10 Things You Have to Try on a Maldives Holiday
There’s more to the Maldives than endless beach days. Here are 10 things you can’t miss.
When you dream of a Maldives holiday, you might imagine yourself laying in the sun, having cocktails by the pool, and doing nothing for two blissful weeks. There are definitely worse ways to spend your hard-earned time off! But don’t miss out on the many other incredible experiences waiting for you.
The islands offer amazing scuba diving, world-class waves, indulgent luxury, and scores of exciting new adventures. So to give you some inspiration for your next Maldives holiday, here are 10 things to add to your bucket list.
Go on a diving adventure
Thanks to the clear, warm waters that surround the Maldives islands, this is a brilliant place for a scuba diving holiday. If you’re interested in getting your PADI Scuba Diver certificate or completing a beginner-friendly ‘Discover Scuba’ program, The Maldives has numerous opportunities.
Whatever level you’re at, you’ll adore the colourful corals and majestic sharks and rays that are the stars of the show in the Maldives waters. With many resorts providing experienced dive guides, scuba diving is super accessible, and given the huge variety of dive sites, you’re sure to find a spot that’ll blow you away. Just remember to wait 24 hours before and after flying to take to the water.
Snorkel with turtles, mantas, and whale sharks
Snorkelling is a popular activity in the Maldives since the waters are so clear, and the 22 atolls and 1,200 islands fringed by coral reefs provide an incredibly diverse marine environment.
Maldives’ bucket lists typically include snorkelling with beautiful sea turtles, manta rays, and whale sharks – if it’s not on your list, add it now. These majestic creatures are amazing to watch in their natural habitat, and the Maldives provides a great opportunity to see them.
Snorkelling is also a family-friendly thing to do, as even younger children can participate and will love seeing the marine wildlife up close. Along with turtles and rays, you can expect to see pufferfish, stonefish, clownfish, and reef sharks.
Relax at an all-inclusive resort
Whether you’re heading to the Maldives on a family holiday or jetting off for a tropical island honeymoon, it’s worth knowing that many resorts offer impressive all-inclusive experiences.
And all-inclusive means just that – all of your meals are paid for, and often, the drinks flow freely, too. Some even include a few activities, so once you’re there, you don’t have to worry about anything other than having an amazing time.
These are some of our favourite all-inclusive Maldives resorts:
- Emerald Maldives Resort, Raa Atoll
- Constance Moofushi, South Ari Atoll
- Ayada Maldives, Gaafu Dhaalu
- Amilla Maldives Resort and Residences, Baa Atoll
Stay in an overwater villa
A stay in a Maldives overwater villa is a great way to indulge and add extra luxury and privacy to your holiday. Hovering above the beautiful blue waters of the lagoon, you’ll have the ocean as your backyard and a variety of marine life as your neighbours.
If you want to be as close to the water as possible, these villas offer the perfect setting. Enjoy luxuries like your own wooden jetty for setting off on a kayak or boat, glass-bottom floors, and even water slides. And the great thing is that you’re never far from the traditional resort amenities.
Some of our top overwater resorts include:
- Soneva Jani, Noonu Atoll
- Six Senses Laamu, Laamu Atoll
- COMO Maalifushi, Thaa Atoll
- Amilla Maldives Resort and Residences, Baa Atoll
Go dolphin watching
The Maldives is lucky enough to be frequently visited by over 20 species of dolphins. These graceful creatures enjoy frolicking in the warm Indian Ocean and provide a stunning sight for visitors throughout the year.
Boat trips to spot pods of dolphins are very popular, and there are many different types of cruises and dolphin-watching boat trips to choose from. The mornings are typically the best option as the winds tend to be lighter, although a sunset cruise is also magnificent.
Dine at an underwater restaurant
Have you ever wondered what dinner would be like underneath the Indian Ocean? Well, you’re in luck. A few resorts in the Maldives have brought a unique experience to life, creating fine dining spaces underneath the water!
- SUBSIX, Niyama Private Islands – Visit this underwater wonderland at Niyama Private Islands resort and truly experience a dinner under the sea. Not only do the massive glass walls look out into the peaceful ocean waters, but the interior decor makes the room feel like it’s part of that world, too. The only difference is you’ll be bone dry as you dine on top-quality seafood and sip cocktails.
- Ithaa, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island – The Conrad Maldives Rangali Island in Alif Dhaal Atoll is an award-winning resort, and its underwater restaurant deserves its own award. Ithaa sits five meters below the water’s surface and provides views of the Indian Ocean through its walls as well as its ceiling. Combined with the exquisite dishes on offer, it promises a one-of-a-kind dining experience.
- H2O by Chef Andrea Berton, YOU & ME MALDIVES – This underwater eatery is the onsite restaurant of an adults-only honeymoon resort in the Raa Atoll and is ideal for a romantic dinner. Run and supervised by Michelin-starred chef Andrea Berton, the restaurant is quite exclusive, seating only 20 people at a time. Alongside the set menu, you can enjoy 360-degree views of the world beneath the waves, thanks to the glass walls and ceiling.
Hit the waves
Surfers will be happy to know that the Maldives offer world-class waves, and there are some pretty exclusive spots located at certain resorts:
- Cinnamon Dhonveli – This resort is the home of Pasta Point, which is known as one of the best places to surf in the Maldives. The break is limited to 30 surfers, and, depending on the conditions, it caters to a range of styles and levels, from advanced beginners and up.
- Niyama Private Islands – Two-time world champion pro-surfer Gabriel Medina has used this spot as his pre-season training ground, so that speaks for itself! The exclusive break here is Vodi, which offers waves that are more suited to intermediate and advanced surfers.
- Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives – This surf break can host a maximum of 40 surfers, so it’s quite exclusive while still being accessible. The hollow right is located right in front of the resort and is fantastic for all kinds of surfers.
Take an island-hopping boat trip
While your Maldives resort will be situated on just one of the many Maldives islands, there is nothing stopping you from seeing more of the country. There are over a thousand islands in this archipelago, so wherever you are, you should be in fairly close proximity to another one.
For a dreamy day trip, hop on a boat and discover secluded beaches, untouched coral reefs, and traditional local islands. You can even book a guided tour to make sure you see all of the best spots.
Travel in style on a seaplane
One of the fantastic things about travelling in the Maldives is that the islands are connected by vast bodies of water. This means there are just a few ways to travel between them, and while a boat trip can be tons of fun, you’ll want to experience a seaplane journey at least once. These planes are, essentially, flying boats.
Taking a flight offers the chance to see the Maldives from the sky and gives you a whole new perspective of the islands and their beauty. Plus, the tiny passenger plane landing at your luxury resort lets you make the perfect entrance for your holiday in paradise.
Explore the capital city, Malé
While your island will more than likely offer you the most idyllic place to relax, unwind, and even chase adventure, there’s a beautiful world outside of the resorts. You’ll land in the Maldives’ capital city, Malé, when you arrive, and it’s a great place to explore.
Spend some time in the city and discover landmarks and attractions as you uncover the true Maldivian culture and lifestyle that exists beyond the tourist-focused paradise islands. Some resorts offer day trips to Malé, so it’s worth checking with them.
What are your favourite things to do on a Maldives holiday?
These are our picks of the top things you have to try on a Maldives holiday, but is there anything you’d add? What’s on your bucket list? Let us know on social or get in touch here.
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