Looking for a getaway with sun-kissed beaches, bright blue skies and perfect weather? Just south of India lies the beautiful island nation of Maldives, a chain of 1,200 breathtaking, coral islands. The Maldives’ crystal-clear waters and luxury resorts attract globetrotters near and far.
Famous for its gorgeous blue lagoons, picturesque beaches and extensive reefs, its islands only rise 1.8 meters (six feet) above sea level.
The best time to visit is during the dry season from December to March. Since there’s so much to discover around these scenic islands, we’ve listed our top picks you can’t miss should you be planning an adventure in this tropical paradise.
Where To Stay
Choosing a local island
The most popular of the local islands, Maafushi, has an array of restaurants and souvenir shops. Here you’ll find pristine white-sand beaches and can partake in watersports, excursions and island hopping.
If you’re looking for total peace and tranquility, Fulidhoo is for you. The somewhat remote island is stunning, and you might not see another tourist the entire time you’re there.
With deluxe villas perched over some of the bluest water you’ve ever seen, top-notch dining, lavish fitness and wellness centres and exciting adventure packages, a stay at one of the many private island resorts is sure to be memorable. It’s worth noting that resort restaurants are the only areas where alcohol is permitted on the Islands.
What to Do
Boating Excursions and Watersports
It’s no surprise that some of the best adventures in the Maldives begin at sea. Watch the sun disappear beneath the horizon as you toast with your loved one on one of the island’s many sunset cruises. These excursions are a great way to spot sea life as you wind down from another day spent in paradise.
More than 20 different whale and dolphin species have been spotted in the surrounding waters. If you’re lucky, as you cruise along, pods of dolphins will entertain you as they jump out of the water to ride in your wake. Most resorts can assist you with planning your watersport activities.
For the thrill-seekers, the Maldives offer watersports aplenty such as banana boat rides, parasailing, kayaking, catamaran sailing, wakeboarding, knee boarding, SEABOB rentals, snorkeling and jet ski safaris.
Whether it’s being face to face with a grey reef shark, spotting a tiny brightly coloured flatworm or the sight of the awesome manta ray, you’ll have the chance to see it all on a diving trip in the Maldives.
What to Eat
Maldivian cuisine is a mix of Arabic, Indian and Sri Lankan influences. As it’s in the middle of the Indian Ocean, seafood and fruit (specifically coconut which is incorporated into almost every meal) is in abundance. Tuna is the most common fish of the island: Skipjack tuna, little tunny, and yellowfin tuna are favourites.
Considering its Indian influence, most dishes use a spicy curry. A few authentic dishes that foodies won’t want to miss out on include Mas Huni (a smoked tuna dish with coconut often served for breakfast), Theluli Mas (spicy fried fish made with curry and tomato paste) and Bis Keemiya (pastry filled with tuna and hard boiled egg).
If there’s one restaurant to try in in the Maldives, it’s Ithaa Undersea Restaurant in the Conrad Maldives Randheli Resort. The world’s first all-glass undersea restaurant is one of a kind. As you dine 16 feet below sea level, take in 180-degree views as coral gardens and sea life come to life. The menu includes contemporary European cuisine in a six-course set dinner menu.
If the lure of the Maldives has you hooked, contact your personal travel manager or find one here.