If you’re lucky enough to be visiting the Maldives sometime soon then you’ll naturally want to maximize your time there. So what is there to do – and where can you do it? Here’s our ultimate guide on things to do in Maldives.
If you’ve ever fancied getting yourself officially PADI trained then there’s simply no better place to do it than on the Maldives. Most of the main resorts tend to offer PADI training and naturally, prices for this will vary but once you’ve qualified you’ll be able to dive anywhere around the world (albeit subject to certain conditions).
Diving in Maldives is a colorful experience of marine world.
Generally speaking there are two types of courses: the PADI Scuba Diver Courses and PADI Open Water Diver Courses. If you start off with the basic course you can always upgrade it to the open water course either whilst you’re there, or once you’re back home, so it’s a great opportunity to (quite literally) get your sea legs whilst also being able to explore some of the most magnificent sea life in the world!
Of course, most divers want to meet hammerhead sharks which are notorious on the Maldives so if this is something you’ve specifically got in mind you need to head for places such as the Bathala Resort, Rasdhoo, Addu Atoll, Miyaru Kandu, Kudi boli kandu and Fungo Dive since there are only a few spots on the Maldives where you’ll actually find them.
Whichever resort you choose to base yourself at in the Maldives you’ll usually find that boats depart on a daily basis to neighbouring islands so why not take the opportunity to explore a little further afield? As well as getting to see other islands (all of which are naturally unique in their own right), you’re also likely to see a whole wealth of fishes, sharks and dolphins so be sure to take your camera! Remember there are 1,192 coral islands to explore so the world really is your oyster!
If you’re travelling as a couple – or taking a romantic Honeymoon – why not ask your waiter to pack a picnic for you and head off to your very own secluded beach (or better still, an island). The Maldives is one of the very few locations you’ll be ever be able to have a whole island to yourself so make the most of it and add a dash of romance to your holiday downtime! Resorts such as the Six Senses can arrange to take you to your very own island where you can spend the day swimming, snorkelling, eating your pre-packed picnic and enjoying a cold glass of wine.
Most resorts offer spa retreats and a lot of these offer massages over the water for that truly relaxing experience. If you’re nearby you’d be hard pressed to beat the underwater spa experience offered by the Huvafen Fushi where you can enjoy hot rocks, cold ice, couture facials and truffles for the skin! What’s more, this particular retreat is entirely underwater and surrounded by glass walls so that you’re quite literally at one with all the local marine life throughout your pamper experience.
Again, these are offered from most of the main resorts and offer a great opportunity to sit and relax in style whilst watching the sunset across the ocean. Places such as the Kuredu Resort and Spa offer regular cruises from 6.30pm when guests can not only witness the most breathtaking sunsets but also get to say hello to the dolphins who are friendly enough to do a cheeky swim-by!
Why not try some of the local dishes such as ‘Mas Huni’ – a traditional Maldivian breakfast made up of finely chopped tuna, onion, coconut and chilli. If these aren’t available on your resort then you could always head to a neighbouring island and rub shoulders with the locals, most of whom you’ll find to be extremely friendly and welcoming – not to mention real experts in local cuisine!
If you get the opportunity also be sure to try ‘maas roshi’ (little tuna and coconut patties) or ‘kaashi bokibaa’ (coconut, rosewater and palm sugar balls).
You’ll soon get to learn that the locals simply love their coconut and in fact, don’t be surprised if you’re offered a glass of coconut juice the very moment you arrive on their island. It’s simply their way of saying hello and extending a warm welcome.
Maldives is both calm and serene.
For those who find it truly difficult to switch off from work (although you’ll find it almost impossible after a couple of hours on the Maldives!), then why not do a bit of business networking in truly tropical surroundings at an Amilla Fushi Business Dinner? Surprisingly the Maldives have several locations for the business-minded to network – whether it’s over a sunset drink or at a full on corporate event to negotiate island deals! Just remember, the WiFi might not be as quick as it is back home and some resorts don’t even have a telephone!
Whilst the Maldives certainly isn’t renowned for its vibrant nightlife, the Finolhu in Baa Atoll is a massive exception to the rule since its home to internationally-acclaimed DJ’s and even hosts three day party events throughout the year around its “Fish and Crab Shack”! Here you can enjoy soft shell crab tacos over a glass (or two) of champagne and really kick back to some serious sundown tunes without annoying the neighbours!
Never heard of it? Well, it’s a traditional Maldivian performance usually performed by around 20 people and consists mainly of drumming, singing and dancing! Several resorts, such as Gili Lankanfushi or Six Senses Laamu often host Boduberu performances and they certainly make for a night to remember!
Whilst a lot of Maldivian resorts offer private dining options and private butlers, you’d struggle to find anything more romantic than the Baros Piano Deck; a stilted platform in the heart of the Indian Ocean, which can be hired for virtually anything, from a relaxing massage right through to a romantic evening meal (just be sure to book it well in advance!)
For another unforgettable experience you could also pay a visit to Ithaa, the world’s very first underwater restaurant at the Maldives Rangali Island resort. Here, the intimate 14 seater glass dome sits just 5m under the sea and offers diners with a truly culinary experience, coupled with chilled wine from its cellar some 2m down into the depths of the island! Nearby Kihavah Anantara have also followed suit with a four level Sea.Fire.Salt.Sky – Sky being a rooftop bar and Sea being completely underwater!
If you fancy doing a spot of shopping with the locals then a trip into the capital of Male is an absolute must. Not only do they have a daily fish market, which you’ll find just opposite the harbour, but there’s also a magnificent spice market simply packed with ripe papayas, chillis and heart-warming curry powders. If you spot them then be sure to try proto-Golden Roughs which is a combination of coconut and palm sugar rolled up into dry leaves (a bit like cigars!). They’re a perfect pick-me-up if you start flagging in the mid-day heat and aren’t too expensive to buy.
What better place than the Maldives to say those magical words “I do”. Whether you choose to do it on land or water, with or without friends being present, this nation of islands is renowned as being one of the most stunning in the world so your photo opportunities will be completely unique – as will your marriage certificate of course! Most of the larger resorts also offer renewal of vows ceremonies so shop around for the best deal and celebrate your special day in style!
A wedding in Maldives is almost a fairlytail affair.
With such an astounding ecological environment there are plenty of opportunities to explore the Maldives, from the monitoring of dive sites and coral reefs to tree planting and exploring the sea life on a traditional dhoni boat. Resorts such as the Oblu by Atmosphere offer some great opportunities to explore protected ocean spots and enable you to learn much more about the biodiversity on this nation of very special islands.
Currently nestled under the Hulhule House Reef, the Maldives Victory sunk in 1981 after hitting a reef. For the more experienced diver it’s a unique opportunity to explore since the dive site is also home to fresh coral and colourful fishes too many to mention. Regular visitors to the wreck claim the site is incredible all year round with great visibility so it’s certainly worth taking a look (and your camera). Currents around the wreck itself can be dangerous so always be sure to go with a suitably qualified diver for the best possible experience.
Here are some other informative articles on Maldives that will help you plan your holiday.
Cover photo by Simon_sees