where we’d spent the night on the Kerala Backwaters.

Sand dune with scrubby bushes and large sun rising

We climbed a sand dune next to our camp to witness the sunrise in the Thar Desert, India.

Dark foreground with bushes and sun just peeping above

Staying in a yurt in the desert in Uzbekistan I woke up very early. Leaving my husband sleeping I crept outside to watch the sun rise.

Ruins of a temple with a mountain castle in the distance, glowing orange

And visiting Palmyra in Syria many years ago I joined a small number of our fellow travellers on a sunrise visit to the ruins.

Dark mountains with orange sun just above

This is a rather muted sunrise over the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, as seen from a hot air balloon.

Mountain with clouds lit orange by the sun

On our way to a birdwatching walk near Volcan Arenal in Costa Rica we asked our driver to stop so we could photograph this striking sunrise.

Mountains glowing orange in the sunlight

This is yet another hotel sunrise view, this time over Jebel Shams in Oman.

Water in foreground reflecting yellow sky, with boats and skyscrapers

When I went to Abu Dhabi for business my hotel had a small beach. I went out before breakfast one day to photograph the sun rise over the lagoon.

River in foreground with deep orange sky and sun appearing

We went on a boat trip from our lodge to watch the sun rise over the Chobe River in Botswana (my feature photos was taken just moments before this one).

Sky with small clouds and sun just rising over water

Another Botswana sunrise, which I know I’ve definitely shared before but can’t resist including. This one is over the Okavango Delta, from Xugana Island where we stayed.

Harbour in blur light with snowy hills

And finally, a non-sunrise! This was taken mid morning in Tromsø, Norway, in early February. Tromsø sits above the Arctic Circle and at that time of year the sun never rises above the surrounding mountains. But you can tell it is there by the pink tint on the clouds, and a few days later the sun rose for the first time that year and the whole town celebrated!


  • pattimoed

    I am so glad I stopped by, Sarah. What a glorious collection from so many wonderful places. There are many great shots here, but the one of the temple at sunrise in Syria really captured my imagination. 😀😀😀

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Thank you Patti. That particular shot was taken on 35mm film and needed a bit of tidying up after scanning as it was grubby and grainy – but was worth the effort!

  • Anne Sandler

    How did I miss this one Sarah! Your photography is so beautiful. You are so lucky to be able to travel so extensively and thanks for taking me along through your images.

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Thank you Ruth 🙂 Yes, that was a special time to be in Tromsø. As I mentioned to Tina below, I’ll be back there next May when I should see see the Midnight Sun!

  • Alison

    I can’t believe how well travelled you are Sarah, so many beautiful photos
    I really liked the one in Dubai with the boats.
    I’m also having trouble leaving comments but seem to have a lot of catching up to do on your posts!

  • Tina Schell

    I smiled at your comment aboutt Norway Sarah – I cannot imagine living in a world without sun! You have many glorious images of sunrises around the world. Loved them all but especially the Abu Dhabi image.

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Thank you Tina 🙂 I know what you mean about Norway – but I’m going back there next May when the tables will be turned and I’ll see the Midnight Sun!

  • Heyjude

    Oddly your site is asking me to log in to post a comment when I know I am always logged in! Anyway I will use the reader to do so. A stunning atmospheric collection Sarah. Like Margaret I only ever catch a sunrise when visiting the loo in the early hours and although I keep saying I must go and photograph one over the sea I am yet to do that. The Senegal photo is really lovely as is the one of the Atlas mountains – both capturing that huge sun!

  • grandmisadventures

    lovely collection of sunrises. it makes you understand why artists say light is different in different parts of the world. ps, wordpress didn’t let me comment on your post, I had to go a round about way to get here.

  • Alli Templeton

    Enchanting images, Sarah. It’s funny you should credit the Eagles, as I couldn’t help feeling (not sure why, but it just struck me this way) that your shot of Souimanga Lodge had something of the cover of Hotel California about it. They’re all fabulously atmospheric, anyway, and it’s lovely to see the colours responding to the sunrise. Worth getting up for!

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Thank you Alli 😊 It hadn’t occurred to me about that cover but I can definitely see what you mean – the hazy palm trees silhouetted against a glowing sky!

      • Alli Templeton

        Yes, I think that’s exactly what it is – the same sense of hazy palm trees and similar sky. Lovely anyway! 😊

  • Rose

    Watching sunrises while traveling is like a double-dose of happy inspiration for me. I can ‘feel’ the excitement of a new day in your variety of photos. 🌞

      • Rose

        No worries, Sarah. If it takes a while for acknowledgment of a comment, I usually assume it’s a WP issue, or people are really busy. I’m not always able to reply to commentors as fast as I’d like, as there’s often a lot happening around me. Bloggers seem to be a pretty understanding group of folks. 🙂

  • thehungrytravellers.blog

    You’re right – I don’t think we’ve ever skipped down to the beach at home to see the sunrise, yet we’ve done it in loads of places around the world. It’s always such a good feeling, except perhaps when the sun doesn’t play ball.

  • Pat

    Very nice, Sarah. I, too, find it easier to photograph sunrises when I am traveling. Those times provide me with wonderful memories.

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Thanks Pat – yes, the memories of sunrises in various places are always among the best and strongest I find (more so than sunsets, perhaps because I see more of them?)

  • Margaret

    I relish photo’s like yours Sarah as I’m not an early bird and the only time I capture the sun rise is by peering through the window on my way to the toilet! 🙂 Beautiful photo’s and difficult to choose one but I’m making myself do it!….. er….

    Palmyra; Oman; or Abu Dhabi 😄 – can’t choose!

Do share your thoughts, I'd love to hear from you!