MALDIVES: ROMANTIC | PICTURESQUE | SERENE
The Republic of Maldives is an archipelago consisting of twenty-six coral atolls, in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The climate is warm and tropical, with two yearly monsoons. The panoramic views of the turquoise-colored ocean, and vibrant sunsets are hypnotic. Main activities include snorkeling and diving, as there is an amazing array of wrecks, coral and sea creatures to explore. South Indian and Sri Lankan flavors influence the local cuisine. The Maldives is a resort-centric vacation. Picking the right resort (and companion for that matter) is key, as you will most likely spend the majority of your time at that one location.
Links take you directly to the establishment's site. For point-to-point directions, check out our custom Google Map.
BEFORE YOU GO
WHAT TO WEAR
It is advisable to dress conservatively, especially in Malé, as this is a Muslim country. In the resorts, feel free to wear beach attire. Topless sunbathing and nudity in public, is illegal.
You will most likely land in Malé. From there you will take an Air Taxi, Boat or Private Yacht to the resort of your choice. It is best to arrange your transfer with your resort.
Here are some do-it-yourself choices:
Air Taxi: Trans Maldivian Airways & Island Aviation
Ferries: Province & Greater Malé
Private Charter: Atoll Transfer
Speed Boats: MTCC
Transfer Booking: Atoll Transfer
You will literally be in the middle of the ocean, quite possibly limited to one atoll. Ensure that the resort you select has all the features, services and amenities that you need. These are a few of our favorite resorts.
Shangri-La's Villingili Resort & Spa
The local cuisine is heavily influenced by South Indian and Sri Lankan flavors. Rice and fish tend to be the staple. Local delights to look out for include Mashuni for breakfast, Dhon Riha a Maldivian Tuna Curry, Theluli Mas which is spicy fried fish and Fihunu Mas, grilled fish.
End your meals with desserts such as Banbukeyo Bondibai and Dhonkeyo Kajuru. Masala Chai is a great way to wash it all down. Raa, which is toddy tapped from palm trees, might be worth a sample.
Each resort will have a number of restaurants serving up fancy seafood concoctions along with a selection of global and local cuisines. A real treat will be to request for beachfront private dining at sunset. To sample other restaurants at nearby resorts, hop on an air taxi, ferry or yacht to another atoll.
Here are a few notable venues.
Muraka at Mirihi Island Resort
Reethi Restaurant at One & Only Reethi Rah
The Wine Cellar at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
Expansive views of the ocean and stunning sunsets that fade into starry nights, create the ideal setting for a fancy cocktail. If dancing is more your thing, head to the underwater club, 15below, at the W.
Manzaru Bar at Anantara Kihavah
SEE & DO
In Malé, stop by the National Library and Art Gallery and Hukuru Miskiy, an old coral stone mosque, known for its outstanding design, decoration and grandness.
The Maldives is a world-class diving destination. The coral reefs, shipwrecks, wide array of fish and sea creatures are truly breathtaking. The Marine Discovery Centre is a great place to learn about ocean conservation. Rent a luxury dhoni and sail around the atolls, to explore uninhabited islands. Go fishing and enjoy all the water sports that each resort has to offer.
Here is a list of our favorite dive sites with links to the nearest dive shops.
Addu Atoll - Biggest Wreck "British Loyalty”
Ari Atoll - Broken Rock, Kudarah
Baa Atoll - UNESCO
Kuramathi - Hammerhead Sharks
Maayaa Thila - Moray Eels, Turtles, Octopus and Stonefish
North Malé Atoll - Banana Reef, Kuda Haa
South Malé Atoll - Cocoa Corner & Guraidhoo
Vaavu Atoll - Fotteyo Kandu
Experience the simple pleasures of utter peacefulness that comes from being far away in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Luxuriate in rich, locally sourced oils and feel true tranquility. Most resorts will have a signature spa. These are a few of our favorites based on ambience and the use of indigenous treatments.
Chi, The Spa at Shangri-La Villingili Resort & Spa
Conrad Spa Maldives Rangali Island
The Maldives is not a major shopping destination. In Malé, Majeedhee Magu is the area to go for garments, perfumes and cosmetics, jewelry, handbags, watches, electronics and more.
For local souvenirs, Chaandanee Magu, also in Malé, is the place to head to. Here you will find thudu kuna, the traditional woven mats, as well as perfectly crafted miniature dhonis (local boats) and wooden lacquer ware.
Do not buy any souvenirs that contain turtle shell, coral, pearl oyster and crocodile skin, as they will be confiscated. Stores come to a standstill for 15 minutes during prayer times.