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An owl at home, a lark abroad

Posted in DESTINATIONS By Maggie O' Sullivan

Dawn yoga, Conrad BaliImage: Conrad Bali Though I’m an owl by nature, I’m invariably a lark abroad, and not just because of the jet lag. Here are five great reasons I’ve found for getting up early away from home.

Yoga

Experts claim that dawn is the best time of day to practise yoga as it mixes day and night energies, creating a balanced fuel for the rest of the day. It’s also such a lovely way to start the day on holiday, especially if the class is outdoors in a warm climate. Best sunrise yoga ever was at the fabulous Como Shambhala Estate in Bali, closely followed by one at Amanzoe in the Peloponnese where the yoga studio had a retracting glass wall overlooking the valley below. I've also heard good things bout the dawn yoga at the Conrad Bali, above.Cable car at dawn, Arosa Skiing

Lots of resorts offer night skiing, now several have introduced dawn forrays, too. On 23 February and 9 March 2017, for example, the Swiss resort of Arosa will be offering skiers the chance to watch the sun rising over the Grison Alps and if you’re staying at Tschuggen Grand Hotel you’ll get a hearty breakfast at the top of the mountain before you set off. You can also be be the first to leave your tracks in Trentino, in the Dolomites, with a package that includes breakfast. Taj Mahal from Oberoi Amarvilas, AgraImage: Oberoi Amarvilas

Sight-seeing

Some of the world’s finest sites are best seen at dawn and not just because they’re less crowded then (in many cases, they aren’t). I’ve watched the sun rise over Machu Picchu and Angkor Wat and next on my list is the Taj Mahal. The trick, I’m told, is to arrive at the West or East Gates half an hour before it opens. Mind you, if you stay at Oberoi Amarvilas you don’t even need to get dressed – you can just position yourself at your window a few minutes before the sun comes up.Parador de las Canadas del Teide, TenerifeVolano-climbing

Just before dawn is the only time to climb a volcano. The main reason is the terrific sunrise you’ll get from the top, but also because if you leave it until later in the day, your view is more likely to be obscured by clouds. East Maui Volcano is the dawn climb on everyone’s bucket list, but closer to home there's beautiful Mt Teide in Tenerife. If you stay at Parador de las Canadas del Teide at its base, above, you won’t even have to get up that early, though you might want to leave it for a while, given the recent spike in seismic activity. Masai Mara, Original TravelImage: Original Travel

Game drives

Dawn is obviously the best time to see Africa's nocturnal wildlife but there’s another reason for getting up so early: it’s often said that Africa has the best sunrises in the world. In Kenya’s Masai Mara, for example, the rising sun turns the savannah and Great Rift Valley a vivid red. If you don’t want to see it with hordes of other tourists, travel with a luxury operator like Original Travel, which offers stays in camps in prime wildlife areas on private concession areas bordering the Masai Mara Reserve.

BY MAGGIE O'SULLIVAN

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