Ranked: Sunniest Countries in the World

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The sunniest countries in the world are destinations that consistently receive an above-average amount of bright sunshine year-round. These countries offer favorable conditions for anyone planning a vacation or migrating there. The opportunity to do so is most likely rewarded with plenty of year-round enjoyable sunny weather.

It’s true that sunny weather and warm temperatures can affect more than just your mood—specifically, it can affect your sleep. Doctors say that bright light is necessary for your body to produce melatonin, a sleep hormone, so if you’re not getting enough sunlight (through the right kind of windows in your home), it may be challenging to fall and stay asleep at night. [1]

Top 10 Sunniest Countries in the World

Top 10 Sunniest Countries in the World

1. Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s climate is so pleasant that those who live there will tell you, “Costa Rica es el mejor país del mundo” — Costa Rica is the best country in the world. It has two seasons: dry and rainy. The dry season starts in December and ends in May, while the rainy season starts in June and ends in November. 

Corcovado National Park at Sunset

The coolest months are January and February, with an average temperature of 70°F. The hottest months are April and May, with an average temperature of 80°F.

The sunniest places in Costa Rica are Guanacaste on the Pacific coast and Puerto Limón on the Caribbean coast. Guanacaste has a dry tropical climate with very little rain from December to April, while Puerto Limón also has a dry tropical climate but with a long wet season that lasts from September to December. [2]

2. Morocco

Caravan walking in Merzouga desert

Morocco is situated in Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It has a population of over 36 million people and a land area of 710,000 square kilometers. Morocco enjoys more than 3,000 hours of sunshine per year. 

The capital city, Rabat, receives an average of 3,300 hours of sun each year. This makes it one of the top countries in the world with the highest number of sunny days.

The coastal regions receive more sunshine compared to those in the interior parts. The country has a semi-desert climate characterized by high temperatures during summer and low temperatures during winter.

Morocco also ranks among the sunniest places in Africa, where sunshine records are more common than rainfall records. 

3. Malta

Harbor of Malta in sunset light

This small island nation in the Mediterranean Sea is among the sunniest countries in the world. The average annual temperature of 64.4°F isn’t extreme, but it’s still quite comfortable. There are also nearly 3,000 hours of sunshine each year.

This European country has plenty of attractions for tourists to enjoy. To start, there are seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites that include prehistoric temples, cathedrals, and old towns. The capital city of Valletta is an exciting place to visit as well because it has many historical landmarks and monuments.

One of the best things about Malta is that it’s located close to Sicily, Italy, and North Africa. People who are visiting Malta can easily take short trips to these other destinations during their stay there.

4. Greece

The Acropolis of Athens, Greece

Greece is actually the sunniest country in Europe. It is also one of the most visited tourist locations in the world, welcoming 34 million visitors in 2019 alone. Greece is known for its amazing beaches, so it’s no surprise that it’s sunny. Most travel sites recommend going to Greece from May to October because of the weather, with July and August being the hottest months. [3]

Greece is well known for its incredible beaches and crystal-clear waters, but it’s also the sunniest country in Europe. The Greek Islands receive an average of 275 sunny days per year, and while they’re busiest in the summer, they’re still a great place to visit during the spring or fall.

5. Spain

View of the city from Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain

Spain is one of the sunniest countries in Europe, receiving around 3,000 hours of sunshine per year. Spain is located in southwest Europe and borders the Mediterranean Sea to the south. The capital city of Spain is Madrid, which is located in central Spain and receives an average of 62 cloudy days each year.

If you’re looking for a sunny European escape, then Spain is the place to go. 

The Canary Islands are a particularly sunny spot in Spain. The archipelago off the northwest coast of Africa receives an average of 3,000 hours of sunlight each year. In fact, the southern part of Tenerife in the Canary Islands is home to the most hours of sunshine per year in Europe — approximately 3,300 hours.

6. Cyprus

Limassol promenade or embankment at sunset

Cyprus is a Mediterranean island country with a small part of its territory located in the Middle East. The country is situated in the Eastern Mediterranean, west of Syria and Lebanon, northwest of Israel, north of Egypt, and southeast of Greece. Cyprus has dry and sunny weather all year long, which makes it very popular among tourists.

Cyprus receives around 2,500 to 3,500 hours of sunshine per year, and the average temperature during the day reaches 27°C (81°F). The hottest month on the island is August when temperatures reach an average daily maximum of 33°C (91°F) and the coldest month is January when temperatures are typically about 16 °C (61 °F).

7. Portugal

Porto, Portugal Skyline

Portugal is the second-largest country in the Iberian Peninsula. It has a population of 10.1 million people, with its capital city being Lisbon. 

The country has hot and dry summers, accompanied by cool and wet winters. The temperature reaches above 104°F in the summer, while it drops below 32 degrees Celsius in the winter.

The average sunshine hours in Portugal are 2750 per year, making it one of the sunniest countries in Europe.

The Algarve district in southern Portugal is an attractive tourist destination because of its sunny weather and beautiful beaches. The Algarve has a mild climate year-round, but it gets very hot in summer, with temperatures reaching above 80°F.

8. Uganda

African village in the mountains at sunset

Uganda is a country in East Africa and one of the sunniest places globally. The average annual sunshine hours in this country is about 2,408. However, its Equator location makes the climate generally sunny throughout the year. Most regions experience two wet seasons and two dry seasons every year. There are two major rainy seasons in Uganda: March-May and September-November. 

The ideal time to visit Uganda is during the dry season from December to February, June to August, and mid-September to November when there isn’t any rainfall.

9. Brazil

Copacabana area of Rio De Janeiro as seen from above

The largest South American country, Brazil has over 7,000 miles of coastline and some of the best beaches in the world. The Amazon rainforest covers more than half of the country and is home to the planet’s greatest diversity of flora and fauna. Brazil’s climate is temperate in the south, with a hot, humid summer, while in northern regions, there is no distinction between seasons.

Brazil’s southern regions are sunnier than its northern ones. The city with the most sunshine in Brazil is Curitiba, which sees 1845 hours of sunshine per year. [4]

10. Ecuador

Ecuador is located in northwestern South America, with a Pacific Ocean coastline, and occupies an area of approximately 283,560 square kilometers (109,483 square miles). It has a population of 17.6 million people (2020). [4]

Its capital city is Quito, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the 1970s for having the best-preserved historic center in Latin America. 

Conclusion

Quito city, Ecuador

The sunniest countries in the world are certainly a diverse group, but they do have one thing in common. No matter where you are, the presence of natural light is the key to overall health and productivity. That may be one of the reasons why most of the sunny countries mentioned above are so popular with tourists.

References

  1. https://www.yourhormones.info/hormones/melatonin
  2. https://www.currentresults.com/Weather/Costa-Rica/sunshine-annual-average.php
  3. https://www.statista.com/statistics/444847/total-number-of-inbound-visitors-in-greece
  4. https://www.climatestotravel.com/climate/brazil/curitiba
  5. https://thexplorion.com/sunniest-countries/ 
  6. https://ftnnews.com/tours/32751-top-10-sunny-countries-to-live-2017 

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