The sunniest cities in the world
When dreaming of a sunny vacation spot, the Caribbean and Central America are often the first to spring to mind. Surprisingly, the sunniest city in the world is a lot closer than you think. Vacationers in search of vitamin D won’t be caught in the rain, thanks to our list of the 25 sunniest cities in the world.
The small town of Yuma in southwestern Arizona earns top spot as the world’s sunniest destination, offering more than 4,000 hours of vitamin D every year. Residents enjoy nearly 11 hours of sun daily, a number so high that this American town in the heart of the desert has even earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Marsa Alam, Egypt
The second sunniest spot in the world goes to Marsa Alam. This Egyptian seaside resort town sees an average of 11 hours of sun per day, or a total of 3,900 hours every year. The next time you’re in the mood for some sunbathing, consider a visit to the kingdom of the pharaohs.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
A desert, a mangrove, a Ferrari-themed amusement park, and the sunniest city in Asia: there’s no doubt that Abu Dhabi has something for everyone. This Middle Eastern city averages 3,600 hours of sun per year.
The Chilean city of Calama records more than 3,900 hours of sun each year. This comes as no surprise: the municipality is located near the Atacama Desert, which is the driest spot on Earth. Calama residents enjoy an average of 12 hours of sun daily and 12.1 hours in November.
In addition to its reputation as the gateway to southern Namibia, the city of Keetmanshoop gets a remarkable amount of sun every year, totalling at least 3,800 hours annually. To take full advantage of this abundant source of vitamin D, plan to visit Keetmanshoop for a few days. Don’t miss the Quivertree Forest and the Giant’s Playground, two must-sees in southern Namibia.
Looking for a spot to stretch out along the Indian Ocean’s magnificent beaches? Take a trip to Perth, Australia, which enjoys a minimum of 8.8 hours of sun every day. With more than 260 sunny or partly sunny days every year, Perth earns its title as the sunniest state capital in Australia. Just remember to bring your sunscreen!
Cyprus is a small island nation occupied by both Turks (to the north) and Greeks (to the south). Territorial spats may have been ongoing for decades, but both republics are united through one natural element: the sun. Sun beats down on the island an average of nine hours every day, and natural light lasts as long as 12 to 13 hours in the summer. All this daylight gives you ample time to enjoy the island’s viniculture, a tradition that islanders have been practising for more than 6,000 years.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Anyone who has visited Las Vegas knows that the city is always shrouded in infernal heat. This explains why Sin City is sunny 85 percent of the time, ringing up a total of 3,800 hours of vitamin D each year. Thanks to its incredible weather year-round, Las Vegas attracts both tourists looking for gambling and excess and tourists seeking out warm climes.
Nicknamed Spice Island, Zanzibar is a haven for travellers dreaming of white-sand beaches and the emerald waters of the Indian Ocean. Despite its two rainy seasons, tourists will not be disappointed: the Tanzanian Archipelago gets a minimum of seven hours of sun every day. Zanzibar is more than a spot to relax in paradise—it’s also a wealth of architectural wonders, influenced by both Arabic and Indian styles.
The sun shines bright in France, and Marseille takes top spot as the sunniest city in the Hexagon. Nearly half the time, the forecast for this southern France destination is clear and sunny. Don’t forget to pack your bathing suit when you head out to this bright city that borders the Mediterranean Sea.
Nestled along the shores of the Nile, the city of Dongala, Sudan, gets a little over 3,800 hours of sun per year. All this sunlight makes it easy to catch the third cataract of the Nile, rapids formed by rock formations in the water that make navigation difficult. In the summer, temperatures in this desert city can reach 43 degrees Celsius.
Arequipa and its whitewashed buildings shine as brightly as the sun itself, which beams down on the city more than 300 days of the year. Aside from its tourist-friendly climate, this Peruvian colonial city, surrounded by volcanoes, is known for its incredible architecture and peaceful vibe. What better way to relax at 2,300 m in altitude?
Located on Madagascar’s west coast, the town of Morondava enjoys some 3,500 hours of sunshine every year. The land of lemurs gets an average of nine hours of warm rays daily, which delights anyone who loves biodiversity. Madagascar, the fourth-largest island in the world, is home to hundreds of animals that are not found anywhere else on Earth.
You may not have heard of this country, which is an isolated group of three archipelagos containing 32 atolls and a raised coral island in the heart of the Pacific Ocean. Kiribati straddles the equator, and residents enjoy 12 hours of sunshine daily. In 2020, there will be just eight minutes’ difference between their shortest and longest day of the year. The Kiribati islands are also a paradise for scuba diving fanatics: they are home to the last untouched reef on Earth.
With an average of 9.6 hours of vitamin D every day, the Middle Eastern city of Muscat easily makes our list of sunniest cities in the world. In additional to beautiful, hot days all year long, the capital of the sultanate has no rainy season. A mere 13 days of rain are recorded on average every year.
El Paso, Texas
Take a trip into Mexican-inspired Texan culture and head to El Paso, Texas. Eat spicy food under the blazing sun and your immersion will be complete. El Paso counts no fewer than 315 sunny days annually. The city is also home to the Franklin Mountains State Park, some of the only peaks to be found in Texas.
Floating in the heart of the Mediterranean, the town of Ierapetra boasts more than beautiful, idyllic beaches—it provides beach bums with plenty of sunshine to enjoy their seaside retreat. This Cretan region gets 3,100 hours of sun every year, making it the sunniest city in Greece.
Tucked into the base of the Andes, Mendoza is internationally renowned for its wine production and its delicious bottles of Malbec. What better way to enjoy a glass of red than while enjoying a breathtaking mountain vista under the bright sun, 320 days of the year? Just don’t be fooled by the abundance of vitamin D: the temperature in Mendoza drops drastically when night falls.
Its annual hours of sunshine may not put it at the top of our list, but Sacramento’s abundant sun between June and September sets it apart. During this period, residents of this American city are bathed in sunshine from 11 to 14 hours each day. This earns Sacramento the title of the Earth’s sunniest city during the summer.
Alice Springs, Australia
No need to fear an adventure to the heart of the Australian Outback to enjoy the abundant sunshine. With approximately 3,500 hours of sun every year, the city of Alice Springs will make you forget about your long, hard winters. If the desert climate is not enough to entice you, visit the breathtaking MacDonnell Ranges and take in the abundance of Aboriginal Australian art.
Emerald waters, palm groves, and tropical greenery: all are on display in the beautiful city of Aswan, Egypt. Enjoy the warm weather and discover the best this centre of Egyptian culture has to offer. Since Aswan records more than 3,800 hours of sunshine per year, with an average of 10.6 hours of sun daily, you can take your time exploring this city along the shores of the Nile.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
If rain seems to follow you wherever you travel and you want to put an end to your “curse,” think about heading to Dubai for your next vacation. With just six days of precipitation every year and 8 to 11 hours of sunshine every day, there’s a good chance that weather will be on your side as you explore this city of luxury and excess.
Tel Aviv, Israel
Tel Aviv is one of the world’s sunniest capital cities, with more than 3,300 hours of sun per year. But the weather isn’t the only great thing about this city. According to Israel’s tourism bureau, the New York Times called Tel Aviv the Mediterranean capital of cool. Trendy bars, sandy beaches, a vibrant cultural scene, and UNESCO-recognized architecture are just some of the treasures that await you in this Middle Eastern gem.
The sun shines more than 3,200 hours per year in the Baghdad. Unfortunately, the violent attacks that have gripped the city make Baghdad and the rest of the country unsafe for tourists. The 24-hour news channel CNN recently reported that Baghdad is actually the most stressful city in the world.
Residents of Maracaibo in Venezuela can sunbathe for more than 3,280 hours per year. But when night falls, the sun gives way to another electrifying element: lightning. The Catatumbo lightning cuts through the sky nearly 300 nights per year, making this city the stormiest place on Earth.
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