Things to Do in the Maldives
The Maldives is widely regarded as having some of the best snorkelling and diving grounds in the world – just perfect for active couples enjoying a beach holiday or romantic getaway. It is also the ideal place for surfing, windsurfing, fishing and kayaking.
Scuba diving – Explore an easily accessible underwater world teeming with exotic marine life and abundant coral reefs. Take a day or night dive safari from your resort or from a dive school. Many of the resorts run PADI courses and rent out dive equipment including underwater cameras.
Don’t miss the Maldives Victory, which sank in 1981 and rests at a depth of 35m off the western side of Hulule Island; strong currents mean this dive is for experienced divers only. Be sure to dive Mushimasmingili Thila (Fish Head), situated on Ari Atoll, renowned for numerous grey reef sharks, giant snappers and colourful tropical reef fish.
The Guraidhoo Corner reef, located near the islands of Losfushi on the east side of South Malé Atoll, is well known for its large fish, including grey reef sharks, eagle rays, sailfish and large snapper. Kuda Rah Thila (Broken Rock), also on the Ari Atoll, is a better site for less experienced divers as the currents here are weak.
Snorkelling – You can snorkel almost anywhere in Maldives, with shallow reefs typically just a few strokes away from the beach. Or head off on a snorkel excursion to experience the diversity of marine life and reef structures on the outer atolls. On the reefs you can expect to see turtles, sea anemones, octopus, eels and numerous fish including skipjack, dogtooth tuna, butterfly fish, sweetlips and fusiliers.
Surfing – Most resorts offer boat trips to the numerous surf breaks in North Malé Atoll and the Outer Atoll. Resorts in the north of South Malé have good waves along the edges of atolls.
Try ‘Sultans’ on the eastern reef of North Male Atoll: the waves here provide some fast action up to 100m long, with more swell and consistency than other breaks. Accessible from the shore at Tari Village Resort, Sultans is best surfed in February, March and April.
Take a boat ride to the uninhabited island of Thamburudhoo, on the eastern reef of North Male Atoll for an excellent long right-hander and rides of up to 150m in length.
Game fishing – Hook up with a morning charter for sailfish, marlin, barracuda, yellowfish tuna, wahoo and swordfish or go night fishing for snapper, emperor, barracuda, squirrel fish and jacks.
Whale and dolphin watching – With more than 20 different species of whales and dolphins calling the Maldives home, the islands ranks among the top five places on the planet for watching these beautiful creatures.
Watch seven different types of dolphin (spinner, bottlenose, Risso’s, spotted, striped, Fraser’s and rough-toothed) as well as several Maldivian specialities of whale, frequently seen here but rarely anywhere else, including dwarf sperm whale, melon-headed whale and tropical bottlenose whale (long considered the rarest whale in the world).
On a special whale safari you may see the mighty blue whale, sperm whale, pilot whale and perhaps even a pod of killer whales (orcas).
Windsurfing – The large lagoons surrounding most of the islands are ideal for windsurfing. If you haven’t tried windsurfing yet, enrol at a windsurfing school or watersports centre, available at most resorts. Boards and sails for hire cater to all skill levels.
Parasailing – Soar high into the sky on a parasail for a bird’s-eye view of the scenic splendour of the atolls. Resorts that offer parasailing usually have courses for beginners.
Cruising – Discover more than one resort or explore other idyllic islands by joining a sailing cruise through the atolls. Choose from vessels with luxury accommodation and amenities or those with more basic facilities.
Shopping – For a unique island souvenir, choose from handicrafts such as wooden lacquer ware, woven natural red fibre mats and miniature wooden boats known as dhonis.