Here is your go-to list when you want to choose the best things to accomplish while in the Maldives. It is a daunting task to choose what to include and what to do away with given the plethora of activities that can be done on these beautiful islands. Hence, we have curated just that; the top 10 things you must have on your list while you are here.
1. Scuba & snorkeling at Maafushi Dive & Water Sports
How can one go to the Maldives and not indulge in the soul-filling activity of enjoying the coral island and observing the rainbow of diverse flora & fauna? Just an hour and a half ferry ride away from the capital city of Male is the charming island of Maafushi, where Maafushi Dive, a professional scuba diving operation, will fulfill just that dream. They boast of high-quality standards when it comes to the types of diving equipment used, carefully planned dives and local knowledge of dive sites. You can also choose to get professionally certified as they have plenty of courses to offer. Other than scuba and snorkeling, they offer other water sports too like paragliding, jet skiing, etc.
Address: Maafushi Dive Centre, Maafushi Island, South Male Atoll, Republic of Maldives
Website: Maafushi Dive
2. Underwater dining at Ithaa Undersea Restaurant
Rated ‘the most beautiful restaurant in the world’ by New York Daily News in 2014, Ithaa Undersea Restaurant at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort is the proud pioneer of underwater restaurants in the world. Ithaa means 'mother of pearl’ in the Maldivian local language Dhivehi. This 14-seater restaurant is undersea and serves excellent fish & wine. So head there to admire fish both on and off the plate! If visiting with children, be sure to go for lunch as dinners are for adults only.
Ithaa Undersea Restaurant at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort
Address: Conrad Maldives, Rangali Island, 20077, Maldives
Operational hours: 11am–2:30pm, 6:30–10:30pm, Monday to Sunday
Dress Code: Smart
3. Swim with the Whale Sharks at Shark Park, South Ari Atoll
Shark fishing is banned in Maldives since 2010, and since then this island has become a shark sanctuary. Maafushivaru in South Ari Atoll is the prime site for seeing whale sharks in great numbers as it has identified around 200 Whale Sharks. They take great care of these giant fish. Give your adrenaline a much-needed boost by swimming alongside these huge mammals in their domains. The Maldives Whale Shark Research Program facilitates this activity so you can tick this once in a lifetime experience off your bucket list.
Address: Adh. Dhigurah, South Ari atoll, Republic of Maldives
Website: Shark Park
4. Visit the enormous Male Fish Market
You have to visit the Male Fish Market to see the local men in their glory. Tuna is the king here and you will see this huge fish in abundance. From locals to resorts, everyone has one stop when it comes to buying fish. Though it can get smelly owing to the huge variety available, a quick tip would be to visit here early in the morning to avoid that. Watching the action in here is something you shouldn’t miss if in Male city.
Male Fish Market
Address: 188 Ibrahim Hassan Didi Magu, Malé 20188, Maldives
Operational Hours: 7am - 8pm
5. Spice shopping at Local Market
The “Local Market” located on the Northern Waterfront, is a block away from the Male’ Fish Market. It is quite an opposite rendezvous from the hustle bustle of the fish market. The Local Market has a peaceful atmosphere. You will find a variety of local produce here including vegetables, fruits, nuts, homemade sweets & pickles, etc. But the market is most famous for its variety of spices. Must-buy items include local spice mixes so you could cook up those lip smacking curries back home & coconut and palm sugar rolled up in dried leaves like cigars.
Address: Male’ Higun, Malé, Maldives
6. Island hopping to the best islands in the Maldives
With over 1000 small islands that make up the Maldives, it can get difficult to choose which ones to visit. Coming to your rescue, here’s a preference wise list.
Budget stays: Head to Hulhumale Islands. There are pocket-friendly options when it comes to hotels & restaurants. The Hulhumale beach, a very popular destination among tourist is just the place for soaking up the sun. You can enjoy many water activities too. It takes just 12 mins to reach this island by road from the airport.
If you are a water baby: Maafushi Islands on Kaafu Atoll is for people who breathe, eat, and drink water. From snorkeling to scuba, dolphin trips to day & night fishing, kayaking to parasailing, you name the activity and it’s there for you to enjoy.
For King size luxury: Kurumba Islands are for the ones who want to spoil themselves with the best luxurious vacation. There are amazing five-star properties that will spoil you for choice. Get an all-inclusive package so that everything right from your pick up to drop off is taken care of.
For couples: Baa Atoll, a secluded luxury haven and also a UNESCO site is favored by the honeymooners for the privacy it provides.
7. Seek blessings at the famous Hukuru Miskiiy Mosque
The Kaafu Atoll is graced by this architectural gem, Hukuru Miskiiy or the Friday Mosque. It was built in the 16th-century and is among the oldest sea-culture architecture in the city. The outsides are of coral stones and limestone while the insides have wooden decoration. Stop by and you’re sure to please the historian in you. Remember to follow the proper dress code, or else entry would be restricted.
Hukuru Miskiiy Mosque
Address: Medhuziyaarai Magu, Malé, Maldives
Phone: +960 3020200
8. Relax with spas at Veli Spa, Kurumba Maldives
What better way to relax your tired muscles than a soulful spa? Veli Spa at Kurumba Maldives provides just that and much more. They include traditional Maldivian techniques, as well as Dhivehi-beys, which is a traditional Maldivian herbal medicine that has been passed from generation to generation, and blend them into new age therapies. With a menu comprising of over 30 different spa treatments, you can choose one that suits you best. Spa under the stars isn’t a dream anymore!
Address: Kurumba Maldives, Vihamanaafushi, 08340, Republic of Maldives
Website: Veli Spa
If you are not the dare-devil type adventurer, the Maldives has other activities like city walking tours, boat tours, museum visits, cooking classes, submarine tours, dining with the locals, etc. So go ahead try these and never feel left out as there is so much else to do here other than the main scuba & snorkeling activities.
Off beat Activities
10. Visit the Artificial Beach in Male
If the Maldives have awed you with natural beauty, this is a step further. They have a man-made beach in the capital city and it’s spellbinding. Take a swim in the shallow beach, sit on the shore and read or just laze around. A mega plus point here is that this place is surrounded with plenty of restaurants that offer yummy food at reasonable rates. What more could one ask for?
Address: Boduthakurufaanu Magu, Male 20082
White sands, blue seas, idyllic islands and luxurious resorts. Need more reasons?
The Maldives, though mighty in all aspects, is one of the islands likely to be submerged by 2100, according to weather reports and warnings from global warming departments. Hence, it’s best to give these queen islands a visit now. Also, just like the Maldivians, let’s try to be sustainable and leave nothing more than footprints and take nothing more than memories.
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