Things to do in the Maldives

The desert island takes on a new meaning for anyone who has the opportunity to visit The Maldives, an archipelago of nearly 2000 picture-postcard islands in the Indian Ocean, among which only 200 are populated.  This is where clear blue skies meet equally crystal waters, teeming with undersea life around the reefs and volcanic rock that make up the Maldives unique geography.  It would be near-impossible to come here and fail to enjoy everything on offer, but a few tips may be useful for your Maldivian experience.

As the ultimate idyllic getaway, Maldives holidays from tour operators are understandably popular with honeymooners and individuals alike.  The monsoon weather usually comes in around May to October but it affects the climate only sporadically, with the temperature staying above the standard 25 degrees.

Many of these tiny islands are resorts in themselves so the relative privacy is a plus here. If you have luxury resorts in mind, you’ll generally be spoilt for choice, from the 4 stars of the tranquil Medhufushi to the 5 star delights of the Kudu Huraa and Fesdu in the North Ari Atolls.

Beaches are a big draw wherever you are in the islands; some of the best can be found on the quiet, uninhabited spots you can reach by boat from bigger islands like Gan and Male’, but resorts like Baros and Huvafen Fushi are top choices as well. Good spots for diving and snorkelling are found around the North Male Atoll and the Nika Island Resort in the north Ari Atolls, while the Kandooma Channel in the South Male’ Atoll brings in plenty of exotic fare for fishing trips.

On the more cultural side, head to the capital island of Male’ to visit the fresh fish markets or admire the beautifully-carved architecture at the Hukuru Miskiiy mosque. Male’ cuisine can be a pretty international affair but this is half the charm of Maldivan dining, which mixes influences from Thailand, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. Coconut-based curries, numerous types of tuna and sweet potatoes are all staples but the food here almost defies classification.

Addu Atoll is also a good place for travellers seeking a more in-depth experience: you can easily hire a bike from Gan and explore the remote villages and nearby islands by causeway. It’s here that you may see some traditional basket-weaving, watch the shallow dhoni boats out in the lagoons or hear the rhythms of the African-inspired bodu beru drums.

On the surface, the Maldives offer plenty to the holiday-maker: welcoming faces, rare wildlife and real opportunities to escape modern day life. But the appeal of these islands is more than just the sway of a palm tree or the flash of a tropical fin: it’s in the incredible diversity found on each island, in language, in craftsmanship and in the locals themselves.

Photo credit here.

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