The Maldives, a tropical haven of immaculate beaches located in the Indian Ocean south of Sri Lanka, is an archipelago of 1,192 coral islands grouped into natural atolls, out of which only a few are inhabited. Time stands still in the Maldives as you lie on the white sand beaches, hearing the crystal clear waves crash against the seashore, swim with the manta rays and reef sharks and feast on a wide array of fishes with the locals. The Maldives is ideal for an adventure, honeymoon or leisure holiday.
Floating on the translucent waters, Maldives is a divine paradise for those looking for a getaway from the daily humdrum of city life, with unparalleled beauty. With its sun-kissed beaches, palm-fringed islands, crystalline lagoons and pristine waters, Maldives enthrals and draws visitors all year round. Each resort generally occupies an entire atoll and are equipped with luxurious water villas. Imagine having a room on a pier jutting out from the shore with a glass floor under which tropical fish can be seen swimming!
Renowned for its incredible diving opportunities, the azure waters of Maldives, are home to diverse marine life and corals of distinct hues. While the vivid blue lagoons are perfect for snorkelling, the reef walls offer a kaleidoscope of sea life for more experienced divers, making it a haven for water sports enthusiasts.
The capital city of Male is both commercial and financial capital. Seat to the executive, legislature and judiciary, this city is a tourist favourite as well. The history lovers will be satiated here, given Male houses several buildings and monuments of historical importance. Male is easily accessible by ferry boats from the international airport. Travel to other islands in the Maldives is also quite feasible from Male due to the good ferry connectivity. Be it island hopping, candlelight dinner by the sea, breakfast ferry to an uninhabited island (yes, this is possible), scuba diving or even dolphin watching for all you leisure lovers, this idyllic holiday will never afford you an idle moment!
One of the world’s smallest national capital, Male is known for its ancient mosque and colourful buildings. With its beauty and progressiveness being talked about the island today has grown into one of the most visited places in the Maldives. It is a casual town best for wandering without pre-planned itineraries. With heritage buildings on the one hand and trees and waters with welcoming shades on the other, Male is a must-visit.
This pint-sized Maldivian capital is a mercantile pulse of the nation which has a lot to offer to its tourists. Away from a resort’s infinity pool and succulent buffet, Male gives you the most authentic experiences in the Maldives. Surrounded courageously with turquoise waters, it is the driving soul of the whole archipelago. From strolling on the streets jostling with shops and lively markets to learning about the Maldivian history, you would love every moment spent in the capital city of Male.
Banana Reef, one of the oldest reefs discovered in the Maldives is adorned with stunning caves, majestic cliffs, beautiful coral growths and powerful overhangs. Banana Reef is also populated by sharks, barracudas, and groupers, making Banana Reef one of the world’s most popular dive sites. The calm and friendly currents coupled with great visibility prove to work really well for first-time divers, learners and novices to get their feet wet with. It is also quite a convenient option for expert and experienced divers because it allows them to go deeper and explore the vivid world beneath the surface of the waters better.
The range of the dive is quite wide – starts at 5 meters underwater and goes as deep as 30 meters underwater! Visibility remains immaculate in these clear waters up till 30 meters, and the water is quite accommodating too, ranging between a warm and comforting 24 degrees Celsius and 29 degrees Celsius. You can go scuba diving in these magical waters or even try snorkelling by the northern end of the reef.
It is not until one steps into the beautiful Maafushi Island in the Maldives does one know how it feels like to stay in a slice of paradise on earth. Maafushi is one of those local Maldivian islands where people go to rejuvenate their fatigued souls and bask in the tranquillity that envelopes this tourist destination. The sudden change of pace from the hectic hustle of the city to the utter sense of serenity is something that is sure to soothe the anxious nerves and help people relax.
Nestled comfortably in the Southern Male Atoll, the Maafushi Island is large when compared to the rest of the islands situated in the atoll. Every year, this vacation spot welcomes a larger number of tourists, and to cater to their needs, Maafushi is dotted with intimate and cosy guesthouses, which are not only affordable but are also extremely comfortable. In addition to these snug guesthouses, Maafushi is home to a number of places to explore. From historical monuments to sandbars, from diving agencies to restaurants, the island invites you to embark on a smorgasbord of activities.
Maldives busiest street and a paradise for shopaholics, Majeedhee Magu, is the most famous street markets in the Male. Crossing the city from the east to the west, it has shops providing everything from cosmetics, handlooms, and jewellery to electronic items. Within the cluster of local crafts and Islamic perfumes is the textile, which is the star product of this Maldivian market.
At Majeedhee Magu, one can easily spot the traditional Maldives’ dress known as libaas. Giving away all the cool vibes to its visitors, the Majeedhee Magu market gives the glimpses of the authentic Maldivian lifestyle. This busy market with the maximum number of vehicles and people in Maldives, is also famous for the wide variety of fishes on sale, be it dried fish chips, canned tuna or smoked fish.
Built beside the demolished Royal Palace in Maldives’ capital city Male, Sultan Park, also known as the Rasrani Bageecha, is a public park formed after transforming the palace’s royal gardens. The giant iron gate at the entrance of the park is the only piece that speaks of the palace’s former glory.
This green oasis in Male, the bustling capital has ponds surrounded with white lilies which add seven stars to their beauty. Even after being centrally located in the city, Sultan Park manages to create a peaceful and calming atmosphere. The serenity is so much so that birds singing over the tree branches can be heard.
The southernmost atoll in Maldives, Addu Atoll is a beautiful yet secluded place that is famous amongst tourists. Gan Island, in turn, is the southernmost island that forms a part of the Addu Atoll, making it the southernmost island of Maldives as well. The glorious island is home to many activities ranging from water sports, snorkelling and diving to local heritage and cultural experiences as well as high-end resorts. Gan island is one of the few places in Maldives that brings forth a perfect fusion of luxury and the island culture it is known for.
Although the Island is as far 541 kilometres from the capital of Male, the Gan International Airport has made it easily accessible. This is one of the charms of the island as reaching it is no hassle and yet it is miles away from other islands in the Maldives, giving it is a private, isolated feel.