If your idea of the ultimate vacation is a tropical paradise complete with crystal clear waters, spectacular sunsets, white sand beaches, sunny skies, palm trees and ocean breezes instead of the same old family holiday park, then the Maldives is the place to go. The Republic of Maldives is made up of a group of one thousand, one hundred and ninety coral islands, located in the Indian Ocean off the southern tip of India. Only about one hundred of these tiny islands are inhabited. The surrounding waters are considered to be some of the safest for swimming all year round and are home to a stunning array of marine life. There are ample opportunities to get up close and personal with many species. Among the many things to see and do in the Maldives, you’ll find every type of water sport or activity imaginable. There are many places, activities and unique experiences that are simply not to be missed in the Maldives.
Every first time visitor to these gorgeous islands should include a day or more on the island of Male, the commercial hub and capital of the Maldives. It’s a great way to soak up the rich culture of this unique country. The population is mainly Sunni Muslim and the Arab influences are evident throughout the city. The Hukuru Miskiyy mosque, built in the 17th century and constructed primarily of coral, is an historical masterpiece featuring exquisite fluted coral walls and intricately carved panels. Another glimpse into the culture and history can be found at the National Museum which is housed in what was once the Sultan’s Palace. For a different kind of experience, visit the Male Fish Market late in the afternoon, when the boats return with the catch of the day. Nearby you’ll find the local market, where the people from all the islands come to sell spices, fruit, vegetables and handicrafts.
Resorts and hotels to suit every taste and budget can be found on the other islands. Most of the resorts are all-inclusive and many offer the ultimate in five-star luxury. You can opt to stay in a water bungalow, built on stilts out in the water and connected to the land by picturesque wooden walkways or in a beach front cottage surrounded by lush tropical greenery. Wherever you stay, the beach and the ocean are never far away. Here are a few more of the special experiences that await you in the Maldives.
- Have a meal at the underwater restaurant at the Conrad Resort on Rangali Island. You’ll dine in an underwater glass dome, surrounded by the natural marine life indigenous to the island.
- If you are a scuba diver or have always wanted to learn, the Maldives offers some of the world’s best diving. You can spend a week or two on a live-aboard diving safari; cruising the islands, or head for the Seenu Atoll; a diver’s paradise with at least twenty-five dive sites including three main attractions, Umarus Plave, Kuda Hohola, and Kuda Kandu Corner. For divers seeking a bigger thrill, you can dive with gray and white tip reef sharks near Makunda and Muduka.
- If you are not quite ready to strap on a scuba tank, the islands offer great snorkeling. With over seven hundred species of fish and other marine life, the coral reefs are endlessly fascinating. You may even get to see whale sharks and giant manta rays.
- For a totally romantic experience, you can book a dinner for two on a sand bank out in the ocean and watch the sun slowly sink into the sea. A personal chef is provided to attend to your every need.
I’m Nisha. I represent Holiday365. I love to travel and enjoy writing about it!