Maldives is best explored at leisure. Here’s where people come to escape from the noise and concrete monstrosities to smell the fresh sea breeze, dive into unspoilt ocean waters and experience the unique local culture.
Maldives and boat cruises are inseparable. Sitting aboard a quiet dhoni with sea all around you and waiting to get to yet another uninhabited island where you’ll savour local delicacies and wait for the dolphins to appear as the locals play the traditional Bodu Beru drums, is one of the most satisfying experiences. Island-hopping is a popular tourist past-time, complete with fishing trips and beach barbecues. Hulhumalé, a man-made island on land reclaimed from the sea, is a popular stop-over. For shopping and a taste of the local culture, the capital city Malé with its 17th century mosques, buzzing fish market and National Museum, is perfect for a day trip.
The island is home to some of the world’s best diving sites, in particular Addu Atoll, its southern-most atoll famous for its rich dolphin and whale fauna and the only area in the Maldives to escape coral bleaching. If you prefer to keep your head under water for a couple of hours, snorkelling and diving give you an opportunity to get up and close with the diverse marine life – including the deadly stingray. Swim with the reef sharks, bat fish and schooling fish at Mushimasmingili Thila, a popular marine protected dive site in North Ari Atoll. Water skiing, para sailing, windsurfing and banana boat rides are other popular island activities. You cannot come to Maldives and not enjoy the scenic vistas surrounding you from high up in the sky! Aerial sightseeing is a great way to experience the island’s abundant natural beauty (get your cameras ready!).