If someone told you to describe paradise, what would be the first image that came to your mind? For many of us, that word conjures up thoughts of endless white sand beaches, cloudless skies, waving palms, and the bluest sea you could imagine...
Well, as the famous song says, heaven is a place on earth... and that place is the Maldives.
The Maldives is an island nation found in the Indian Ocean, comprised of more than 1000 coral islands. Although we may all wish that we could spend endless days exploring all of these beautiful islands, real life tends to get in the way! So we've put together a comprehensive list of the most worthwhile, must-see sights and experiences when visiting the Maldives.
Malé is the capital city of the Maldives, consisting of a central island and several smaller islands surrounding it. It is one of the most densely populated cities in the world, with over 100,000 people inhabiting just over nine square kilometres.
There are several sites of interest to visit in Malé, the most fascinating of which is the Friday Mosque. This is the oldest mosque in the city, built in 1658, and constructed from ornately-carved white coral. Other sites of interest in Malé include the National Museum, Sultan Park, as well as the bustling main street, where you can see a fish market, shops, and restaurants.
Guraidhoo is one of the small inhabited islands of the South Malé Atoll. This is one of the best places to see the local culture and lifestyle of the Maldives. You can walk through the quiet streets, where you will see children playing and the people going about their daily chores. You can visit a local café to try out a traditional Maldivian dish known as "hedika"- sweet and savoury treats that are enjoyed with black tea. You can also see the fishing village and visit the local boatyard to see how traditional boats are made. This is an insightful and rewarding experience.
Gan is the largest island in the Maldives, and is home to several unique and interesting sites. In the middle of the island sits the aptly-name Red Lake, a serene body of water surrounded by vegetation and appearing reddish in colour due to the effect of the leaves that fall into it. Gan also features the longest beach in the Maldives- a nearly 8km-long stretch of immaculate white sand. Other sites of interest on the island include ancient Buddhist ruins, vegetable farms, and fish factories. Gan can also boast of the fact that it was used as a filming location for the movie Star Wars Rogue One.
Maafushi is one of the biggest islands in the Maldives Archipelago. It is quiet and calm in comparison to Malé, the perfect island from which to simply kick back and drink it the splendour of the tropical paradise you find yourself in. The island thrives on the industries of fishing and tourism. Besides the typical activities like snorkelling and diving, on Maafushi you can also try out night fishing, as well as heading out on a boat in search of dolphins.
Gulhi is a quiet, tranquil Maldives island, and offers a chance to see several unique sights. This includes visiting the harbour, where you can sip on a refreshing Kurumba (coconut) drink; a trip to the boatyard where the size of the boats under construction are astounding; and visiting the bikini beach for a chance to revel in the quiet coastal tranquillity. Gulhi Island also offers snorkelling, diving, and other watersports.
There are hosts of small uninhabited islands found within the Maldives Archipelago, and visiting any one of them is a truly thrilling experience. There's something about exploring an undeveloped tropical island that ignites your sense of adventure and makes you feel as though you are a character in a book or a movie. Pretend to be Captain Jack Sparrow, Peter Pan, or an adventurer looking for treasure as you discover the secrets of the deserted islands.
This is one of the most magical experiences that can you have on a trip to the Maldives. Imagine sitting out on a deserted stretch of white sand, surrounded by azure waters. There can be no more dreamlike experience than seeing the sun go down while you are practically out in the middle of the ocean. It's a sight that will stay with you forever.
The Maldives is one of the best places in the world for snorkelling and scuba diving. There is a whole other world below the surface of the sea, and the crystal-clear waters of the Maldives let you see a small part of this incredible ecosystem. Discover a vibrant world of bright-coloured fish, beautiful underwater plants, enormous twisting coral reefs, and plenty of weird and wonderful marine species. There are plenty of dive centres and resorts offering scuba and snorkelling opportunities for everyone, from beginners to seasoned professionals.
This multi-activity tour stays on the beautiful local island of Gan in Laamu Atol and combines a wide range of local experiences with plenty of watersports options, making it well suited to the active and adventurous traveller.
This 8-day Maldives sailing cruise takes you island hopping on board a deluxe safari boat, stopping at local islands, deserted beaches and sandbars with plenty of snorkelling & swimming. Private charters available for 2-14 people.
This 8-day small-group tour of the Maldives explores several of the most interesting of the many inhabited local islands within reach of Male to discover the unique culture, beautiful scenery & friendly local people of this tropical paradise.
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