When you think of the Maldives, you think of paradise. It is the ultimate dream destination with white sandy beaches, palm trees, and luxurious bungalows stretching out over a turquoise sea. It is a holiday country where you expect to do nothing but sunbathe, swim, drink cocktails and gaze at the sunset in the Indian Ocean. But besides relaxing, there are also plenty of other things to do on this exotic archipelago. There is something to do for all types of travelers, whether you like Adventure, diving, or leisure day trip. Do you want to escape from your lazy life in your hammock during your holidays in the Maldives? Here you will find 10 tips on what to do in the Maldives!
Snorkeling in the Maldives
A holiday in the Maldives is not complete without snorkeling even once. You don't need to travel far for that, as there are over 1190 atolls and atolls in the Maldives! Snorkeling is equally spectacular almost everywhere. Many resorts are located on an island with their own coral reef where you can swim by the beach.
Most likely you will see sea turtles coming and with a little luck, you will be surrounded by many colorful fish as if you are swimming in a huge aquarium. You can also book a snorkeling trip to the sandbanks to go snorkeling there.
Visit the Capital Male
If you want to do something cultural, you can go to the capital, Male. It is one of the smallest capitals in the world, squeezed into a tiny island of 2 by 2 kilometers. Here you will find all the important government buildings, but also museums, mosques, and markets. You will learn more about the country's history at the National Museum. You will see a large collection of items from the Sultans of the Maldives including manuscripts, costumes, antique furniture, weapons, and photographs.
On the north side of the island is the Male Fish Market, where fishermen sell day-long fish to the locals. Male Friday Mosque is the oldest mosque in the country, built-in 1658. The mosque is made of white coral. You have seen all the Males in a few hours. Many resorts organize a day trip to the capital.
Diving in the Maldives
The Maldives is the ultimate diving destination, with crystal clear blue waters, coral reefs, and an abundance of marine life. If you are diving here for the first time, you will regret not starting it early. The clear waters allow you to spot marine life, such as turtles, rare whale sharks, stingrays, eagle rays, and moray eels. There are several affordable dive centers in the Maldives where you can take an introductory dive or earn your scuba certification.
A famous dive spot is Banana Reef, a protected reef shaped like a banana. With small gorges and caves and soft coral, both beginners and advanced divers can visit here. The optimum time for diving is from January to April. With several tour operators, you can book a dive trip to the remote reefs.
The Maldives is also known as one of the best places in the world to see dolphins. They are everywhere, they are friendly and they swim towards tourist boats. They are active and playful and like to show their tricks without being trained to do so. Sometimes you can even see dolphins swimming from your water bungalow. Most resorts offer boat trips to see dolphins, although there's no guarantee you'll actually see them.
The best time to see dolphins in the Maldives is between January and April during the dry season, as they like to show up when the weather is nice. Travelers report that the so-called Muli Channel near the relatively unknown Mimu Atoll has a fairly high success rate. There are only two resorts on this island group: Medhufushi Island Resort and Hakura Hura Resort.
Take a Boat Trip
A popular activity is taking boat trips, especially for families with children and couples. Many resorts have their own boats with which they offer trips for their guests. For romantic couples, it is good to take a boat trip at sunset. It is a breathtaking experience to watch the orange-yellow glow of the sun spread across the sea and slowly sink behind the horizon. Many of these cruises are offered in a dhoni, a traditional Maldivian boat made of wood. Onboard you will find a cocktail and with a little luck, some dolphins will also appear. Here is the list of many things to do in Maldives for couples.
Surfing in the Maldives
The Maldives is a surprisingly good destination for surfing, as the archipelago has some of the best waves in the world. One of the most famous surf spots is Cinnamon Dhonveli, a resort on a small tropical island that offers a special program for surfers. A maximum of 30 surfers is allowed on the high waves around this resort, as it is mainly experienced professionals who come here for vacations. It's also a great sight to watch surfers watch from the beach with a cup of coffee in hand.
Another popular surf spot is Louis Break, named after the island (Lohifushi Island) that breaks the waves. Here, up to 45 surfers can conquer the waves at the same time. If you are not a professional and still want to surf in the Maldives then you need not worry. There are plenty of other islands where you can take surf lessons.
Yoga and Meditation
Yoga retreats are becoming increasingly popular in the Maldives. With calm waters, golden sunsets, and white sandy beaches, it seems like the perfect place for a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, stressful workdays, and traffic stress. With a refreshing sea breeze, fresh fruits, and coconuts, you can relax, cleanse your body and mind, and recharge yourself. An increasing number of resorts are offering yoga vacations and yoga classes. You naturally meditate on the beach at sunrise and sunset. For example, you can book a yoga retreat at Kurumba Resort and Baros Resort.
Water sports in the Maldives
Offering a number of water sports, Maldives goes after many other hot vacation destinations. It is good if you want to do something active or spend a vacation with teenagers in the Maldives. For example, you can kayak, waterski, kitesurf, jet ski, or be pulled over water in an inflatable tire (fun tubing).
The Maldives is a great place for paddle boarding and sleeping. Most of the island is surrounded by calm and shallow waters where you can paddle in peace while watching the fish swim under your board. If you are not afraid of heights, then you can also go parasailing. Almost nowhere in the world do you have a more beautiful view of the ocean.
Island hopping in the Maldives
With nearly 1,200 atolls and coral islands, the Maldives is the perfect destination for a tropical version of island hopping. A few years back this was eased by a new law that also allows you to visit uninhabited islands, but you also get to see a bit more of the authentic Maldivian life while visiting the island. You would think that there are only luxury island resorts in the Maldives, but there are also islands where villagers live and work and go to schools and mosques.
You can get acquainted with the local culture and traditions on Hulhumale, an artificial island north of the capital Male. Tour operators and resorts offer day trips to tour the island, sometimes offering lunch or dinner with locals. There are guesthouses on some islands where you can easily and cheaply stay overnight. Maafushi is known as a 'budget island' where backpackers stay in hostels among the locals. Here you will also find the only prison in the Maldives.
Get a Massage
The holiday in the Maldives is not so exhausting, but how nice to end the day with a Balinese massage? It's part and parcel of being in a destination known for romance and relaxation. The environment seems to have made up for it, with the sound of ocean waves playing in the background.
Many resorts in the Maldives have luxurious spas and offer a variety of massages and beauty treatments. The Huvafen Fushi Resort with the world's first underwater spa is a special place. You can get a massage while watching colorful fish swim through the glass walls.