The capital of the island nation, Male, is structured like a typical city. But getting there just as the Sun begins to rise will give you a new perspective on this ‘Mahal’, as it used to be known. At the crack of dawn, Male’s markets start to get crowded with locals vying for fresh produce. One of Male’s major attractions is its fish market. As the Sun rises over the horizon, you can see fishermen returning from the sea with their catch. The bustle of the morning markets give you an insight into the culture of Male and how the locals live their lives.
Popular for underwater activities, Banana Reef on North Male Atoll is known to be one of the best sites for diving. Deep-sea diving, as the Sun rises along the ocean’s horizon is a unique feeling. Watching the sunlight reach into the crystal blue water, lighting up the incredible marine life is guaranteed to be an experience like no other. The waters are usually a little cold in the mornings. As the Sun begins to rise you can feel the water warming up, and waking up the underwater life. Make sure you take proper precautions or travel with an experienced diver if this is your first time.
Seated on the Eastern edge of Maldives, the Alimatha island is a great place to relax. Canoeing on the azure waters, off of Alimatha, just as the Maldivian sun begins to rise, is a unique experience. The waters are the calmest in the mornings, and you can watch as shades of yellow slowly start to bathe the island, reflecting off the cerulean water. Take your kayak out into the sea and inhale the tropical beauty of this island in quiet solitude.
Veligandu is actually a little island located off the North Ari Atoll. Rife with greenery in some parts and white sand beaches in others, it is a traveler’s paradise. Catch the sunrise from Veligandu’s beautiful beach and join the locals for a delicious Maldivian breakfast (Mas Huni) in one of the many little restaurants along the beach which open at the crack of dawn. You can choose to relax by the waters as the day goes by or engage in one of the many water sports the island has to offer.
A private island that has only recently been opened up to tourists, the Kudadoo island provides a getaway from everyday life. Take up a room in the Kudadoo Maldives Island Resort a day before and wake up to one of the most beautiful sunrises. All rooms in this resort look over the waters and give you a chance to witness a scenic daybreak, from the comfort of your own room.
The highest point on the island of Maldives, Mount Villingili was conferred the title of ‘smallest mountain in the world’. Located at the Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa, the mound stands at 5.1m above sea level. Watch the sun rise from the peak of Villingi, overlooking the waters and nestled in greenery, atop the highest point in the low lying island.
This is a day-long tour of two islands, where you transit by boat. Get an early start on these guided tours and at first light, you’ll be able to see the locals in action as the guide tells you about the traditions of the atolls. The Maldives are rich in culture and history, having served as the abode of kings. You can choose to cruise either North or South of Male by jetty and learn about the respective local life.
You can engage in underwater and scuba diving on one of the many sites on the islands which provide it. Home to Mantas, Rays, Turtles, Nudibranchs and brightly coloured coral reef, the sight of these at day-break is breathtaking. Catch the Sun lighting up the underwater path as you dive past the incredible variety of fish and marine life. Most dive centers in the Maldives provide you with the necessary gear and training well in advance.