By Staff Writer
Jan 22, 2021
WHEN MOST TRAVELERS THINK OF THE MALDIVES, they envision languid, lazy days of basking in the tropical sunshine on a white-sand beach at a five-star resort. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with that, there’s plenty more to enjoy in this remarkable island paradise.
Island Hop Between the Atolls
There are 1,190 islands, a mere 185 of which are inhabited, in the Maldives, meaning that there’s always somewhere else to explore. Public ferries are an efficient local method of transportation, but for something truly special, Yacht Maldives can whisk you off on an exclusive voyage to as many islands as you’d like to visit.
Discover Malé on a Walking Tour
From the National Art Gallery to the shady paths of Sultan Park, the Maldivian capital brims with life and culture. Secret Maldives specializes in providing travelers with an immersive look at the vibrant city of Malé on foot. While you’re in town, don’t miss the chance to check out the Fish Market, where locals display the freshest catch of the day.
Ride the Waves
The Maldives is widely considered one of the finest surfing destinations in the world —and with good reason. Some of the best breaks include Chickens, a legendary left-hander in the North Malé atoll, Jailbreaks, located opposite a public jail on the island of Himmafushi, Yin Yang, a reliable break near the Six Senses Laamu, Five Islands, a right-hander that breaks hard, and the LUX* Break, a seasonal break not far from the resort of the same name.
Visit Historic Mosques
Malé is home to some of the most architectural stunning mosques in the world. Earlier versions of these houses of worship were made from coconut wood and palm trees. In the 17th through 19th century, however, builders switched to a more permanent material: coral. Six of these magnificent coral mosques survive to this day, including Hukuru Miskiiy or Old Friday Mosque, a UNESCO World Heritage Site completed in 1658.
Swim with Whale Sharks and Manta Rays
Though it boasts more than 2,000 species of marine life, the Maldives is best-known for charismatic giants of the sea. To see manta rays, head to Addu Atoll or Hanifaru Bay in Baa Atoll. The latter is also a great place to spot whale sharks from May to November, which also frequent the South Ari Atoll year-found.
Sample the Local Cuisine
Maldivian cuisine benefits from the nation’s position on several historic spice trading routes and its abundant local sea life. Rich curries, flaky chapati breads, and all manner of dishes made with freshly caught tuna and locally harvested coconuts can be found around the archipelago. Don’t miss a chance to try mas huni, a traditional breakfast dish made from chopped tuna seasoned with chilies and onions and served with baked rosti bread.