The Maldives: The Ultimate Tropical Escape
A tropical island paradise that isn't just for honeymooners. There's a rich culture and vibrant dining scene that will appeal to everyone. Here's your destination guide to the Maldives:
Welcome to the Maldives, a tropical paradise in the Indian Ocean. Boasting crystal-clear waters, white sandy beaches and a plethora of luxurious resorts, it's no surprise that the Maldives is a top destination for travellers looking for a spot of serious R&R.
Made up of over 1,000 coral islands, the Maldives is an archipelago located southwest of India and Sri Lanka. The islands attract not only honeymooners from all over the world, but travellers in search of stunning beaches, nature and the unique island culture.
The islands offer a wide range of activities, from snorkelling and diving to surfing and sailing. Renowned for its luxury resorts, which offer visitors a chance to relax and unwind in some of the most beautiful surroundings in the world, there are hotel options available to suit most budgets. The Maldives also comes highly recommended for solo travellers.
The Maldives has a rich cultural heritage that dates back over 2000 years. The islands were once an important centre for Buddhism, with several ancient Buddhist temples and ruins still present today. In the 12th century, the Maldives converted to Islam, which has since become the predominant religion.
The people of the Maldives are warm and friendly, with a culture that is deeply rooted in their history and religion. The population of the Maldives is diverse, with a mix of people of South Asian, African, and Arab descent. The official language is Dhivehi, but English is widely spoken and understood in the main tourist areas.
The Maldives is known for its luxurious overwater villas, and there is no shortage of them. Some of the top Maldivian resorts to consider are:
- Soneva Fushi: This resort offers private villas with outdoor bathrooms, personal butlers, and a range of activities such as snorkelling, diving, and stargazing
- Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru: This resort has a world-class spa, fine dining, and a range of activities such as water sports, tennis, and yoga
- Conrad Maldives Rangali Island: With an underwater villa with a bedroom under the sea, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get up close and personal with the Maldives' spectacular marine life
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What to do in the Maldives:
- Go snorkelling or diving: The Maldives has some of the most beautiful coral reefs and marine life in the world. Take a guided tour or explore on your own. It's the perfect place to learn, if you've never tried before
- Relax on the beach: With white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters, the Maldives is the perfect place to unwind and soak up the sun
- Indulge in a spa treatment (or two): Many resorts have luxurious spas that offer a range of treatments to help you relax and rejuvenate
- Take a sunset cruise: Enjoy the breathtaking views of the Maldives during a sunset cruise. Many resorts offer private cruises with dinner and drinks included
- Experience local culture: Take a day trip to one of the local islands and experience the culture and traditions of the Maldives
Where to Eat in the Maldives:
Most resorts in the Maldives offer exquisite dining options, with fresh seafood being a speciality. Some of the top restaurants to try are:
- Ithaa Undersea Restaurant: This restaurant is located 16 feet below sea level and offers stunning views of the underwater world while you dine
- The Lighthouse Restaurant: On a private island, this restaurant offers exquisite seafood dishes with stunning views of the ocean
- Baan Huraa: This restaurant offers Thai cuisine in a romantic setting with a view of the lagoon
Being an island nation, most traditional Maldivian food is fish-based, but there are plenty of tempting alternatives and vegetarian options available.
- Mas huni is a dish made from shredded tuna, coconut, onion, chili, lime juice, and coriander. It is usually eaten with roshi, a type of flatbread
- Gulha: These are small, round dumplings that are filled with a mixture of grated coconut, onions, and spices. They are typically served as a snack or starter
- Bajiya: These are similar to samosas or empanadas. They are made from dough, stuffed with a filling of fish or vegetables, then deep-fried until crispy
- Kulhi boakiba is a type of deep-fried fish cake, made with onion and chilli
- Theluli mas is fried fish, drenched in lime juice and chilliMaldivian Tourism:
If you get bored of lazing on the beach, there are plenty of other activities to keep you entertained in the Maldives.
- Go island hopping. If you're looking for a more adventurous holiday, consider island hopping in the Maldives. There are many different islands to choose from, and you can easily travel between them by speedboat or ferry. As you travel between the islands, you'll get to experience the different cultures and traditions of the Maldives
- Visit a museum. Get a glimpse into the Maldives' history and culture. The National Museum in Malé is a good place to start. It has exhibits on the history of the Maldives, its culture and people
- Take a cooking class. The Maldives has a rich culinary tradition, and you can learn to cook some of the local dishes in a cooking class – a great way to learn about the local culture and sample some of the local food
- Talk to the locals. The best way to experience the culture of the Maldives is to talk to the locals. Friendly and welcoming, they are always happy to share their culture with visitors. Ask them about their way of life, their culture, and their traditions. You'll be amazed by what you learn
- Go fishing. You can fish from the shore or from a boat, and there are many different types of fish to catch
- Go stargazing. The Maldives is a great place to go stargazing. The skies are clear and dark, and you can see many different constellations
- Music and dance. Maldivian music and dance are known for their intricate rhythms and movements. Traditional Maldivian music is often played on drums and stringed instruments
The Maldives has a tropical climate and is warm and sunny year-round. However, the best time to visit is from November to April, when the weather is dry and the water is calm.
How to Get to the Maldives:
Most international flights arrive at the Malé International Airport. From there, you can take a domestic flight or a speedboat to your resort.
The Maldives is a luxurious and idyllic destination that offers a range of activities and experiences. From snorkelling and diving, to relaxing on the beach and indulging in spa treatments, there really is something for everyone. Book your trip today and experience the ultimate in luxury travel.
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