When planning a luxury holiday, the Maldives tops most people’s list of destinations. Situated in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives are comprised of 26 coral atolls, made up of tiny islands and the white beaches and crystal clear blue ocean have often been likened to paradise. The islands haven’t even been a holiday destination for fifty years yet, and the small population of tourists are luxury holiday makers looking for some peace and quiet, meaning unlike with the Caribbean the islands are neither overly dense nor sparse. For a relaxing retreat, there’s no better place to be.
Top 3 Things to Do in the Maldives
Enjoy A Mini-Cruise
One of the best ways to see the islands is to enjoy a scenic cruise around them – either above or below sea level. A dhoni cruise at sunset allows you to see a range of smaller islands in their glory, with local music and regional cuisine dinner for a wonderful evening. For an afternoon, enjoy a more unusual cruise in a former British military submarine to observe the life of a coral reef with guides free to answer questions – perfect for kids.
See The Sea
One of the most attractive points of this destination is the huge expanse of bright turquoise ocean covering the beautiful corals on the sea floor. For swimmers, it is an absolute delight, and not unlike an outdoor aquarium. The North Malé Atoll in particular is one of the best explored areas of the Indian Ocean, and makes for a once in a lifetime trip for any budding water babies. Visit the popular Banana bay where you can take a diving class and see the beautiful corals and fantastic sea life – including manta rays – up close and personal. For stronger divers, or head up to Hammerhead Point to swim with sharks for an amazing story to tell.
To learn more about the island, there are plenty of places to get a sense of its history. Utheemu Ganduvaru was home to the legendary Sultan Mohomed Thankufaan, known for his role in banishing Portuguese colonizers in the 16th Century. Next up is the Hukuru Miskiiy, or ‘Old Friday’ mosque, the oldest on the island dating back to 1656, which boasts beautifully intricate Arabic carvings and decorations in the interior and exterior. Fans of castles would do well to visit the Muleeaage, an exquisite palace used as the presidential residence today.